Federal Defense Lawyers Explain Nationality and Citizenship Crimes
The United States has laws to protect its borders, and there are certain right within the United States that only citizens have.
Those who violate laws on nationality and citizenship could be charged with a federal criminal offense and could face aggressive prosecution and serious penalties.
It’s important to understand how the laws work when it comes to federal crimes related to nationality and citizenship, to know the types of evidence prosecutors can present, and to be ready to make your case and fight the serious accusations you are facing. LV Criminal Defense can help.
For clients in Arizona, California, Utah, Nevada, Oregon, and surrounding states, our federal criminal defense lawyers can provide assistance with developing and implementing a strategic approach to federal criminal charges.
We can work with you to evaluate the evidence the prosecutor has, to understand what a prosecutor must prove, and to decide whether to plead not guilty or to try to negotiate a favorable plea agreement.
We can also represent you in court or outside of court during plea negotiations. If you have been accused of a crime related to nationality and citizenship, give us a call today.
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Federal Laws On Crimes Related to Nationality and Citizenship
While there are many different federal laws that relate to immigration issues, the part of the federal code that defines crimes related to nationality and citizenship is 18 U.S. Code Chapter 69. There are a total of nine different statutes found in Chapter 69 that provide details on the types of behavior that could lead to federal criminal charges. The relevant statutes include:
- 18 U.S. Code section 1421: Accounts of court officers: Clerks of court or others charged by law to make true accounts of money received in citizenship or nationality proceedings, must pay over required funds to the U.S. A willful failure to do so within 30 days of when payment is due and a demand for payment has been made can result in imprisonment for up to five years.
- 18 U.S. Code section 1422: Fees in naturalization proceedings: Knowingly soliciting, charging, demanding, collecting, or receiving additional fees or money in naturalization or citizenship proceedings can result in up to five years imprisonment as well as a fine.
- 18 U.S. Code section 1423: Misuse of evidence of citizenship or naturalization: The penalty for knowingly misusing copies or duplicates of paperwork showing naturalization or citizenship can include up to five years imprisonment as well as a fine.
- 18 U.S. Code section 1424: Personation or misuse of papers in naturalization proceedings: Impersonating someone else or appearing falsely under someone else’s name is unlawful under this statute, as is knowingly and unlawfully using a fictitious name or the name of a deceased person in connection with any order, certificate, certificate of nationalization, certificate of citizenship, judgement, or decree. The maximum penalty is five years incarceration.
- 18 U.S. Code section 1425: Procurement of citizenship or naturalization unlawfully: Knowingly using unlawful means to secure naturalization of any person or to obtain any evidence of naturalization or citizenship can result in a fine and imprisonment for up to 25 years if the act was committed to facilitate international terrorism. If the offense was committed to commit a drug crime, the maximum penalty is 20 years. If a first offense not committed to facilitate terrorism or drug crimes, the maximum penalty is 15 years imprisonment.
- 18 U.S. Code section 1426: Reproduction of naturalization or citizenship papers: Knowingly counterfeiting or altering oaths, notices, certificates of arrival, or documentary evidence showing citizenship can result in conviction under this statute. Selling, disposing of, or using as true any false or forged documents related to naturalization or citizenship can also be unlawful under this statute as can possessing false documents with intent to willfully use them unlawfully. Bringing certain documents to the U.S. without lawful authority is also among the crimes made illegal under this statute.
- 18 U.S. Code section 1427: Sale of naturalization or citizenship papers: Selling naturalization or citizenship papers could result in imprisonment for between 10 and 25 years depending upon whether the offense was a first one or was intended to facilitate a drug crime or act of terrorism.
- 18 U.S. Code section 1428: Surrender of canceled naturalization certificate: Having or controlling a certificate of naturalization or citizenship that has been cancelled can result in a penalty If the certificate ins’t surrendered after receiving 60 days notice by the appropriate court. The maximum penalty is up to five years imprisonment.
- 18 U.S. Code section 1429: Penalties for neglect or refusal to answer subpoena: Anyone who is subpoenaed to appear at a final hearing of application for naturalization under the provisions of the Immigration and Nationality Act who does not appear to testify can be fined and imprisoned for up to five years.
LV Criminal Defense will help you to understand what elements of each of these statutes a prosecutor needs to prove and can provide assistance in fighting against conviction.
Getting help from a Federal Criminal Defense Attorney
Federal criminal defense lawyers at LV Criminal Defense can help if you have been accused of crimes related to nationality and citizenship. Our experienced legal team has represented clients in California, Arizona, Oregon, Nevada, Utah, or surrounding areas facing charges for violating laws found within 18 U.S. Code Chapter 69. We know the laws inside and out on misusing evidence, personation, unlawful procurement of citizenship or nationalization, reproduction or sale of naturalization or citizenship papers, and other related offenses, and we can put our legal knowledge to work to help you fight accusations of wrongdoing.
Our firm can advise you on what a prosecutor would need to prove to secure conviction and can help you to evaluate the evidence against you and determine the best approach to take to minimize or avoid consequences.
Whether that involves negotiating a plea agreement or fighting charges in court, we can advocate for you as you navigate the criminal justice system and fight for your future. To find out more, give us a call today.