NYC Harboring Fugitive Criminal Lawyers
Harboring a fugitive is a serious federal offense that can lead to years in prison. But with an experienced criminal defense lawyer, you may be able to avoid the harshest penalties. This article will examine harboring a fugitive charges in New York City, potential defenses, and how a knowledgeable lawyer can help.
What is Harboring a Fugitive?
Harboring a fugitive refers to concealing, hiding, or in other ways helping someone evade law enforcement when they are wanted on a warrant. It involves preventing the fugitive’s discovery and arrest.
Under federal law, harboring a fugitive is primarily covered by 18 U.S.C. § 1071. This statute says that anyone who harbors or conceals someone for whom a federal arrest warrant has been issued, with intent to prevent their discovery, can face up to one year in prison.
However, if the warrant involves a felony offense, or was issued after conviction for any federal offense, the maximum sentence increases to five years.
There is also a related statute, 18 U.S.C. § 1072, that applies to harboring federal prisoners who have escaped from custody. This crime carries up to three years imprisonment.
To convict someone of harboring a fugitive, prosecutors must prove four key elements:
- A federal arrest warrant existed for the fugitive
- The defendant knew about the warrant
- The defendant harbored or concealed the fugitive
- The defendant intended to prevent discovery/arrest
All four elements must be established beyond a reasonable doubt.
Why You Need an Experienced NYC Criminal Lawyer
When facing federal harboring a fugitive charges, having an elite NYC defense lawyer on your side can make all the difference. An experienced attorney will thoroughly examine the prosecution’s case and identify any weaknesses.
They may find issues with how evidence was obtained, if your rights were violated, or if the warrant was invalid. In some cases, it may be possible to get charges dismissed due to problems with the investigation or arrest.
Skilled NYC lawyers are also experts at negotiating with prosecutors. They can advocate for reduced charges or sentencing leniency. With harboring a fugitive cases carrying potential prison time, having an aggressive defense is crucial.
Key Defenses Against Harboring a Fugitive Charges
Proving the elements of harboring a fugitive beyond a reasonable doubt can be challenging for prosecutors. An elite criminal defense lawyer will closely analyze the facts for any viable defenses. Some possible defenses include:
- No valid warrant – If the arrest warrant was improperly issued or invalid, this negates a key element of the crime.
- No knowledge of warrant – Unless there is solid proof you knew about the warrant, this element may be difficult to establish.
- Didn’t conceal fugitive – If there is no evidence showing affirmative acts of concealment, you may not have technically harbored the fugitive.
- No intent – Proving you specifically intended to prevent the fugitive’s arrest could be problematic without direct evidence.
- Duress/coercion – If you can show the fugitive coerced or threatened you, it may provide a defense.
The strongest defense will depend on the specific circumstances of your case. A top NYC criminal lawyer will determine how to build the most compelling defense.
Even if a conviction occurs, an elite lawyer can advocate for the lightest sentence possible. They will thoroughly examine your background for mitigating factors. These could include having no prior record, positive work history, community service, family obligations, or health issues.
The lawyer may also challenge improper guideline calculations or sentencing enhancements. And they can present persuasive arguments for probation, home confinement, or the lowest prison term under the guidelines.
Having an aggressive sentencing strategy can make a major difference in the outcome.
Work with a Top NYC Harboring a Fugitive Lawyer
Facing federal charges for harboring a fugitive is extremely serious. But the legal team at Spodek Law Group has the skills and experience to protect your rights. Their elite NYC defense lawyers have achieved outstanding results in many complex cases.
They will carefully evaluate your case and explain all of your options. Their defense lawyers will use their extensive knowledge to build the strongest possible case. And they will fiercely negotiate with prosecutors for dismissal or reduced charges.
Don’t take chances with your future. The elite criminal lawyers at Spodek Law Group have helped many clients facing serious federal charges. Contact them for a free case review and protect your rights.
