December 19, 2011 By Wallin & Klarich

While most people know that smuggling immigrants into the United States is a federal crime, most people don’t know that employing an illegal immigrant is also a federal crime. Knowing the laws surrounding these crimes is imperative if you want to avoid lengthy jail sentences or heavy fines.

Federal law criminalizes the full spectrum of activities that comprise:

• Smuggling • Inducing an alien to enter • Bringing an alien to the U.S.
• Transporting him/her within the U.S.
• Harboring an illegal alien • Employing an illegal alien.

Punishments vary from misdemeanor sentences/fine to felony mandatory minimum prison sentences. In addition to the type of activity involved, it is important for the Federal Criminal Lawyer to be mindful of other potentially aggravating factors that can make a dramatic difference in penalty, such as:

• The identity of the smuggled alien (e.g., aggravated felon?)
• The number of aliens • The creation of danger or an injurious result • The purpose for smuggling (e.g., for financial gain)

Common defenses that must be considered by the Federal Criminal Defense Attorney are:

• Lack of specific intent to violate the law • Lack of knowledge of the alien’s immigration status • Is the alien’s immigration status actually illegal?
• Alien under official restraint • Religious organization exception
• Duress • Free exercise clause
To navigate through the Federal Court system successfully and have a better chance of not being charged with a Federal Crime, you must contact Wallin & Klarich to help you or your loved one. With over 30 years of experience as Federal Criminal Lawyers, Wallin & Klarich will assist you in this difficult time. Visit our website at or call us at 888-749-0034. We will be there when you call.

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