Coral Gables & Florida Federal Alien Smuggling Attorney
Alien smuggling is a term that refers to a range of acts that involve assisting illegal aliens to enter the United States without following proper procedures or harboring a person who is unlawfully in the United States. After September 11, 2001, federal officials became significantly more focused on enforcing immigration laws with the help of the Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers. Additionally, alien smuggling laws have been more aggressively prosecuted due to efforts to stop human trafficking or forced prostitution of individuals entering the United States.
Unfortunately, more aggressive efforts to enforce alien smuggling laws can often lead to wrongful allegations against individuals who were unaware they were assisting an unlawful alien or those who did not actually help an alien at all. Anyone facing allegations of alien smuggling should contact an experienced federal criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible for assistance.
What acts may constitute alien smuggling?
Federal laws set out numerous acts that are considered to be forms of unlawful alien smuggling. Some of these acts include the following:
- Bringing or trying to bring someone into the U.S. without passing them through designated immigration ports (whether or not they had prior authorization to enter).
- Transporting or helping to transport an illegal alien within the U.S.
- Harboring or concealing the presence of an illegal alien in the U.S.
- Inducing or encouraging an individual to unlawfully enter or reside in the U.S.
- Employing at least 10 people you know to be illegal aliens within a 12-month period of time.
The majority of alien smuggling laws require an offender to know or to recklessly disregard the fact that they are assisting an alien. For this reason, a common defense to this charge is that you had no idea that the individual unlawfully entered or remained in the United States.
Penalties for alien smuggling convictions can be serious
The penalty for alien smuggling largely depends on the type of act that has been prosecuted. Most alien smuggling convictions mean up to 5-10 years in federal prison in addition to hefty fines. This prison term may be increased up to 20 years if the alleged alien smuggling was believed to have caused serious harm to another person. If you are accused of causing the death of an alien in relation to smuggling acts, you could be facing life in prison or the death penalty.
An experienced federal alien smuggling defense attorney can help you
If you have been accused of alien smuggling by federal authorities, you could be facing serious consequences. You should never delay in contacting an attorney in Coral Gables or Miami who knows how to defend this type of charge and minimize the penalties you face as much as possible. At the office of Alfredo A. Izaguirre, we are committed to standing up for the rights of individuals accused of federal crimes and will do everything in our power to achieve the best possible results in your case. Please call today at 305-442-0425 to find out how we can help you.