Federal law strictly regulates products entering and leaving the country. Unfortunately, in its efforts to enforce these regulations, the federal government often accuses those who are innocent, which can have devastating consequences for both personal and business relationships. If you have been charged with smuggling or a similar federal offense, it is important that you consult an experienced federal crime attorney to help protect your interests.
Importing Contraband Items into the United States
Under federal law, companies and individuals are prohibited from:
- Introduce merchandise that should have been declared to the United States
- Strain false invoices or documents through customs;
- Import illegal goods into the United States
- Receive, hide, buy, sell, or facilitate the transportation, sale, or concealment of illegal goods after importation.
To be convicted of this crime, the prosecution must prove that the accused illegally imported the material. Similarly, a person or company cannot be convicted of selling contraband material unless they know that it was illegally imported. However, being in possession of contraband merchandise is considered sufficient evidence to warrant conviction, unless an explanation satisfies the jury.
Those convicted of this crime could spend up to 20 years in prison. Additionally, all contraband merchandise will be confiscated.
Export contraband items from the United States
Federal law also prohibits smuggling of items from the United States. It is equally illegal to receive, hide, buy, sell or facilitate the transport of this type of merchandise. Once again, the prosecution must demonstrate that the defendant knew that the merchandise would be clandestinely exported for a conviction. For this reason, proving that the defendant did not intend to defraud the United States government is the best way to avoid being convicted of smuggling. This is especially important if the defendant was not in possession of the merchandise in question. Now, the defendants can argue that the evidence against them is the result of an illegal confiscation or that the merchandise was mistakenly mistaken or identified.
Call today for help on your case.
Federal crimes are known for their extremely harsh sentences, so it is especially important that defendants contact an attorney who will inform them of their legal options. To discuss your own pending charges with an experienced federal crime attorney call Jeffrey S. Weiner, PA at (305) 670-9919 today. A member of our legal team will be ready to assist you throughout the process.