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Illegal reentry refers to the federal criminal charge under 8 U.S.C. 1326 for a defendant who 1) has been denied admission, excluded, deported, or removed or has departed the United States while an order of exclusion, deportation, or removal is outstanding and 2) enters, attempts to enter, or is at any time found in the United States.
Illegal reentry indictments have increased in recent years with President Trump’s aggressive immigration policy. Defendants who are charged with illegal reentry under 8 U.S.C. 1326 face serious penalties, including maximum prison sentences of 2, 10, and 20 years, depending on the nature of the charge. In addition, a conviction for illegal reentry will result in removal from the United States.
Our firm’s Founding Partner, Attorney E.J. Hubbs, is experienced in handling multiple types of immigration-related criminal issues, including deportation and illegal reentry, throughout the Greater Miami Metropolitan area, in areas like Miami Beach, North and South Miami, Kendall, and Homestead, Florida.
Penalties for Reentry
Under 8 U.S.C. 1326, the penalties for illegal reentry depend on the specific circumstances of the person’s case and prior record. The least serious charge of illegal reentry carries a maximum prison sentence of two years.
However, the federal prosecutor can impose more serious sanctions if the following facts apply to your case:
- A defendant whose removal was subsequent to a conviction for commission of three or more misdemeanors involving drugs, crimes against the person, or both or a felony (other than an aggravated felony) is subject to a maximum sentence of 10 years.
- A defendant whose removal was subsequent to a conviction for commission of an aggravated felony is subject to a maximum sentence of 20 years.
- A defendant who was excluded from the United States pursuant to section 1225(c) of this title because the alien was excludable under section 1182(a)(3)(B) of this title, or who was removed from the United States pursuant to the provisions of subchapter V and who, thereafter, without the permission of the Attorney General, enters the United States or attempts to do so is subject to a maximum sentence of 10 years.
- A defendant who was removed from the United States pursuant to section 1231(a)(4)(B) of this title who, thereafter, without the permission of the Attorney General, enters, attempts to enter, or was at any time found in the United States (unless the Attorney General has expressly consented to such alien’s reentry) is subject to a maximum sentence of 10 years.
Defenses to Illegal Reentry
There are several defenses to charges of illegal reentry:
- Voluntary Departure: If you were previously given voluntary departure, then you should have avoided receiving an order of deportation. One of the greatest benefits to receiving voluntary departure is that you will avoid a potential criminal charge of illegal reentry because you will not have an order of deportation on your record in the event you enter the United States illegally in the future. If you do not have a prior order of deportation on your record, then you could have a valid defense to the charge.
- Identification: The government must always prove that you were the person that committed the crime. Illegal reentry involves the government proving that a defendant 1) has been denied admission, excluded, deported, or removed or has departed the United States while an order of exclusion, deportation, or removal is outstanding and 2) enters, attempts to enter, or is at any time found in the United States. Some defendants have orders of deportation that can be years—or even decades—old. Sometimes, there are discrepancies on the order of deportation, such as the spelling of the defendant’s name, their date of birth, their alien registration number, or other identifying information. If the United States cannot prove that you were the person that had been previously deported from the United States, they may have to dismiss the charge or you could be found not guilty at trial.
- Collateral Attack of Order of Deportation: Attacking the validity of an underlying order of deportation is one strategy that can be used in preparing a defense to illegal reentry. However, to be able to attack the validity of an underlying order, a defendant must establish 1) the alien exhausted any administrative remedies that may have been available to seek relief against the order; 2) the deportation proceedings at which the order was issued improperly deprived the alien of the opportunity for judicial review; and 3) the entry of the order was fundamentally unfair. If a defendant can remove the underlying order of deportation based on the reasons above, then they may have a viable defense to the charge of illegal reentry.
Contact Hubbs Law Firm for a Free Consultation
If you have a friend or a family member in Florida who is currently charged with illegal reentry, you should contact Hubbs Law Firm immediately. Our Miami illegal reentry defense lawyers are experienced in both immigration and criminal law. Our unique experience in both areas of the law can assist you in defending yourself, your friend, or your relative against illegal reentry charges.
We represent clients in Miami and throughout Miami-Dade County, including Hialeah, Miami Gardens, Miami Beach, North and South Miami, Kendall, Homestead, and anywhere else in the area. At Hubbs Law Firm, your first consultation is always free. During your consultation, we will discuss all issues related to your case, as well as the availability of possible defenses and your best legal strategy moving forward.
- U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement – Find information on Krome’s facility, contact information, visiting hours, bond information, and more
- U.S. Department of Justice – Find information on immigration court at Krome Detention Center
- The U.S. Department of Justice Building is located at:
- U.S. Department of Justice
333 South Miami Avenue
Miami, FL 33130
- U.S. Department of Justice
- Department of Homeland Security – Find information on The Department of Homeland Security, including the location of someone in ICE custody, updates on DHS and ICE immigration policies, and locations for DHS Offices of the Chief Counsel.
Attorneys E.J. & Erika Hubbs
As professional Miami criminal defense attorneys, we take every case personally give every client the deliberate care it deserves. Our clients become part of our family and we fight relentlessly for their rights. Read more about us to find out how we can help you.
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