Federal Laws on Harboring Fugitives
There are two main federal statutes that apply to harboring fugitive crimes:
18 U.S.C. § 1071 – Concealing person from arrest
This law makes it a federal offense to harbor or conceal someone for whom a federal arrest warrant has been issued. The person committing the harboring must know a warrant exists and intend to prevent the fugitive’s discovery or arrest.
For warrants involving non-felonies, the penalty is up to one year imprisonment. But for felony warrants or post-conviction warrants, the maximum sentence increases to five years.
18 U.S.C. § 1072 – Concealing escaped prisoner
This statute deals with harboring federal prisoners who have escaped from custody. It applies to those who escape federal correctional institutions or the custody of the U.S. Attorney General.
Harboring escaped federal prisoners carries up to 3 years imprisonment under this law. It also applies to escaped state prisoners who were serving federal sentences under contract.
Harboring Undocumented Immigrants
While the two laws above deal with fugitives evading warrants or escaped prisoners, harboring undocumented immigrants is prosecuted under 8 U.S.C. § 1324.
This law makes it a felony to knowingly conceal, harbor, or shield an undocumented immigrant from detection. It carries 5 years imprisonment, with the penalty increasing if done for commercial advantage or private financial gain.
In cases where the immigrant suffers serious bodily injury, the penalty is up to 20 years imprisonment. And if death results, a sentence of life imprisonment may be issued.
Harboring a Fugitive Under New York Law
In addition to federal laws, New York State has its own statutes prohibiting harboring fugitives depending on the circumstances:
- Hindering prosecution – Under NYPL §§205.55 – 205.65, knowingly harboring a fugitive wanted for a felony can be charged as hindering prosecution. The level of offense depends on the class of felony involved.
- Bail jumping – Under NYPL §215.57, harboring someone who was released on bail but failed to appear can constitute bail jumping in the second degree. This is a Class E felony.
- Escape – Under NYPL §205.10, assisting an inmate with escaping detention, even through indirect means, constitutes promoting prison contraband. This is a Class D felony.
Possible Defenses Against Harboring Charges
While harboring a fugitive cases can seem daunting, an experienced criminal defense lawyer will closely examine the evidence for mistakes, omissions, or defenses that may apply:
- The warrant was invalid or improperly issued
- You did not know about the arrest warrant
- Your actions did not actually conceal or harbor the fugitive
- There is no proof you specifically intended to prevent arrest
- You were coerced or under duress from threats
- You did not take substantial steps to conceal the fugitive
- The fugitive was not under active pursuit when harbored
- You did not provide actual physical hiding place or shelter
- There are evidentiary problems with the prosecution’s case
The Benefits of Hiring a Top NYC Criminal Lawyer
Facing harboring a fugitive charges involves extremely high stakes. But an elite NYC defense lawyer can protect your rights and future in many ways:
- They will conduct in-depth case investigation and research
- They can get charges dismissed due to constitutional violations
- They know how to craft the strongest defense based on the facts
- They have experience negotiating reduced charges with prosecutors
- They will aggressively advocate for the lightest possible sentence
- Their reputation and knowledge can positively influence outcomes
- They understand complex criminal laws and procedure
- They will build the most compelling argument to show your innocence
- They have resources like investigators, forensic experts, and research tools
When your freedom is on the line, you need an accomplished lawyer you can trust. Do not take chances with your future. The expert NYC attorneys at Spodek Law Group offer superior representation. Contact them 24/7 for urgent help.
About the Author
This article was researched and written by the team at Spodek Law Group. Their elite criminal defense lawyers have decades of experience representing clients facing serious federal charges in New York and nationwide.
Handling complex cases ranging from white collar crimes to drug offenses, their award-winning attorneys have an outstanding record of dismissals and acquittals in state and federal courts. Rated as one of the Best Criminal Defense Law Firms in New York, they provide aggressive representation to protect their clients’ rights and futures.