The feds are conducting sweeps to charge individuals with alien smuggling. Thousands of individuals are convicted every year, many because they lacked knowledgeable defense.
If you’ve been charged, there’s a good chance you’ve been caught up in one of these sweeps. When that happens, you need experienced counsel to defend you against the charges.
Alien smuggling defined
Alien smuggling is an umbrella term used to describe a set of activities:
- Smuggling foreign nationals into the U.S.
- Bringing them into the U.S. anywhere but at a designated port of entry
- Transporting them from place to place within the U.S.
- Harboring or sheltering them at any point along the way
- Encouraging or inducing people to enter the country illegally
- Aiding and abetting those engaged in these activities
- Conspiring to do them, even if the illegal act never occurs
Penalties for conviction
These are all serious offenses, and penalties far exceed a slap on the wrist. If you are convicted of transporting or conspiring to transport an alien into this country, you may face 10 years in federal prison – even if no other law has been broken.
If, in the act of transporting or harboring someone, they are injured or die, the law is harsh, resulting in anywhere from 20 years in prison to life.
It is not unusual to face additional charges, including identity theft, contributing to the delinquency of a minor, child endangerment, child abduction, human trafficking and fraud.
The most common defense is to challenge charges on the basis that you had no knowledge that the people in question were illegal. There are other defenses as well. It is critical to work with an attorney who knows the laws and has successfully handled these kinds of cases.