Penalties for Smuggling a Minor from Mexico Conviction

 Posted on July 31,2023 in Criminal Law

TX defense lawyerBeing charged with smuggling a minor into Texas from Mexico is a serious criminal offense that carries significant legal consequences. The severity of the punishment depends on various factors, including the specific circumstances surrounding the case, the defendant’s criminal history, and the judge’s discretion. Today, we will provide general information about the potential legal consequences of this offense and suggest that anyone charged with such an offense must absolutely retain legal counsel to ensure their rights are protected.

The Legal Consequences of Smuggling a Minor into Texas

Here is what you need to know about these grim charges, including:

  • Federal vs. state charges – Smuggling a minor across the border can lead to criminal charges at both the federal and state levels. Federal alien smuggling charges typically carry more severe penalties, while state charges may result in lesser penalties. It is also not uncommon for individuals to be slapped with both state and federal charges in human smuggling cases.
  • Potential penalties – The penalties for smuggling a minor into Texas from Mexico can vary widely. Generally, those charged with smuggling a minor into Texas are charged with a second-degree felony, carrying with it between two and 20 years in prison. In cases where the smuggling resulted in the individual being subjected to sexual assault or other bodily injury or death, a conviction’s penalties can range from five to 99 years in prison.
  • Mandatory minimum sentences – Federal law mandates certain minimum sentences for smuggling offenses involving minors. These sentences take into account the individual’s criminal history, the minor’s age, and the circumstances surrounding the smuggling. Mandatory minimum sentences may range from several years to a decade or more in prison, depending on the factors involved.
  • Discretion of the judge – The judge in a smuggling case has some discretion in determining the sentence within the permissible statutory guidelines. They will consider various factors, such as the level of involvement, criminal history, cooperation with authorities, and any mitigating circumstances presented by the defense. However, the potential for jail time remains a significant possibility.
  • Obtaining legal guidance – As with any criminal charge, the best thing you can do for yourself is to hire a defense lawyer, especially in complicated cases where you may be facing state and federal charges. Your attorney must be knowledgeable in this area of law to give yourself the best shot at pursuing a favorable outcome.

Contact a San Antonio Human Smuggling Attorney

For assistance in this grave criminal matter, contact the San Antonio, Texas, human smuggling lawyer with Law Offices of Sam H. Lock. Call 210-226-0965 for a


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