Customs, Import and Export Violations Attorneys
The laws regarding tariffs are constantly changing in the United States. Along with that, the process of bringing something through customs is increasingly complicated, with a variety of necessary documents and required steps. As you can imagine, there’s ample opportunity all throughout the process for mistakes to be made, or for the material facts to not line up with what was actually brought through customs. With customs, import, and export violations, as with any federal charge, you need the right legal counsel to represent your case, a firm that has the experience and skill necessary to have charges against you either reduced or dropped, ideally before you even set foot in a courtroom.
But if the case does go to trial, you need to know that the defense attorneys representing you have a proven track record at the federal level, not just in state court. The Norman Spencer Law Group is that firm. In order for customs fraud to have been committed, it needs to be proven that there was an attempt to defraud. The right defense attorney can use the complicated customs documentation and any possible mistakes made along the way to their client’s favor.
What Are Customs, Import, and Export Violations?
There are a number of potential violations that have to do with customs law, but one of the most common situations is that a customs official will inspect a sample of the goods being shipped and discover that what’s being shipped does not line up with what was listed and declared on the customs paperwork. This can also be found through informants or through the inspection of the entirety of the goods.
Customs officials will typically then ask for documents, and while the shipper can refuse to provide those documents at the moment, a court can later compel the importer to provide the proper documentation, at which point fraud can be detected.
Another thing to keep in mind is that once a fraud investigation begins, customs officials can also use what is known as a pre-penalty demand in which they allege that some sort of fraud has occurred. Once they do that, the full forfeiture value of that importer’s goods can be confiscated. It’s important that defendants have an awareness of what customs officials can and cannot do, what their rights are, and what legal counsel can do to help.
The customs officials can also seek what’s known as an administrative summons if they suspect fraud has been committed. Basically, this is a summons that forces the importer to produce documentation that proves that what they were importing confirmed with what was listed on the paperwork for customs. If the importer is not able to provide this documentation, then the customs officials can block those goods from passing through customs. This also allows for the importer to comply with the requirements and resubmit the necessary paperwork, essentially allowing for leniency in the case of a mistake being made.
Another thing that customs officials will tend to do in cases like these is to determine the proper classification of goods for the importer, and they’ll then charge appropriate tariffs accordingly. If the importer disagrees with the classification of these tariffs, however, they can challenge it. With that said, the importer will need proper documentation that proves that the classification used by the customs officials was incorrect.
If after all of this, it’s instead determined that fraud was committed, then the importer could be given a fine, their goods might be forfeited, and the importer can even lose their importing privileges. In severe cases, especially those involving illegal goods or cargo, criminal penalties can also be pursued, possibly even resulting in prison time.
When goods enter the United States, they may be subjected to tariffs. Tariffs are essentially just taxes on foreign goods, and they’re put into place to protect American companies and interests from foreign competition. These tariffs are not static but instead are constantly changing as time passes and new legislation is introduced. The important thing here is that the importers are responsible for calculating and then paying the tariff amount that they owe. Customs officials are not responsible for calculating these amounts for the importer.
What to Do for Customs, Import, and Export Violations
The most important thing that you can do when you’re facing an investigation into or charges related to customs fraud is to secure legal counsel immediately. The longer you wait, the less time your defense attorneys will have to review the facts, devise a legal defense strategy, and get your charges reduced or dropped entirely.
With that said, not all law firms are equal. While there are a number of firms out there with a proven track record on the state level, this does not necessarily translate into the knowledge and skill necessary to successfully represent you at the federal level.
Why Go With Norman Spencer Law Group?
When you choose the Norman Spencer Law Group, you’re going with a firm with over 70 years of combined experience representing cases from across the spectrum, at both the state and federal levels. No case is too simple or complex for us, no client too large or small. We’re ready to leverage our experience for you, and our client-first approach starts from the moment you get in touch with us. We provide a number of accessibility options, including legal consultations done remotely through Zoom, Skype, or Google Duo. We represent clients all over the country, and if necessary, we’ll even send someone out to work with you in person, wherever you might be in the country.
If you’re facing legal trouble in regards to customs fraud, get in touch with us right away. Let us know who you are and what kind of problems you’re facing, and someone from our team will get in touch as soon as possible.