Federal Immigration Offenses

What are Federal Immigration Offenses?

Federal immigration offenses refer to violations of immigration laws and regulations that are enforced by the federal government. These offenses typically involve the unlawful entry, presence, or employment of individuals in the United States without proper authorization or in violation of the terms of their authorized stay.

Unlawful Entry: This offense involves the act of entering the United States without proper authorization or inspection by immigration authorities. It includes crossing the international border without going through designated ports of entry or using fraudulent documents or methods to gain entry.

Unlawful Presence: Unlawful presence refers to the act of being present in the United States without lawful authorization or after the expiration of legal status. It typically involves individuals who have overstayed their authorized period of stay, violated the terms of their visas, or entered the country without inspection.

Visa Fraud: Visa fraud occurs when an individual intentionally provides false information or documents to obtain a visa or other immigration benefit. This can include submitting forged documents, misrepresenting one’s intentions or qualifications, or engaging in other fraudulent activities during the application process.

Smuggling of Persons: This offense involves the transportation or facilitation of the illegal entry of individuals into the country for financial gain. Smuggling can include arranging transportation, providing false documents, or organizing networks to assist unauthorized individuals in crossing borders.

Illegal Reentry: Illegal reentry refers to the act of reentering the country without authorization after being deported or removed. It is a felony criminal offense committed by individuals who have been previously deported or removed from the country and subsequently return without proper permission.

Employment Violations: These offenses involve the unauthorized employment of individuals who do not have the necessary work authorization or documentation. This includes both employers who knowingly hire unauthorized workers and individuals who work without proper authorization.
Document Fraud: Document fraud encompasses the creation, sale, or use of counterfeit or fraudulent immigration documents, such as passports, visas, or work permits. It also includes the alteration or misuse of genuine documents.

Immigration Marriage Fraud: Immigration marriage fraud occurs when a person enters into a fraudulent marriage solely for the purpose of obtaining immigration benefits or evading immigration laws. This involves individuals entering into marriages of convenience without a genuine intent to establish a marital relationship.


Penalties for federal immigration offenses can vary depending on the specific offense committed. Here are some examples of common immigration offenses and their potential penalties under U.S. federal law:

Unlawful Entry (8 U.S.C. § 1325): Unlawfully entering or attempting to enter the United States can be charged as a misdemeanor or felony offense. A first-time offense is typically considered a misdemeanor, punishable by up to six months in prison, a fine, or both. Subsequent offenses can be charged as felonies, with potential penalties of up to two years in prison, a fine, or both.

Unlawful Presence (8 U.S.C. § 1325): Remaining in the United States without legal authorization can result in civil penalties, such as fines or removal (deportation). The length of unlawful presence may also affect future admissibility to the United States.

Visa Fraud (18 U.S.C. § 1546): Providing false information or documentation, making false statements, or engaging in fraudulent activities related to obtaining a visa or entry into the United States is a federal offense. Penalties can include imprisonment for up to 25 years, fines, or both.

Smuggling of Persons (8 U.S.C. § 1324): Engaging in the smuggling or transportation of unauthorized individuals into the United States for financial gain is a serious offense. Penalties for smuggling offenses can vary based on factors such as the number of individuals involved, the use of dangerous means of transportation, and whether the offense resulted in serious bodily injury or death. Potential penalties include significant fines and imprisonment for several years or even life imprisonment in certain cases.

Document Fraud (18 U.S.C. § 1546): Forgery, alteration, or use of fraudulent immigration-related documents, such as visas, passports, or green cards, is a federal offense. Penalties can include imprisonment for up to 25 years, fines, or both.

It’s important to note that the above penalties are general examples, and the actual penalties can depend on various factors, including the specific circumstances of the case, prior criminal history, and the discretion of the sentencing judge. Immigration laws can be complex, and it’s advisable to consult with an immigration attorney for specific advice regarding immigration issues.

A federal immigration criminal defense attorney is a legal professional who has experience in representing individuals criminally charged with immigration-related offenses in federal court. Their primary role is to provide legal counsel and defense to individuals facing criminal charges related to violations of federal immigration laws.

Key Responsibilities of a Federal Immigration Criminal Defense Attorney:

Legal Representation: The attorney serves as the legal representative for their clients in all legal proceedings, including hearings, trials, and appeals. They ensure that their client’s rights are protected and advocate on their behalf.

