We Fight for Justice

Attorney for Human Smuggling Charges in Texas

Strategic Lawyer for Human Smuggling Cases

If you or a loved one are facing charges for human smuggling in Texas, you need a lawyer that knows how to fight for their client’s rights in a federal court of law.

If you need federal criminal defense in Texas, Javier Guzman should be your first call. Javier has experience handling complex, high-stakes cases in a federal court, and has seen everything from smuggling all the way to murder. Serving originally as a prosecutor, he knows how the other side thinks, and the many ways in which the system can keep the accused from seeing freedom.

Human smuggling in Texas can land you with serious, aggressively prosecuted charges that come with lengthy prison sentences, steep fines, and even immigration consequences related to citizenship. Get a dedicated defender to fight for your freedom. Call Javier Guzman at (956) 516-7198 or contact us online to schedule a consultation.

What is considered human smuggling?

First of all, human trafficking and human smuggling are not the same. Human smuggling involves illegal immigrants being voluntarily hidden from law enforcement, usually for transportation into the U.S. alone. Human trafficking, on the other hand, is transporting with the intent to force the individual into indentured servitude or labor.

Human smuggling includes harboring illegal aliens by:

  • Bringing, or attempting to bring, someone into the U.S. outside of a designated entry point, despite knowing that person is an alien.
  • Transporting, moving, or attempting to transport or move someone who you know has entered the U.S. illegally, or who you should know has entered the country illegally.
  • Concealing, harboring, or shielding an alien from detection, or attempting to shield an alien from detection.
  • Encouraging an alien to come to the U.S. or to reside in the U.S. despite knowing this will be a violation of the law. Aiding or abetting any of the above-listed harboring actions or conspiring to do so can get you a charge as well.

The laws surrounding human smuggling are strict. Even just having an illegal alien on your property as an employee, tenant, or houseguest can in some circumstances be considered a criminal offense.

Is human smuggling a federal crime?

Human smuggling charges can be brought in either federal or state courts. The federal law statute is 8 U.S. Code § 1324 and the charge in Texas, as outlined by Texas Penal Code § 20.05, is called “smuggling of persons.”

A person commits a “smuggling of persons” offense if they:

  • “use a motor vehicle, aircraft, watercraft, or other means of conveyance to transport an individual with the intent to:
  • conceal the individual from a peace officer or special investigator; or
  • flee from a person the actor knows is a peace officer or special investigator attempting to lawfully arrest or detain the actor;
  • encourage or induce a person to enter or remain in this country in violation of federal law by concealing, harboring, or shielding that person from detection; or
  • assist, guide, or direct two or more individuals to enter or remain on agricultural land without the effective consent of the owner.”

So in order to commit the offense of “smuggling of persons,” you must encourage or assist them and actively conceal or shield them. In Texas, it would then be legal to drive a speedboat full of illegal immigrants across the river as long as it could not be said that you attempted to conceal them.

The other important thing to note when talking about the difference between the federal and state charges for human smuggling in Texas, is that it is entirely possible to be tried concurrently in both courts, and state law enforcement has been more aggressive than ever lately.

You need an attorney that can operate in both state and federal courts. A federal lawyer Texas trusts to protect the innocent, keep you out of prison, and serve as your advocate throughout the entire process. Whether you need an aggravated assault attorney or a human smuggling attorney, you need Guzman Law Firm. We’re relentless and loyal. We don’t just want plea deals with minimum sentences, we want not guilty verdicts and dismissals.

“Javier Guzman is a top-notch lawyer. If anyone is facing a case needing a criminal defense attorney, I would highly recommend Javier. I would trust him with my family. Someone who won’t back down and will take cases to trial, unlike most locals.”

– Sean Darvishi | Fellow Attorney

How much time do you get for human smuggling?

Punishments for human smuggling in Texas depend on the circumstances of your actions and the number of humans you are harboring. An 18-wheeler full of illegal immigrants will get you a harsher sentence than having a single passenger.

  • If you act for profit, you can be imprisoned for up to 10 years and face fines of up to $250,000.
  • If you do not act for profit, but violate the law anyway, you can be imprisoned for a maximum of 5 years and face fines of up to $250,000.
  • If an individual sustains a serious injury due to your actions, you could face a maximum of 20 years in prison and fines of up to $250,000.
  • If an individual dies, you could face life in prison.

Human smuggling charges are often paired with harboring, transporting, or conspiracy charges to increase potential sentences. You’ll need an experienced criminal defense attorney to sort through the web of federal and state charges. Guzman Law Firm will help you fight every one of them.

Aggressive border policies require relentless defense

In 2022, Greg Abbott fought to get mandatory minimum sentences of at least 5 years in prison for human smuggling. The state of Texas has continued to increase funding and manpower, and the number checkpoints throughout the state have exploded.

It seems like officers have it out for anyone suspected of illegal immigration or human smuggling in Texas, especially in Laredo. Javier Guzman is tired of the assumptions and the mistreatment, as well as all of the baggage related to illegal immigration in Texas. We will fight tooth and nail to put an end to witch hunts and help our clients get justice.

Whether you were just driving around with an undocumented family member or trying to reunite loved ones, Javier Guzman will build a case that shows that you are compassionate, not a criminal.

Charged with human smuggling in Texas? Hire Javier Guzman for relentless representation.

If you or a loved one have been arrested under suspicion of harboring, aiding and abetting, or conspiracy to smuggle illegal aliens, you need the help of a professional federal defense lawyer — and fast. Penalties for human smuggling in Texas are uniformly steep, whether in a federal or a state court.

If you have yet to be charged with a federal crime, but believe that you are under investigation, it is important to get in touch with a lawyer as soon as you can. Javier Guzman will fight for your rights in any court, under any circumstances. Call Guzman Law Firm at (956) 516-7198 or contact us online for a free consultation.

What We Do Best

Legal Practice Areas

Guzman Law Firm offers legal services in Laredo for cases including criminal defense, DWI, divorce, child custody, federal criminal defense & personal injury.

Criminal Law

Guzman Law Firm handles various types of criminal cases including DWI, intoxication manslaughter, intoxication assault, murder, family violence, assault, sex cases, possession of drugs, and more.

Family Law

Whether you need an experienced divorce attorney or a child custody lawyer, Guzman Law Firm will take all of the burden of the legal process off of your shoulders.

Federal Criminal Defense

Guzman Law Firm handles various types of federal criminal cases including conspiracy to possess drugs, transporting aliens, federal firearm charges, and more.

Personal Injury

Whether you or a loved one were injured because of someone else’s negligence, Guzman Law Firm helps victims obtain the financial compensation and the justice they deserve.
“Best lawyer in Laredo, Texas. Top-notch lawyer always represents his clients to the best and fights for your rights!”
Allen A. | Satisfied Client

Relentless Representation

Ⓒ 2022- All Rights Are Reserved