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Skilled Defense For Federal Charges Of Alien Smuggling Or Illegal Re-Entry

The Mexican border remains a high priority for the U.S. government. Federal law enforcement aggressively prosecutes those suspected of smuggling or harboring undocumented aliens. Prosecutors also come down hard on aliens who have been apprehended in the U.S. after a previous removal by Immigration And Customs Enforcement (ICE).

Alien smuggling and re-entry after deportation are serious felony crimes, punishable by prison time. The Law Office of Sylvia A. Cavazos provides a vigorous defense to U.S. citizens or foreign nationals facing federal court charges relating to human smuggling or felony re-entry. Sylvia Cavazos has practiced in criminal law in Texas for 25 years, including experience as a former prosecutor.

Human Smuggling And Related Charges

The federal statute on alien smuggling is very broad. Almost anyone can be charged with a crime in connection with facilitating or assisting illegal border crossings:

  • Alien smuggling — Bringing or attempting to bring a person into the U.S. at other than an official port of entry
  • Domestic transporting — Transport by vehicle once inside the U.S.
  • Harboring — Housing, hiding or concealing from detection an undocumented alien
  • Aiding and abetting — Providing fake documents, money or other support to illegal entry
  • Encouraging or inducing — Promises of specific jobs or other incentives
  • Unlawful employment — Knowingly hiring 10 or more unauthorized workers in a 12-month span

A conviction for alien smuggling carries fines and/or a prison term of up to 10 years. The other offenses are punishable by up to five years in prison. Enhanced penalties apply when human smuggling activities lead to serious injury or death.

Criminal Defense Against Alien Smuggling

Agents from Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) often rely on circumstantial evidence such as wire transfers, car rentals, large purchases of food or medicine, cash deposits, payroll anomalies, luxury purchases, or patterns of payments to certain types of businesses when building a case for human smuggling.

As a former prosecutor and an accomplished criminal defense trial lawyer, Sylvia Cavazos knows how to challenge the government’s conclusions and whether such evidence was obtained by lawful and proper methods. She also asserts defenses relating to Fourth Amendment search and seizure violations and the crucial elements of knowledge of unlawful entry or reckless disregard of the person’s immigration status.

Illegal Re-Entry After Removal (Deportation)

Entering the U.S. without permission is a misdemeanor offense. At worst, the person will be sent back to their country of origin. But when an individual re-enters the U.S. after they have been deported and barred via U.S. immigration removal proceedings, it becomes a felony crime.

  • A conviction for re-entry after deportation carries a term of up to two years in prison.
  • If the removal was for misdemeanor crimes, the potential prison term for re-entry rises to 10 years.
  • If the removal was for an aggravated felony, the maximum imprisonment is 20 years.

Sylvia Cavazos will exhaust all defenses and mitigating factors, such as unlawful traffic stops or challenges to the original basis for deportation. She will make every effort to avoid a lengthy prison sentence and permanent banishment.

A Former Prosecutor Fighting For You

Ms. Cavazos spent nearly 10 years as an assistant district attorney in Bexar County. For the last 15 years she has represented the accused, including substantial work in federal court. That background on both sides of the law works to your advantage when you or a family member are suspected of engaging in alien smuggling or helping undocumented aliens evade ICE.

Serious defense for serious charges. The Law Office of Sylvia A. Cavazos is located in San Antonio. To arrange a free one-hour consultation, please contact the firm at 210-468-1130 or use the email form. Se habla español.