How much jail time will I get for a first-time alien smuggling crime?

USSG 2L1.1 is the guideline for first-time alien smuggling crimes. It will give you a rough idea of how much time to expect if police arrest you for smuggling people. Unfortunately, the guidelines are full of legalese. As a result, the guidelines are not easy to follow.

However, our video below will help simplify the guidelines. The video will show you how to:

  1. Read the sentencing table;
  2. Interpret the alien-smuggling guidelines;
  3. See why some facts will increase your jail time; and
  4. Use the 18 USC 3553a factors to lower your possible jail time.

Finally, I divided the video into chapters. This will make it easier for you to jump to the part of the video that answers your questions.

How do the alien smuggling sentencing guidelines work?

How to calculate the guideline range for a federal alien smuggling crime.

What are the 3 most common reasons people get extra jail time for alien smuggling?

The guidelines will raise your jail time if particular facts happen during the crime. Lawyers call these “bumps.” But these bumps happen in an indirect way.

To be exact, if certain facts happen during the crime, these facts will “bump up” your offense level. This will result in a higher offense level. And that will lead to a higher guideline range. To see how this works, let’s look at the three most common reasons people get bumps for alien smuggling.

Top 3 bumps to your offense level.

  1. Number of Aliens Smuggled. The most common reason people get extra jail time for smuggling is if they move large numbers of people. If a smuggler transports 6-24 people, then he will get a 3 level bump. If he transports 25-99 people, then he will get a 6 level bump. Finally, if he moves 100 or more people, then he will get a 9 level bump.
  2. Smuggling people in a dangerous way. This bump happens when the smuggler gets into a high speed chase with police. Or when the smuggler puts people in the trunk of a car. Even if the people are not hurt during the crime, these facts create a risk that someone will get hurt or killed. As a result, it will raise your offense level and jail time.
  3. Smuggling “unaccompanied minors.” A minor is a person under 18 years old. If the smuggler transports a minor without his or her parents or guardian, then the smuggler will get a 4 level bump to his or her offense level.

There are plenty of more bumps in the guidelines. For example, if the smuggler possess a gun. This will also increase the offense level and jail time. Another example is if someone is hurt or killed during the smuggling crime. If that happens, then this too will increase the offense level and jail time.

In short, the more dangerous the facts of the case, then the more likely the person will get more jail time for smuggling people.

Alien Smuggling Defense Attorney.

After someone pleads guilty or is found guilty by a jury of smuggling people, then the case will get transferred to the probation department. From there, a probation officer will prepare a report. The report is called a PSR.

Further, the PSR will have a ton of information. This includes the guideline range that will tell you how much jail time you may get. You will need to review the PSR carefully with your lawyer. Most important of all, you will need to make sure the probation department did not make a mistake by adding a bump to your offense level.

If there is a mistake in the PSR, then your attorney will need to file written objections to the PSR. The objections will tell the judge why you think there is a mistake in the report. If the judge agrees with you, then this can lower your offense level and your jail time.

Law Office of Genaro R. Cortez, P.L.L.C.

730 West Hildebrand Avenue
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Phone: 210-733-7575
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Email: genaro.cortez@cortezlawyer.org