New York Smuggling Crime Defense Attorney
Smuggling refers to the clandestine transportation of drugs, people, or other illicit goods past a legal point of prohibition. Defendants can be charged with smuggling illegal goods, such as controlled substances, or with the illicit importation of goods that would otherwise be legal, such as cigarettes, in order to avoid taxation and other issues. Even people can be smuggled to avoid legal troubles at the border.
If you have been charged with smuggling under New York or federal law, call an experienced New York criminal defense attorney at Dupée & Monroe, P.C. for assistance. We will fight for your rights from investigation through plea negotiation and, where appropriate, trial and beyond. We will utilize all available defenses and other legal means to ensure that you get the benefit of the due process to which you are owed, regardless of the nature of your charges. We stand by your side every step of the way to protect your rights, your freedom, and your future.
Tobacco Smuggling and Tax Evasion
According to government investigators, New York is the “cigarette smuggling capital” of the country. New York state taxes cigarettes at $4.35 per pack, and New York City tacks on another $1.50 per pack. The price to consumers, as a result, has jumped to upwards of $12 or more. Bodegas and other sellers who hope to make a bigger profit, or even direct purchasers looking to save money, can buy cigarettes from smugglers to avoid the tax and pay a lower price. According to some figures, New York loses over $1.6 billion a year in untaxed sales of smuggled cigarettes.
Given the perceived billion-dollar loss faced by the state, New York takes cigarette smuggling very seriously. Importing cigarettes to evade taxes does not lead to a mere slap on the wrist. In the State of New York:
- Attempting to evade taxes on 10,000 or more cigarettes, or 22,000 or more cigars, is chargeable as a Class E felony, punishable by up to four years in prison.
- Attempting to evade taxes on 400 or more pounds of tobacco is chargeable as a Class E felony, punishable by up to four years in prison.
- Unlicensed transportation, possession, sale, or attempt to sell 30,000 or more unlawfully stamped or unstamped cigarettes is chargeable as a Class D felony, punishable by up to seven years in prison.
Repeated convictions can lead to more serious charges and penalties.
Smuggling Undocumented Aliens
Border security is as tight and as extreme as it has ever been in the country. Although the current presidential administration is working to roll back some of the more draconian efforts of the last federal administration, smuggling undocumented migrants across the border is still a very serious crime. Whether the undocumented alien is a friend, a family member, or a stranger, the penalties for bringing someone across the border unlawfully are extremely severe.
Bringing an undocumented alien into the United States in a place other than a designated port of entry, transporting a known undocumented alien to another location within the United States, or concealing an undocumented alien from detection are each chargeable as a felony, punishable by up to 10 years in prison for “each alien” involved. Aiding & abetting or conspiring to commit such acts are penalized just as harshly. The penalties can quickly stack to absurd levels.
If you have been arrested for smuggling or harboring undocumented immigrants, you need a zealous alien smuggling defense attorney on your side as soon as possible. Do not let the federal government railroad you into an extended prison stay based on an isolated act or a simple mistake of fact.
Get Help Defending Against Smuggling Charges from a Dedicated New York Criminal Defense Attorney
If you have been charged with smuggling cigarettes, aliens, or drugs under federal or New York State law, it is vital to get experienced and passionate legal help on your side as soon as possible. The seasoned criminal defense attorneys at Dupée & Monroe have years of experience fighting against the most serious state and federal charges. We will look for ways to undermine the prosecutor’s case, reduce the quantity of goods chargeable to a given defendant, poke holes in any allegations as to intent to sell, and otherwise build a defense that allows our clients to either obtain a more favorable plea bargain or get the charges dropped entirely. We make sure that the government has not violated your rights at any step, and we will ensure that any illegally obtained evidence is not used against you. At Dupée & Monroe, we protect our clients, and we protect their rights.
If you have been arrested and charged with a smuggling crime under New York or federal law, contact Dupée & Monroe, P.C., in Goshen. We represent clients charged with smuggling crimes and other serious offenses in Orange County and throughout the Hudson Valley.