Service & Results.

nyc criminal lawyers over 30 years of experienceWe Know How To Win Cases

Spodek Law Group handles tough cases
nationwide, that demand excellence.

Get Free Consultation

Faced 5+ Years in Prison

People Vs Joseph Amico

Covered by NYDaily News. Las Vegas man accused of threatening a prominent attorney and making vile remarks.

Faced 10+ Years in Prison

People Vs. Anna Sorokin

Covered by New York Times, and other outlets. Fake heiress accused of conning the city’s wealthy, and has an HBO special being made about her.

Faced 3+ Years in Prison

People Vs. Genevieve Sabourin

Accused of stalking Alec Baldwin. The case garnered nationwide attention, with USAToday, NYPost, and other media outlets following it closely.

Faced Potential Charges

Ghislaine Maxwell Juror

Juror who prompted calls for new Ghislaine Maxwell trial turns to lawyer who defended Anna Sorokin.

Why Choose Us

Clients can use our portal to track the status of their case, stay in touch with us, upload documents, and more.

Regardless of the type of situation you're facing, our attorneys are here to help you get quality representation.

We can setup consultations in person, over Zoom, or over the phone to help you. Bottom line, we're here to help you win your case.

Law in the Media

View All

Meet Todd Spodek


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.

If you have a legal issue, call us for a consultation.
We are available 24/7, to help you with any – and all, challenges you face.

What are the punishments for federal immigration crimes in New York?

By Spodek Law Group | October 16, 2023
(Last Updated On: October 17, 2023)

Last Updated on: 17th October 2023, 05:42 pm

Punishments for Federal Immigration Crimes in New York

Immigration laws in the United States are enforced through both civil and criminal proceedings. While civil immigration violations can result in deportation and other consequences, criminal immigration violations carry additional punishments like fines and imprisonment. In New York, both federal and state laws impose criminal penalties for certain immigration-related offenses.

Federal Immigration Crimes

Several federal criminal statutes relate to immigration violations. These laws are enforced by agencies like Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office. Common federal immigration crimes include:

Improper Entry

Under 8 U.S.C. Section 1325(a), it’s a federal misdemeanor for an alien to:

  • Enter or attempt to enter the U.S. at any time or place other than designated by immigration officers
  • Elude examination or inspection by immigration officers
  • Obtain entry to the U.S. through false or misleading representation

First offenses are punishable by up to 6 months in prison. Subsequent offenses can result in up to 2 years in prison.

Reentry After Deportation

8 U.S.C. Section 1326 makes it a felony for a deported alien to enter, attempt to enter, or be found in the U.S. without permission from the Attorney General. Punishments vary based on the person’s criminal record:

  • Up to 2 years in prison for aliens with no significant criminal record
  • Up to 10 years in prison for aliens with a regular criminal record
  • Up to 20 years in prison for aliens with serious criminal records or who were deported for terrorism or drug trafficking

Harsher punishments apply if the alien illegally reenters multiple times.

Alien Smuggling

Under 8 U.S.C. Section 1324, it’s a federal felony to knowingly bring unauthorized aliens into the U.S. or transport, harbor, or shield them from detection. Penalties include:

  • Up to 1 year in prison for general smuggling
  • Up to 10 years in prison if done for financial gain or commercial advantage
  • Up to 20 years in prison if serious bodily injury results

Immigration Fraud

18 U.S.C. Section 1546 prohibits fraud and misuse of visas, permits, and other immigration documents. Offenses include:

  • Forging, counterfeiting, or altering immigration documents
  • Using forged or fraudulent documents
  • False statements on immigration paperwork

Penalties can include up to 25 years in prison depending on the offense. Immigration fraud convictions also result in permanent ineligibility for immigration benefits.

Employing Unauthorized Workers

Under 8 U.S.C. Section 1324a, employers face civil fines and criminal prosecution for knowingly hiring or employing aliens not authorized to work in the U.S. Criminal penalties can include fines and up to 6 months imprisonment for regular violations, or up to 5 years for pattern and practice violations.

State Immigration Crimes

In addition to federal laws, New York State has its own criminal statutes related to immigration violations:

Criminal Impersonation

Under New York Penal Law Section 190.23, it’s a class A misdemeanor to pretend to be a U.S. citizen or use false documents to get a benefit under immigration laws. Punishment can include up to 1 year in jail.

Aggravated Criminal Impersonation

New York Penal Law Section 190.26 makes it a class E felony to commit criminal impersonation to obtain permanent residence or an identification document. This can result in up to 4 years in prison.

