Human (Alien) Smuggling Defense
Human Smuggling, also known as human trafficking or Alien Smuggling, is a serious crime involving the transportation of individuals across national borders or within the United States or Texas, whether for profit or not for profit. Human Smuggling can also occur through force, coercion, or deception. Human Smuggling often involves crossing people across the Rio Grande and into stash houses. A companion charge to human Smuggling is transporting undocumented aliens. High sentences are usually obtained because this crime often targets vulnerable populations, including women, children, and undocumented immigrants.
If you or a loved one have been accused of human Smuggling in Laredo, Texas or along the Texas/Mexico border, or off of the Interstate 35 Highway Corridor (Laredo, Encinal, Cotulla, Dilley, Pearsall, Devine, Natalia, Lytle, Atascosa, Pleasanton, Von Ormy, Derby, Moore, and Jourdanton) or the U.S. Highway Corridor (Zapata, Los Botines, Catarina, Asherton, Carrizo Springs, Crystal City, La Pryor, and Uvalde, it is crucial to seek the assistance of a criminal defense attorney experienced in this highly specialized area of the law. The Altgelt law firm understands the consequences of a conviction for human Smuggling can be severe, including possible deportation for non-U.S. Citizens, fines, imprisonment, and loss of civil rights (the right to vote and to possess firearms and the stigma of being a felon).
Several defenses may be available to individuals charged with human Smuggling. One defense is that the individual was unaware that they were involved in the Smuggling of humans. This can occur if the individual was duped or misled into believing they were transporting legitimate goods or documents.
Another defense is that the individual was acting under duress. This could occur if the individual was threatened with harm or injury if they did not participate in the smuggling operation. In these cases, the individual may be able to argue that they were not acting voluntarily and, therefore, should not be held responsible for their actions.
It is also possible to defend against human Smuggling of a minor charge by demonstrating that the alleged victim’s parents consented to the transportation and/or entrusted their minor child to the care of a family member or trusted friend. In some cases, individuals may agree to be smuggled to seek employment or a better life in another country. Suppose the alleged victim was aware of the risks involved and still agreed to be smuggled. In that case, it may be possible to argue that the transportation was not unlawful, assuming that the driver of the vehicle was unaware of their alienage, citizenship, or the lapse in status to remain in the U.S.
If you have been accused of human Smuggling in Laredo, it is essential to seek the assistance of an experienced criminal defense attorney. At the Altgelt Law Firm, we take a proactive and aggressive approach to defending clients charged with human Smuggling, using our skill, experience, and knowledge to obtain positive results.
There are times when a viable defense cannot be developed, and the government makes an offer for a plea deal that is too good to ignore. That, when combined with the risks of going to trial, a person accused of a crime might consider entering a guilty plea. When this is the case, entrusting the technical aspects of your plea deal with an experienced federal criminal defense lawyer like George is important. “There are often when we can’t entirely get our clients out of the ‘trap.’ So, when we analyze a plea deal, our calculus is often how do we make a bad situation better? Sometimes we win our cases at sentencing by avoiding a prison sentence altogether or turning much time into a lesser sentence.”
Call to schedule a free consultation to understand your legal options and develop a defense strategy to protect your rights and freedom (956) 725-4400.