Criminal Defense and Immigration Attorney
Federal prosecutors use several federal criminal statutes to investigate and prosecute individuals and entities for violations of federal immigration law. Like other federal offenses, investigations and prosecutions for immigration crimes ebb and flow, often depending upon the priority that a presidential administration assigns to prosecuting immigration offenses. Qualified federal criminal defense lawyers stay abreast of all relevant developments concerning criminal immigration offenses.
Over the years, we have been involved in numerous significant federal criminal immigration matters. Typically, we get called when a federal agent contacts an individual or entity to conduct an interview, serve a federal grand jury subpoena, or execute a federal search warrant. In our experience, like with most federal criminal cases, it is important to get skilled counsel involved in criminal immigration matters as early as possible. Experienced counsel can provide advice, interact with the prosecution team, create a plan for successfully dealing with the matter, and then execute that plan. From what we have seen firsthand, getting our team of skilled federal criminal defense lawyers involved early in federal immigration cases allows us to make the biggest positive impact in the end.
If you have a matter that you would like to discuss with experienced federal criminal defense lawyers, please contact us at (404) 658–9070.What are the Different Types of Federal Immigration Crimes?
We have experience in different types of cases involving alleged criminal violations of federal immigration law, but the cases we have most often handled arise from the Government claiming that an employer or high level employee violated federal immigration law by employing aliens that are unlawfully present in the United States. In relevant part, 8 U.S.C. § 1324a makes it unlawful for any person or entity to engage in a pattern or practice of hiring for employment or recruiting for employment any alien who the individual or entity knows is within the United States unlawfully. Violation of this statute is a federal misdemeanor offense and the maximum punishment for this offense is 6 months in custody.
Many years ago, federal prosecutors across the country began using other federal immigration statutes to prosecute individuals and entities for employing unlawful aliens. For instance, 8 U.S.C. § 1324(a)(iii) makes it unlawful for any person or entity, knowing or in reckless disregard of the fact that an alien has come to the United States in violation of law, to harbor or shield from detection that particular alien. Although this particular statute does not facially appear to apply to the employment of unlawful aliens, federal prosecutors have been able to convince the courts that employing an unlawful alien is sufficient to satisfy the statute’s harboring requirement. Moreover, unlike the employment provision set forth in § 1324a, the penalty provision for a harboring offense is not limited to 6 months. Rather, under 8 U.S.C. § 1324, the maximum penalty is either 5 years in custody, or 10 years in custody if the Government can prove that the offense was committed for commercial advantage. For obvious reasons, securing skilled and competent federal criminal defense counsel early on is critical in federal immigration matters, particularly those involving penalties as severe as this.Are There Federal Immigration Offenses Related to the Submission of False Documents?
In addition to federal immigration matters involving allegations of unlawful employment, we have also been involved in numerous other types of matters in which federal prosecutors have launched investigations or prosecutions based upon alleged violations of federal immigration laws. For example, we have handled cases involving allegations that false documents were submitted to the Government in connection with Visa, Passport, and other applications or submissions to the government. These types of matters can arise in both the employment setting and in other settings. Although cases like this may involve issues that are unique to the immigration setting, they most often involve issues that are substantially like the issues that arise in cases involving false or fraudulent statements.
We have also handled federal immigration cases in which the Government alleges that two individuals entered into a marriage for a false reason, namely for the purpose of providing one of the participants with status or benefits under federal law to which that individual was not entitled. “Sham” marriage cases are also prosecuted in federal court and have been a focus for federal prosecutors in recent years.
Regardless of the type of matter, federal criminal immigration cases are often very specialized in terms of the legal issues at play, and the work that needs to be done to obtain a favorable result. Time and time again, we have proven that we have the knowledge, skills and work ethic to obtain favorable results in federal criminal immigration matters. If you have a matter that you would like to discuss with us, please do not hesitate to give us a call at (404) 658-9070.Frequently Asked Questions
What should I do if federal immigration agents execute a search warrant at my business?
Oftentimes, a business owner first learns of a federal investigation or prosecution when his or her business is being searched pursuant to a federal search warrant. When this occurs, federal agents usually attempt to interview employees at or around the time that the warrant is being executed. If this situation arises, contacting and retaining defense counsel as soon as possible is essential because there are several things that qualified defense counsel can do on your behalf. Among other things, qualified defense counsel can interact with the agents or prosecutor involved with executing the search warrant, provide advice on what should occur during the search, and create a solution for successfully dealing with the matter going forward.
Should I speak with federal agents, if they show up at my business and attempt to interview me?
The short answer to this question is “no.” You should not speak with federal agents that show up and attempt to interview you without being advised by your own lawyer to do so. And most qualified federal criminal lawyers would not advise anyone that he or she represents to speak with federal agents under these circumstances. Instead of speaking with agents, you should contact a qualified federal criminal lawyer. Once that is done, you and your lawyer can determine the appropriate path going forward, which may or may not involve having you speak with federal agents or a federal prosecutor.