Q: My cousin was charged with smuggling in Crystal City, tx. He has never been in trouble. Could he get off w/probation?
He was convinced to give a ride to some people he didn't know by a friend of a friend. Being young(21), he did it for the money, not thinking of the consequences. The friend was driving his car when they got pulled over and they both got arrested. What the chances of him getting off or getting probation?
If this is a federal case, he sounds like a minor player in the criminal operation. It is imperative that he searches out and hires an experienced criminal defense lawyer with substantial federal court background. He should not, repeat not, try to hire an ex-federal prosecutor in the hopes that he'll get a better deal. Many former assistant U.S. attorneys transition over after they leave government work and become excellent defense lawyers, but this is never a foregone conclusion. Before hiring anyone, tell him to ask the attorney if he or she has ever won a jury trial in a federal criminal case.
Again, your cousin should talk to a couple of lawyers and hire someone ASAP. Every day which goes by that he doesn't have a lawyer defending him is a day he moves closer to prison. Good luck to him and to your family!
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