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The Spodek Law Group understands how delicate high-profile cases can be, and has a strong track record of getting positive outcomes. Our lawyers service a clientele that is nationwide. With offices in both LA and NYC, and cases all across the country - Spodek Law Group is a top tier law firm.

Todd Spodek is a second generation attorney with immense experience. He has many years of experience handling 100’s of tough and hard to win trials. He’s been featured on major news outlets, such as New York Post, Newsweek, Fox 5 New York, South China Morning Post, Insider.com, and many others.

In 2022, Netflix released a series about one of Todd’s clients: Anna Delvey/Anna Sorokin.

Why Clients Choose Spodek Law Group

The reason is simple: clients want white glove service, and lawyers who can win. Every single client who works with the Spodek Law Group is aware that the attorney they hire could drastically change the outcome of their case. Hiring the Spodek Law Group means you’re taking your future seriously. Our lawyers handle cases nationwide, ranging from NYC to LA. Our philosophy is fair and simple: our nyc criminal lawyers only take on clients who we know will benefit from our services.

We’re selective about the clients we work with, and only take on cases we know align with our experience – and where we can make a difference. This is different from other law firms who are not invested in your success nor care about your outcome.

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Federal Immigration Crimes Lawyers

By Spodek Law Group | February 12, 2023
(Last Updated On: October 17, 2023)

Last Updated on: 17th October 2023, 02:53 pm


Federal Immigration Crimes Lawyers: Defending Your Rights

Immigration is a complex and often confusing area of law. As an immigrant in America, you have certain rights and responsibilities. However, if you are accused of violating immigration laws, you could face serious criminal charges that carry harsh penalties. That’s why it’s critical to have an experienced federal immigration crimes lawyer on your side.

This article provides an overview of common federal immigration crimes, typical penalties, and effective legal defenses. We’ll also discuss when you need a lawyer, how to choose the right one, and what to expect when working with a federal immigration crimes attorney.

Common Federal Immigration Crimes

There are a range of actions that could lead to federal immigration charges. Here are some of the most common:

  • Unlawful entry: Entering the U.S. without inspection or approval from immigration authorities is a federal misdemeanor under 8 U.S.C. § 1325(a). Penalties include fines and up to 6 months in prison. Illegal re-entry after removal or deportation is a more serious felony under 8 U.S.C. § 1326 and carries fines plus 2-20 years in prison depending on your criminal record.
  • Visa fraud: Using fake documents or lying on a visa application is a felony under 18 U.S.C. § 1546. Penalties include fines and up to 10 years in prison.
  • Marriage fraud: Entering a sham marriage just to get a green card is immigration fraud under 8 U.S.C. § 1325(c). This felony carries fines and up to 5 years in prison.
  • Harboring illegal immigrants: Helping someone stay in the U.S. illegally by providing housing, employment, or transportation is a felony under 8 U.S.C. § 1324(a)(1)(A). Penalties include fines plus up to 10 years in prison.
  • Working without authorization: It’s illegal for immigrants to work in the U.S. without proper documentation under 8 U.S.C. § 1324a. Penalties include fines and even criminal charges for repeat offenders.

As you can see, immigration crimes carry severe consequences. Even a simple misdemeanor can get you deported. Felonies often lead to years behind bars plus permanent removal from the country.

Understanding the Penalties

The penalties for federal immigration crimes depend on the specific charges and your personal circumstances. Factors like your criminal history and immigration status impact your potential sentence.

For example, illegal re-entry has tiered punishments:

  • Up to 2 years in prison if removed for the first time
  • Up to 10 years if removed after a felony or multiple misdemeanors
  • Up to 20 years if removed after an aggravated felony

Sentences also increase if you were previously deported multiple times. Other crimes like visa fraud or marriage fraud have set maximum sentences.

In addition to jail time, expect to pay hefty fines. Immigration crimes carry financial penalties up to $250,000 in some cases. You’ll also face immigration consequences like deportation or being barred from re-entering the U.S.

Given the steep penalties, it’s critical to have an experienced federal immigration crimes lawyer fighting for you. They can help minimize charges and sentences while also defending your immigration status.