Case Evaluation: The attorney will thoroughly assess the facts and circumstances surrounding the criminal charges against their client. They examine the evidence, interview witnesses, and review applicable laws to build a strong defense strategy.

Defense Strategy Development: Based on their evaluation, the attorney develops a defense strategy tailored to the specific needs of their client. This may involve challenging the legality of the arrest, contesting the admissibility of evidence, or presenting mitigating factors.

Legal Advice: The attorney provides legal advice and guidance to their clients throughout the legal process. They explain the charges, potential consequences, and available defense options, helping the clients make informed decisions.
Negotiations: In some cases, the attorney may negotiate with prosecutors to seek reduced charges, alternative dispositions, or plea agreements on behalf of their clients. They strive to achieve the best possible outcome considering their clients’ interests.

Courtroom Representation: The attorney represents their clients in court proceedings. They present arguments, cross-examine witnesses, and challenge the prosecution’s case to cast doubt on the charges or establish their clients’ innocence.

Immigration Law Knowledge: A federal immigration criminal defense attorney may also associate with an immigration law attorney with in-depth knowledge of immigration laws, policies, and procedures. Working together, they understand the intricacies of the immigration system and how it intersects with criminal law, allowing them to effectively defend their clients.

Immigration Consequences: Beyond criminal penalties, immigration offenses can have severe consequences on an individual’s immigration status and future prospects. The team of lawyers will consider the immigration implications of the case and work towards minimizing or mitigating these consequences as well as resolving the criminal case.

It’s important to note that the specific tasks and strategies employed by a federal immigration criminal defense attorney may vary depending on the nature and complexity of each case. If you are facing federal immigration criminal offenses, it’s crucial that you consult with a federal immigration criminal defense attorney.

The lawyers at the Attorneys For Freedom Law Firm have decades of experience defending clients charged with federal immigration offenses. Our attorneys have the experience and knowledge to provide the best possible defense for these criminal charges.

To schedule a Strategy Session with an experienced federal immigration criminal defense attorney, contact the Attorneys For Freedom today. We can be reached online at AttorneysForFreedom.com or by calling our Arizona office at 480-755-7110.


Arizona Office Address:
3185 S. Price Rd.
Chandler, AZ 85248
Phone: 480-755-7110
zahrah A.
zahrah A.
Lauren Snyder was great during the process of my whole case!
Wade Z.
Wade Z.
Attorneys, Brittney, Emma and Vicky took good care of me and were very professional. They were able... to get the case against me dismissed and I appreciate their help. Good job attorneys!read more
I just left USCCA and signed up with AOR today after much research, and watching a gazillion... youtube videos from all of the various providers of CCW protection. I believe that by becoming a client of an actual law firm, I am on substantially more solid ground regarding the quality of legal assistance I will receive should I ever be involved in a self defense incident.From the first exploratory phone call that I made to AOR, to my signing on with them, all of the staff I spoke with were extremely professional, courteous, knowledgeable, and informative. They spent time answering any and all questions that I had, without any sense that they were trying to rush through the conversation. Additionally, none of the staff attempted to apply any sales pressure to join AOR as if they were used car salesmen, they simply answered questions and provided information. That was greatly appreciated.I feel much more confident in my potential legal position following a self defense incident knowing that events that would end coverage under other programs, will have no affect on my legal protection with AOR.read more
John G.
John G.
Representative James was very accommodating and patient to help me with the enrollment process. It... is a pleasure to work with attorneys for freedom Law firm. If self-protection issues arise, I am confident I am with the right firmread more
Justin C.
Justin C.
Attorneys for Freedom were fantastic to work with through an extremely stressful situation. They... answered all of my questions, were extremely fast at responding to me and handled everything in a very professional manner. Vicki and Emma were always on top of things, kept me in the loop and really made me feel a lot more comfortable with the process. Because of their service I signed up for the Attorneys on Retainer program.read more

Get Your Free E-book!

5 Things Every Responsible Gun Owner Ought To Know
Published by Arizona Gun Enthusiast & Criminal Defense Attorney Marc J. Victor from Attorneys for Freedom Law Firm.

Request your copy now →