Illegal re-entry is a federal crime that involves a range of penalties for convictions, depending on the particular circumstances of your case. Undocumented immigrants often do not enjoy the same constitutional rights and legal processes as U.S. citizens.
Illegal re-entry convictions can lead to fines, prison time, separation from family, and the possibility of being banned from ever returning to the United States. If you or a loved one is facing illegal re-entry charges, an attorney from Vinas and Graham, PLLC, can help.
We represent clients in all types of immigration matters, including illegal re-entry. We understand the immense impact that immigration decisions can have on you and your family. We will provide you with aggressive legal representation and pursue a favorable outcome for your immigration matter.
What Is Illegal Re-entry?
Illegal entry is a federal petty misdemeanor and one of the most common charges against undocumented immigrants. Illegal re-entry is a much more serious charge that comes with steeper consequences.
Under federal immigration laws, you may be charged with illegal re-entry if you re-enter, attempt to re-enter, or are caught in the United States after previously facing one of the following immigration actions:
- Removal proceedings pursued by the government to remove you from the U.S. to another country.
- Deportation is an older term that has essentially the same meaning as removal. Deportation proceedings mean that the government coordinated your departure from the U.S. to another country.
- Denied admission or excluded means that U.S. government agents previously determined that you were inadmissible; thus, your entry to the U.S. was denied.
- You left the U.S. while an order of exclusion, deportation, or removal was outstanding.
Consequences Of Illegal Re-entry Convictions
The severity of consequences for illegal re-entry varies depending on your criminal history, including the number and type of convictions that are on your record. Under most circumstances, you will be facing fines and jail time for illegal re-entry convictions.
If your criminal history is not serious, your sentence might be up to two years in prison, fines, and a ban on re-entering the United States. If you have three or more misdemeanor convictions involving drugs, crimes against a person, or a combination of both, your sentence might involve fines, up to ten years in prison, and a ban on re-entry.
The sentence is the same (fines, up to ten years, and no re-entry) if you have a prior felony conviction that is not an aggravated felony. If you have a prior aggravated felony conviction, your sentencing will be more severe. With an aggravated felony, you may be facing up to 20 years in prison for an illegal re-entry conviction.
Illegal Re-entry Defenses
There is often an unfair bias against immigrants, regardless of their documentation status. Because of that bias, it is critical to have an attorney advocating for your rights if you have been charged with illegal re-entry or other immigration crimes. You may have a good defense to the charges that you are facing, and you need an attorney to defend you at your proceedings.
Defenses to illegal re-entry include the following:
- You’re a U.S. citizen or otherwise are in the country legally. Sometimes illegal re-entry charges are a matter of lost paperwork and misunderstandings.
- You were not previously removed, deported, or excluded from the United States. This sometimes happens when there has been a case of mistaken or stolen identity.
- You did not have the requisite criminal intent to commit illegal re-entry.
- Your original deportation or removal proceedings were unlawful.
- You were denied the opportunity for judicial review.
- You were denied the opportunity to file for asylum.
Even if you don’t have a strong defense to fight illegal re-entry charges, an attorney can help you negotiate a better deal than you might receive if you face your immigration proceedings without legal representation. In some cases, your attorney may be able to help you fast-track your deportation matter and avoid a lengthy prison sentence.
Texas Illegal Re-entry Defense Attorneys
Texas illegal re-entry defense attorneys at Vinas and Graham, PLLC, provide top-quality legal services for those who have been charged with illegal re-entry. Contact our office at 713-229-9992 or submit an online form to schedule a no-obligation consultation. We understand that immigration proceedings can be stressful and confusing. Our attorneys will aggressively defend your charges and advocate for your rights and freedoms.
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