Under most circumstances, it is not a crime to be in the country without legal status. However, once a person has been removed or deported, he or she may not return. Being in the United States after a removal action is a crime. If convicted, a person will likely face time in prison. Once that time is up, they may be returned to their home country — often to face consequences there, too.
Manhattan Illegal Reentry Lawyer
If you have been accused in Manhattan or Brooklyn federal court of the crime of entering the United States after being removed, it is critical that you immediately contact a skilled attorney who can fight the criminal charges. At Greco Neyland, PC, we are former prosecutors who now represent the accused. We will conduct a thorough investigation to uncover every defense and every reasonable doubt in the charges against you.
Contact a New York City illegal reentry lawyer at (212) 951-1300 to schedule a free initial consultation. We represent clients in the U.S. District Courts for the Eastern District (Brooklyn) and Southern District (Manhattan).
Information on Illegal Reentry
- Removal Proceedings in Immigration Matters
- When Entry is a Criminal Matter
- Defenses to Illegal Reentry Charges
Most immigration matters are civil. If a person is accused of being in the United States without legal status — including if they entered the country on a valid visa that has now expired — they are not facing criminal charges unless there is an allegation of fraud.
Usually, being in the country without status does not result in removal. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) will seek removal if the conditions in 8 U.S.C. § 1227 are met, including if the immigrant is accused of:
- Falsifying immigration documents;
- Falsely representing himself or herself as a U.S. citizen;
- Being a drug addict;
- Committing an aggravated felony;
- Committing a domestic violence offense;
- Committing two or more crimes of moral turpitude within five years of entering; or
- Committing human trafficking.
Removal is a civil process, and the immigrant is entitled to a hearing and a decision by an immigration court. If, however, the court decides to remove the immigrant, he or she must leave the country.
Under 8 U.S.C. § 1326, once a person has been removed, it is a crime for that person to return to the United States. The same law applies if the person has been the subject of an order of exclusion.
Any person who is convicted of entering, attempting to enter or being in the United States after being deported or excluded faces up to two years in prison and/or fines. Once the prison term is complete, it is very likely that person will be removed.
The penalties worsen if the accused was removed due to a criminal conviction. A person who is removed due to three or more misdemeanors involving drugs or crimes against persons, a felony or an offense related to terrorism faces up to 10 years in federal prison. A conviction for an aggravated felony can result in up to 20 years.
If facing illegal reentry charges, there are certain defenses that may be available. You can dispute the original removal order if you are able to show that during the original proceeding:
- You exhausted all available administrative remedies;
- You were improperly deprived of judicial review at the removal proceedings; and
- The resulting order was fundamentally unfair.
Another defense to these charges is if the U.S. Attorney General consented to your entry. Barring that consent, you still may be able to avoid conviction if you can prove that circumstances existed that prevented you from being able to obtain that consent.
Finding the Best New York Attorney for Illegal Reentry Accusations
At Greco Neyland, PC, our attorneys will look at every possible defense and conduct a thorough investigation to determine the best opportunities for you. We are experienced in federal courts in Manhattan and Brooklyn in representing people accused of crimes relating to immigration. Let us fight for you. Call today at (212) 951-1300 to schedule a free initial consultation.