Any large company or small business that deals or trades internationally knows how complicated import, export and customs laws are. Even with the best due diligence, these matters can be tough to figure out for the average businessperson. If you or somebody you love is facing any kind of charges associated with import/export violations or any type of customs fraud, you need to speak with an experienced criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible about your case. The investigations can be complex and take months or longer. The administrative process alone is daunting enough. If you’re under investigation for import/export violations, the sooner you speak with a lawyer, the better.Interstate and International Trade
Whenever businesses or private parties deal across state lines or internationally, it’s a given that laws involving trade are going to be tighter, more complex and have more serious penalties if violated. Unfortunately, the complexities of these laws can inhibit business owners from feeling confident in their abilities to trade or work internationally. Even when it feels like you have a reasonably good grasp on all import, export, trade and customs regulations, you can still get tripped up in the red tape that accompanies international trading.Customs Fraud
A variety of additional charges can also be associated with cases involving import/export violations. We commonly see charges associated with customs fraud. Customs fraud occurs when there is some type of intentional misrepresentation of goods moving through customs. Customs fraud can also apply in cases where there is an intent to evade tariffs. Some customs fraud cases also involve contraband items. In many cases, these so-called cases of fraud can be traced back to administrative errors or mistakes, so it’s important to have a lawyer with customs fraud case experience on your side. The last thing you need is your life and livelihood ruined over some type of administrative paperwork error.Unintentional Import Export Law Violation
The laws and regulations associated with international trade, customs and importing and exporting are complex. In many cases involving import and export law violations, mistakes happen unintentionally. Intent might not be a factor in all cases, but your lawyer can help to determine the best possible course of action relating to your unique case and defense. Whether you were directly implicated or this happened somewhere at another company level, if you’re being investigated for import/export violations that you know nothing about, you need to speak with a lawyer immediately. Don’t assume that because you didn’t intentionally violate some form of customs law that you can’t be held responsible, if convicted.Complicated Investigative Procedures
Since there are frequently multiple international parties or organizations involved with most cases of import or export law violations, these cases often have very complicated and lengthy investigations. There could be multiple federal agencies working together or separately, in addition to any other state international agency involved. There could be multiple jurisdictions and who knows how man investigators assigned to one particular case. One thing is for certain. You need a criminal defense attorney who has demonstrated and proven experience in handling cases involving import and export violations. Your lawyer can stay on top of any official investigative developments and help to ensure you have the best possible outcome for your unique case.Penalties Associated Import Export Violations
Charges associated with international trade or import and export violations are typically classified as felonies. This means if convicted, you could be facing more than one year in prison at a federal correctional facility. In many cases, especially where there are additional charges involved, you’re looking at several years behind bars. Depending upon the circumstances of your individual case, you could also be facing hefty fines or restitution costs. These are very expensive laws to violate. You could also lose professional licenses and certifications.When to Contact a Criminal Defense Attorney
The ramifications of a conviction involving an import or export violation can be devastating. Felony convictions can land you in prison for an extended period of time. After that, you can also expect a permanent impact on your life and livelihood, especially if any professional licenses or certifications were revoked. Your best shot at a favorable outcome to your case is getting in touch with an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible after your arrest, or as soon as you think you might be under investigation. If you or somebody you love is facing any kind of charge associated with import or export violations in the Jackson Metro Area or in any of the surrounding communities, contact the experienced team at Coxwell & Associates, PLLC at (601) 948-1600 for an immediate case consultation today.