Alien Smuggling Allegations
Although the United States has prided itself on its willingness to accept people from all around the world as citizens, there are several required steps to achieve that status. For full citizenship, a person must file the proper paperwork, undergo scrutiny from federal immigration agencies, and wait for permission from the government to move. Otherwise, foreign citizens can live in the United States under a work permit. However, some immigrants may not be willing to wait, leading them to solicit help from smugglers to get into the country.
Smuggling comes in many forms, plotted from simple border crossings to complicated operations involving a slew of fake documents. In the case of violating immigration laws, many smugglers work by moving individuals across the land borders at Canada or Mexico. They may cross by foot, which can be a particularly hazardous, albeit low-profile method, or use a vehicle for quick crossings. For other smuggling operations, false documents or stowing away on a ship may get someone illegally into America.
As these smugglers commonly accept some form of payment for their services, this crime yields particularly strong sentencing. Considered a felony by the federal government, a person can expect to serve a prison term of up to 10 years in jail. Additionally, this crime may be coupled with other, related allegations. This means conspiracy and alien harboring charges may be filed in conjunction with smuggling, creating more punitive sentencing for the defendant.
For more information regarding federal illegal immigration charges and how a defendant can fight for his or her rights, contact a criminal lawyer.