Unlawful Transportation of Aliens

New York Penal Law Section 14-F prohibits transporting or attempting to transport undocumented immigrants into the state while knowing or recklessly disregarding their unlawful status. Penalties range from fines up to $10,000 and up to 1 year in jail.

Employing Undocumented Immigrants

Under New York Labor Law Section 341, employers can face fines and misdemeanor charges for knowingly employing someone not authorized to work in the U.S. Punishment is up to $500 per offense and up to 30 days in jail.


Those facing criminal immigration charges may raise certain defenses like:

  • Lack of knowledge – For smuggling, transporting, or employing undocumented immigrants, the prosecution must prove the defendant knew or recklessly disregarded the person’s unlawful status.
  • Duress – Defendants can claim they acted under immediate threat to life or limb.
  • Statute of limitations – Federal immigration crimes generally have a 5 year statute of limitations.
  • Unlawful arrest – Evidence obtained through an illegal search or seizure may be suppressed.
  • Citizenship claims – Defendants may argue they are U.S. citizens not subject to immigration laws.
  • Asylum/refugee status – Those with pending asylum claims may not be criminally prosecuted.
  • Selective prosecution – Defendants may argue similarly situated individuals aren’t prosecuted.


Beyond fines and jail time, federal and state immigration crimes can impact a non-citizen’s immigration status. Consequences may include:

  • Deportation – Many immigration crimes make aliens deportable and subject to removal proceedings.
  • Inadmissibility – Criminal convictions can prevent re-entry and bar future visa applications.
  • Detention – Those in removal proceedings may be detained without bond based on criminal records.
  • Bars to citizenship – Criminal immigration offenses prevent naturalization for 5+ years.

Permanent residents charged with deportable offenses should consult immigration attorneys about potential relief like cancellation of removal. But criminal immigration convictions have severe immigration consequences that can’t always be avoided.

  • In 2021, 65,742 individuals were criminally prosecuted for federal immigration crimes nationwide. [Source]
  • The most common federal immigration charges in 2021 were illegal reentry (34,233 cases), alien smuggling (21,397 cases), and improper entry (8,893 cases). [Source]
  • In New York, 660 individuals were prosecuted for federal immigration crimes in 2021. Common charges were reentry after deportation (419 cases) and alien smuggling (168 cases). [Source]
  • From 2018 to 2020, there were 1,508 prosecutions for NY criminal impersonation charges (PL 190.23) and 104 prosecutions for aggravated criminal impersonation (PL 190.26). [Source]

Federal and state officials in New York remain aggressive in prosecuting immigration-related crimes. Non-citizens should be aware of the range of civil and criminal penalties under immigration laws. Those facing charges should seek experienced criminal and immigration defense counsel. Careful plea agreements may avoid negative immigration consequences in appropriate cases. But immigration crimes ultimately put residency status and the ability to remain in the U.S. in serious jeopardy.

Free Consultation


I was searching for a law firm with some power to help me deal with a warrant in New York . After 6 days I decided to go with Spodek Law Group. It helped that This law firm is well respected by not only the top law firms in New York , but the DA , Judge as well. I...

~Fonder Brandon

5 Stars
It was my good fortune to retain Spodek Law Group for representation for my legal needs. From the beginning, communication was prompt and thorough. Todd, Kenneth and Alex were the first people I worked with and they all made me, and my company Qumana skincare feel comfortable and confident that the team was going to work hard for me. Everything...

~A G

5 Stars
After meeting with several law firms, I chose the Spodek Law Group not only for their professionalism and experience, but for the personal attention given to me right from the initial consultation. It is important to recognize how crucial having the right legal team is when faced with potentially life altering events that impact families and the lives of loved...

~George Cherubini

Spodek Law Group

White Glove Service

We Provide Superior Service, Excellent Results, At A Level Superior To Other Criminal Defense Law Firms. Regardless Of Where Your Case Is, Nationwide, We Can Help You.
View More

Request Free Consultation

Please fill out the form below to receive a free consultation, we will respond to
your inquiry within 24-hours guaranteed.


85 Broad St 30th Floor, New York, NY 10004


get directions

Los Angeles

611 S Catalina St Suite 222, Los Angeles, CA 90005


get directions


35-37 36th St, 2nd Floor Astoria, NY 11106


get directions


195 Montague St., 14th Floor, Brooklyn, NY 11201


get directions
Call Now!