Under United States federal law, it is illegal for someone that is not
a citizen of the United States or a valid visa holder to enter the country.
No matter if the accused was performing a criminal act or helping a beloved
family member, the broad privisions outlined in the law can find the alleged
helper facing severe
Were you helping a friend or family member and accused of smuggling in
El Paso or across Texas? Don't wait to get criminal defense. A strong
advocate on your side can help you avoid a serious criminal charge. Speak
with a member of our legal team for more information!
Smuggling noncitizens into the United States is a crime and includes actions, such as:
- Knowingly enabling an noncitizen to enter the United States (even if previously
authorized) at any location that is not a designated port of entry or
authorized entry location
- Knowingly or recklessly disregarding the law by concealing or harboring
a noncitizen who has illegally entered the United States
- Knowingly and with reckless disregard for illegal status, transporting
or offering transportation to the noncitizen within the United States
- Encouraging or influencing noncitizens to enter the United States illegally
- Conspiring to do any of the above
- Aiding or abetting any of the above
Title 8 U.S.C. §1324
Bringing in and harboring certain aliens
penalties include up to 5, 10, 15 or 20 years in prison, depending on
the nature of the offense.With so much on the line, it is worthwhile to
discover what possible defenses may be available to you during this time.
For example, someone that brings an undocumented noncitizen to an immigation
officer for inspection may find themselves facing reduced criminal charges.
Numerous defense strategies are available to challenge such charges, for example:
- Proving the accused had no knowledge of the noncitizens’s illegal
status because of the extent of concealment, a language barrier, previous
relationships that appeared legal, etc.
- Arguing there is no evidence to show intent to further the noncitizen’s
illegal U.S. presence
- Showing that a material witness to the alleged crime has a history of lying
or is otherwise an unreliable witness
- Entering motions to suppress material witness testimony
- Entering a motion to dismiss the indictment based on noncitizen deportation
when the noncitizen could have provided favorable testimony to the defense
When accused of smuggling noncitizens, you face felony charges. It is wise
to seek legal help from experienced El Paso criminal defense lawyers as
soon as possible.