No Charge Is Too Large

San Antonio Human Smuggling Lawyer

Lawyer for Human Smuggling in San Antonio

Charges for human smuggling in San Antonio come with serious consequences at both the state and federal levels, and defending against them requires the care and attention of experienced federal attorneys. If you’re suspected of human smuggling in Texas, the only way you can hope to get out with your life is to hire a trial attorney who can take your case in front of a federal judge and fight it.

Javier Guzman has experience defending clients accused of human smuggling offenses in Texas and defending their rights in a court of law. Because Javier worked as a prosecutor in the Texas court system he is intimately familiar with the way that the other side thinks and knows exactly how they will try to put you away.

A charge is not a conviction, and the fight isn’t over until it’s over. Call Guzman Law Firm today at (956) 516-7198 and ask him to defend your life.

What is a human smuggling charge in Texas?

There are a couple of important statutory definitions that outline exactly what constitutes human smuggling in Texas. Title 8 of the U.S. Code, Section 1324(a) defines human smuggling as harboring illegal immigrants by:

  • Bringing or attempting to bring someone into the nation outside of a designated entry point, with the knowledge that that person is an alien
  • Transporting or moving someone who you know to be an alien
  • Concealing or shielding an alien from detection by law enforcement
  • Encouraging an alien to come to the country or to remain in the country despite the knowledge that it is against the law

Texas Penal Code § 20.05 meanwhile defines the crime, “smuggling of persons” as:

  • Using a motor vehicle or other means of transportation to transport an alien with the intent to:
    • Conceal them from an officer or federal investigator
    • Flee from an officer or federal investigator attempting to lawfully arrest or detain them
  • Encourage or induce a person to enter or remain in the country by concealing, harboring, or shielding them
  • Assist, guide, or direct two or more persons to enter or remain on agricultural land without the consent of the landowner

Because this statutory language could be clearer, we’re going to walk you through some common examples of human smuggling charges in Texas.

Continue reading about the difference between smuggling and trafficking

Types of human smuggling cases in San Antonio

Although countless behaviors can violate the state and federal laws on alien smuggling, some of the most common behaviors that we see at Guzman Law Firm include the following:

  • Domestic transporting, which is any form of transportation of a person who is in the country illegally and who intends to remain there.
  • Encouraging or inducing an illegal alien to come to the United States or to remain there illegally can also be a human smuggling offense.
  • Aiding and abetting activities are any behaviors that support individuals in their purpose of coming or remaining in the country illegally.
  • Conspiracy to commit human smuggling cases occurs before the smuggling behaviors even occur.
  • Illegal hiring of aliens is also technically a human smuggling crime, and penalties for hiring illegal immigrants in Texas can be just as steep as those for driving a truckful of immigrants over the border.
  • Document fraud, which includes any forgery or altering of documents, occurs when a falsified document is used to satisfy any legal requirement related to immigration.

The most likely cause for you to be arrested for human smuggling is a transporting illegal immigrants in Texas charge. Immigration officers and other federal agents harshly prosecute those who are found transporting illegal aliens anywhere near the border, it doesn’t matter if you’re a truck driver who was just trying to help someone in need, chances are you’ll be charged with a felony as if you were a member of a large smuggling operation.

Either way, those facing human smuggling charges are going to need an experienced San Antonio criminal defense lawyer if they plan on walking away with their freedoms intact.

“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

What is the new law on smuggling immigrants in Texas?

There are a couple of new laws on smuggling in Texas, and they’re both called Senate Bill 4. The first Senate Bill 4 makes it a state-level offense to cross the Texas-Mexico border between established points of entry. The second Senate Bill 4 increases minimum sentences from two to ten years for various human smuggling crimes including operating a stash house.

While the first Senate Bill 4 was approved by Texas lawmakers, it has since had a long saga of challenges and court orders at the federal level. Why? Racial profiling is already rampant enough on the Texas border, and the criminalization of immigration at the state level would give state police carte blanche to profile, arrest, and otherwise harass anyone who even looks like they belong on the other side of the border.

Whether or not these pieces of legislation become enforceable, if you are accused of any smuggling activities, you better have a good lawyer on speed dial.

Punishments for human smuggling in Texas

Punishments are steep for all human smuggling cases in San Antonio, even for first-time alien smuggling charges, in which you can’t expect to get any leniency from state prosecutors or the Department of Justice.




Maximum fine

Maximum jail sentence

Smuggling not for profit

Third-degree felony


Up to 5 years

Smuggling for profit

Second-degree felony


Up to 10 years

Smuggling involving serious bodily injury

Second-degree felony


Up to 20 years

Smuggling involving death

First-degree felony


Life in prison


Convictions for human smuggling offenses always result in significant fines, lengthy prison sentences, and other serious collateral consequences. Some other factors that can influence the severity of punishment for human smuggling offenses include the number of individuals smuggled, the methods used for smuggling, the defendant’s prior criminal history, and potential involvement in organized criminal networks.

Charged with human smuggling in San Antonio? Javier Guzman is ready to defend your freedom.

If you or a loved one has been charged with a smuggling offense you need an experienced human smuggling attorney who can mount a formidable defense in a federal court. Even if you have not been arrested, if you have any reason to believe that you are under federal investigation for human smuggling, your attorney should already be at work on your case.

Whether you’ve been accused of human smuggling in San Antonio or need a drug trafficking lawyer to protect your livelihood, no case is too much for Javier Guzman. Call Guzman Law Firm today at (956) 516-7198 or contact us online to begin building your defense.

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