Legislation that became known as the Arms Export Control Act was enacted by Congress and signed by the President in 1976. The law is designed to govern the manner that so-called defense articles and services are imported and exported. The law primarily deals with the export of defense articles and services from the United States to other nations.
At the heart of the law is the explicit requirement that sale of weapons, computer applications and hardware, and other articles are made to legitimate governments for sole purpose of self defense. Sales under this act cannot be made to foreign governments for any type of offensive purpose. In addition, sales to non-governmental organizations generally are not acceptable under the terms and conditions of this law.
The law criminalizes violations and provides for stiff penalties for an individual or company that violates its terms and provisions. Individuals and corporations have been prosecuted under the provisions of the Arms Export Control Act since inception in the U.S. bicentennial year.
Prior to the enactment of the law, research was undertaken on the amount of arms and technology sales undertaken by individuals and businesses to international buyers. Research focused on a time period from 1963 to 1973. During that time period, an astonishing 128 nations received $2.5 trillion in weapons and services from U.S. sources. Needless to say, that dollar figure has increased dramatically since that juncture in time.
Project Shield America
An outgrowth of the Arms Export Control Act is something known as Project Shield America. Project Shield America is a program of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE. Project Shield America is an industry outreach program that is designed to reduce or eliminate foreign adversaries, terrorists, and criminal networks of different types from obtaining U.S. arms and technology in an unlawful way. This program is becoming a key resource in identifying violations of the Arms Export Control Act.
Terrorism and the Arms Export Control Act
Particularly since 9/11, an increased deal of attention has been focused on the Arms Export Control Act. There have been no structural changes in regard to the manner in which cases are prosecuted under the Arms Export Control Act, except for the implementation of the Project Shield America.
With that said, the Arms Export Control Act is considered an important tool by the U.S. government when it comes to its overall program against defending against international terrorism and, to a lesser degree, domestic terrorism supported via out-of-country operators.
Penalties Under the Arms Export Control Act
The penalties for violating the Arms Export Control Act can be significant. Above all, a person in New York charged and convicted for a violation of the Arms Export Control Act can result in responsible parties facing sentences to life imprisonment. Businesses can face the same type of penalties for their principals. Moreover, individuals and business enterprises face the prospect of stiff financial penalties upon conviction for a violation of this law.
Retain Experienced Arms Export Control Act Lawyers
The complexity of the Arms Export Control Act, coupled with the potential penalties that can be imposed upon a violation and conviction of the law, demands the need for a skilled Arms Export Control Act lawyers. The first step in retaining counsel to defend against a Arms Export Control Act violation is to schedule an initial consultation with qualified legal counsel. As a general rule, Arms Export Control Act lawyers do not charge a fee for an initial consultation about case.
A person subject to an investigation of a violation of the Arms Export Control Act is best served by retaining an experienced attorney promptly. One of the soundest strategies is to have an attorney on board during the investigatory process to attempt to stave off criminal prosecution. Oftentimes, a settlement of an allegation of a Arms Export Control Act violation before a criminal prosecution is initiated is the best possible resolution of a case of this nature.
During an initial consultation with Arms Export Control Act, a New York attorney provides an evaluation of a case, coupled with a presentation of possible defense strategies. In addition, a New York defense lawyer is available to respond to any questions a person being investigated for or charged with a violation of the Arms Export Control Act may have at the time.
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