Import and Export Crime Defense Attorney in Los Angeles
If you have a business that imports or exports goods, you are likely very aware of the range of complex federal trade laws and regulations. Violating these laws can result in federal charges and, if you are convicted, the penalties can involve prison time, expensive fines, and the forfeiture of property or profits. If you were charged with an import or export crime in Los Angeles, retaining the services of an experienced criminal defense attorney should occur before any interviews with investigators or law enforcement.
The team at Werksman Jackson & Quinn LLP delivers an exceptional level of representation necessary if it is alleged you are guilty of any import or export crime. Founded in 1994, our law firm frequently handles some of the most challenging criminal defense cases and is recognized for our successes for our clients, in and out of court. For a free consultation to discuss the facts in your case, call us at (213) 688-0460 to learn more about what could be done in your case.
International trade laws can be quite complicated making it very possible for unintentional violations to occur. In some cases, these issues are resolved with fines. On the other hand, willfully violating federal trade laws are major offenses that can result in a substantial prison sentence.
Below are some common types of federal import and export crimes:
- Smuggling: If you try to bring prohibited items or persons into the United States by foregoing standard import procedures or evading customs, this is known as smuggling. There are many factors, such as what you were smuggling and where you were trying to smuggle it to, that can impact your case.
- Trade Sanction Violations: When it comes to trade sanction violations, intent is not required to face both civil and criminal charges and penalties for a conviction.
- Export Control Violations: If you try to export a controlled item without receiving authorization for it, you can face serious penalties, including steep fines and prison time.
- Fraud: When a person intentionally misrepresents goods to get them through customs, they may be charged with fraud.
These are just a handful of examples of federal import and export crimes, each of which packs some severe penalties and could have a lasting negative impact on your life.
Whether you are bringing goods in or out of the country, there are strict regulations in place that govern what can be exported, how much can be exported, and where it can be exported. There are numerous ways in which these laws can be violated. When it comes to import violations, if you neglect to pay duties, do not file the necessary paperwork, or illegally import prohibited goods, you may face criminal charges. As for export violations, if you do not acquire mandatory export licenses, fail to file the necessary paperwork, or attempt to export certain banned goods, these actions could result in criminal charges as well.
The criminal penalties you may face if you are convicted of this type of crime will greatly depend on the details of your case. However, typically, penalties include massive fines that can range from a few thousand dollars to millions of dollars. Prison sentences can also vary. If you made a false declaration upon entering the country, you may only receive a two-year sentence. On the other hand, some export violations can result in a decade-long prison sentence for each offense.
If you were charged with a federal import or export crime, there may be a lot of federal agencies trying to investigate you. At Werksman Jackson & Quinn LLP, our Los Angeles criminal defense attorneys will work diligently to defend you against the charges you are facing. There are many potential defenses available, depending on your situation. We could argue that your actions were not in violation of customs laws since tariffs, prohibitions, and other regulations often change, easily resulting in mistakes. In fact, in many cases, if it can be proven that the violation was unintentional, a conviction can likely be avoided.
Let our experienced team put our knowledge, skills, and resources to work for you, so you can obtain the best possible results for your case. Call our law office today at (213) 688-0460 to schedule a free consultation with a Los Angeles federal crime defense lawyer.
Recent Case Results
- Complete Dismissal of Molestation Charges
Attorney Mark Werksman’s 29 year old client was falsely accused of molesting two neighborhood children and was subsequently charged with felony child molestation, with a significant prison sentence hanging over his head should he be convicted. Instead, at the preliminary hearing Werksman was able to convince the court to grant his client a complete dismissal of any charges.
- Decision Set Aside
Client, a college student in a faulty Title IX case, was awarded $130,000 in attorney fees.
- Probation with No Jail Time for Drug Money Laundering Charge
Wilmington man accused in New York federal court of laundering drug money through the sale of laptop computers. Mark was able to get the case transferred to federal court in Los Angeles, where he convinced the United States Attorney to reduce the charges. His client was sentenced to probation with no jail time on a misdemeanor conviction.