Effective Defenses Against Immigration Charges

Skilled immigration attorneys have a variety of defenses they can use to fight federal charges, such as:

  • Lack of evidence: The government may lack sufficient evidence to prove you actually committed the crime. Your lawyer can file motions to suppress evidence or dismiss the case altogether if the evidence is insufficient.
  • Unlawful arrest: If you were arrested illegally without probable cause, any evidence obtained can be rendered inadmissible. This sinks the prosecutor’s case.
  • Entrapment: It’s illegal for government agents to coerce you into committing a crime you wouldn’t otherwise do. This is entrapment and a valid defense.
  • Citizenship claims: You may have a legitimate claim to U.S. citizenship through a parent or spouse. This invalidates charges like illegal entry or working without authorization.
  • Asylum/refugee status: Seeking asylum or refugee status is legal grounds for entering and staying in the U.S. It can defeat immigration charges.
  • Immigration relief: Your lawyer can argue you qualify for relief like cancellation of removal, which waives deportation. This undercuts the prosecution’s case.
  • Humanitarian parole: If your removal from the U.S. would cause extreme hardship for your family, your attorney can seek humanitarian parole. This also prevents deportation.
  • Negotiating pleas: Even if the evidence is strong, your lawyer may be able to plea bargain the charges down to lesser misdemeanors. This reduces jail time and penalties.

Don’t go it alone against complex immigration charges. Hire an attorney to build the strongest defense.

When Do You Need an Immigration Crimes Lawyer?

Any time you’re questioned or arrested by immigration authorities, you should immediately contact a federal immigration crimes lawyer. You have the right to remain silent and refuse to answer questions without your attorney present.

Here are some common situations where you’ll need legal help:

  • You’re detained or arrested by ICE, Border Patrol, or other federal agents.
  • Federal agents search your home or workplace looking for proof of immigration violations.
  • You know or suspect you’re under investigation for unlawful entry, visa fraud, working without authorization, or other crimes.
  • You’re charged with a federal immigration crime.
  • You’re facing removal or deportation proceedings in immigration court.

Don’t wait to involve an attorney. The earlier in the process you get legal help, the better. Involving a lawyer quickly limits the evidence against you, prevents rights violations, and starts building your defense.

How to Choose the Right Immigration Crimes Lawyer

Not just any criminal defense attorney can handle immigration cases. You need a lawyer with specific experience in federal immigration crimes. Here are tips for choosing the best one:

  • Find an immigration law specialist: Search for lawyers who devote at least 50% of their practice to immigration cases. They’ll have the top skills and knowledge.
  • Make sure they handle federal cases: State and federal courts have different laws, rules, and procedures. Find someone used to federal immigration cases.
  • Look for experience with your charges: Find a lawyer who regularly deals with cases similar to yours. This ensures they know the intricacies of defending those charges.
  • Check credentials: Choose an attorney licensed in your state and admitted to practice in federal court. Verify they have no history of discipline issues.
  • Read reviews: Look online for client reviews and testimonials. This gives insight into their skills, case results, and client relationships.
  • Meet for a consultation: Talk to the lawyer in person or by phone before hiring them. Make sure you’re comfortable with their experience and strategy.

Don’t just flip through the Yellow Pages. Do in-depth research to get the top federal immigration defense lawyer available.

What to Expect When Working with an Immigration Attorney

Once you hire a lawyer for your federal immigration crime case, here is what you can generally expect:

  • Case review: They’ll start by thoroughly reviewing the charges, evidence, your immigration history, and all details impacting your case.
  • Legal strategy: Based on their analysis, they’ll develop a legal strategy to fight the charges and/or minimize the penalties. This could mean motions to suppress evidence, asserting citizenship claims, seeking immigration relief, or plea bargaining.
  • Evidence gathering: Your lawyer will conduct investigations, interview witnesses, obtain documents, and gather evidence to support your defense.
  • Court hearings: They’ll represent you in all court proceedings, including detention hearings, preliminary hearings, pretrial motions hearings, and your criminal trial.
  • Negotiations: They’ll negotiate with the prosecution seeking dismissal of charges or plea bargains to lesser offenses.
  • Sentencing advocacy: If found guilty, they’ll advocate for the lightest possible sentence and present mitigating factors to the judge.
  • Immigration assistance: Your attorney will also help you navigate the immigration side, defending against deportation or seeking legal status if possible.
  • Appeals: In the event of a guilty verdict, they can appeal the conviction, sentence, or deportation order and fight for you in appellate court.

With an experienced lawyer guiding you through the complex criminal and immigration process, you have the best chance at the most favorable outcome.

Don’t Go It Alone – Get a Lawyer Now

Immigration crimes carry dire consequences like huge fines, years in federal prison, and permanent deportation. The laws surrounding these cases are immensely complex. That’s why you should never attempt to represent yourself against federal immigration charges.

Contact a skilled immigration defense lawyer immediately if you’re under investigation or facing charges. With an attorney protecting your rights, building your defense, and advocating for you in court, you’ll have the strongest case possible. Fight to defeat the charges or at least mitigate penalties and avoid deportation. Don’t leave your fate to chance – get experienced legal help right away.

More Information on Immigration Crimes:

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