The Continuous Smuggling of Persons crime in the state of Texas gives police the right to arrest you if they believe you ” during a period that is 10 or more days in duration” have used any type of transportation to conceal someone from a investigator more than two or three times, or if you have encouraged or helped someone stay or flee the country to avoid lawfully being arrested. Learn more detailed information about the Continuous Smuggling of Persons offense below.
CONTINUOUS SMUGGLING OF PERSONS FAQs
Have you been charged with Continuous Smuggling of Persons? Call criminal lawyer Paul Saputo at (888) 239-9305 to discuss legal representation.
This is a relatively new offense, created by House Bill 11, effective in September 2015, by an act of the 84th State Legislature. Greg Abbott advocated for the passage of this bill in his “Reforming Texas Human Smuggling Law” paper.
Continuous Smuggling of Persons is classified in the Texas Penal Code under Title 5 “Offenses Against the Person”, Chapter 20 “Kidnapping, Unlawful Restraint And Smuggling of Persons.”
The current Texas law is as follows:1
A person commits an offense if, during a period that is 10 or more days in duration, the person engages two or more times in conduct that constitutes an offense under Section 20.05.
Section 20.05 of the Texas Penal Code describes the “Smuggling of Persons” offense. Smuggling of Persons is a crime that requires the state’s attorneys to prove that you engaged in activity that involve hiding people for pay. It’s not perfectly clear what the “10 or more days in duration” element refers to in this statute.
Subsection (b) adds a specific jury instruction for these cases:
If a jury is the trier of fact, members of the jury are not required to agree unanimously on which specific conduct engaged in by the defendant constituted an offense under Section 20.05 or on which exact date the defendant engaged in that conduct. The jury must agree unanimously that the defendant, during a period that is 10 or more days in duration, engaged two or more times in conduct that constitutes an offense under Section 20.05.
You can be charged with Continuous Smuggling of Persons if the state’s attorneys believe that each of the elements of Section 20.06(a), as described in the section above, have been met.
Subsection (d) provides one exception to the ability of prosecutors to charge multiple violations of this offense:
A defendant may not be charged with more than one count under Subsection (a) if all of the conduct that constitutes an offense under Section 20.05 is alleged to have been committed against the same victim.
A conviction for Continuous Smuggling of Persons may be punished as a felony of the first degree or second degree.2 In some instances, it may be punished as a first degree felony with a mandatory minimum 25 year prison sentence. The mandatory 25-year minimum sentence is for cases where the victim also suffered a sexual assault or severe bodily injury or death.3 It may be punished as a first degree felony if there was a substantial likelihood that the smuggled individual would suffer serious bodily injury or death or if the victim was under 18 years old.4 All other convictions for this offense are punished as second degree felonies.2 Learn about the differences between grades of felonies and misdemeanors
Recent Case Results
- 2019 Not Guilty in Collin County DWI >0.15
- 2019 Not Guilty in Dallas County Indecency with a Child
- Oral Argument at the United States Federal 5th Circuit Court of Appeals on Prosecutorial Misconduct Claim arising out of Northern District of Texas
- 2018 Not Guilty in Martin County Aggravated Assault with a Deadly Weapon on a Peace Officer
- Not Guilty in 2018 Dallas County DWI Trial
- Client cleared in Dallas Police Shooting wrongful accusation
- Federal sentencing results in 10 Year Downward Deviation from Sentencing Guidelines in 2018
- Not Guilty Jury Verdict for client originally accused of Intoxication Manslaughter
- Case Dismissed after picking jury in Aggravated Sexual Assault of Child case in 2017
- United States Attorney dismisses case against client charged in El Paso Federal Court with Possession of Child Pornography
- ALL CHARGES DISMISSED against our client in the Twin Peaks Waco Biker case
- Client “No-billed” by grand jury investigating shooting death case
- Coverage of Case Involving Waco teacher sending messages to student
- Judge returns a Directed Verdict of Acquittal in case involving trainer of professional athletes
- Rare Not Guilty verdict in Rockwall County DWI
- 2016 Dismissal of Fort Worth Federal Possession of Obscene Visual Representation of the Sexual Abuse of Children
- Hill County Money Laundering case Dismissed and civil asset forfeiture assets returned
- Coverage of teen Lewisville client charged with hit-and-run death
- Two Montague County Indecency with a Child cases Dismissed