Federal Crimes

Espionage Charges

Criminal Defense for Federal Crimes in Houston, Texas

The Law Offices of Billy Skinner is a law firm in Houston dedicated to the art of criminal defense. At the firm, our team is ready to help clients who face charges of virtually anyfederal crime, including espionage.

Espionage, or “spying,” is a serious crime with heavy consequences; that’s why you need an aggressive lawyer who can provide tough, seasoned criminal representation. If you are facing allegations of espionage in Houston, you need the Law Offices of Billy Skinner on your side.

What is espionage?

Generally speaking, espionage is the act of gathering political or military secrets to help a foreign country, organization, or agency. Shortly after the United States entered World War I, it passed the Espionage Act of 1917. This law was first listed in Title 50 of the U.S.C., which deals with war crimes. Today, it is part of Title 18, the United States criminal and penal code of federal offenses.

Espionage vs. Intelligence Gathering

Espionage is easy to confuse with intelligence gathering; however, there is a key difference between the two: intelligence gathering is not always a crime. While espionage uses clandestine and often unlawful means to gather information, the act of intelligence gathering is used by commercial organizations, militaries, and governments to obtain useful information. If these means are secret and illegal, the intelligence gathering could be espionage.

18 USC Chapter 37 – Espionage & Censorship

By law, espionage is divided into nine sections, one of which has been repealed. Today, § 792 – § 799 of Title 18 involve the specific acts that constitute espionage. Espionage can include:

  • Sharing classified information
  • Delivering defense information to a foreign country
  • Sketching or taking pictures of defense installations, such as a naval post or military encampment
  • Gathering defense information
  • Using an aircraft to photograph or draw a defense installation
  • Selling pictures of defense installations
  • Harboring a person who committed / intends to commit espionage

Capital Punishment for Espionage

According to the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act signed by President Clinton in 1994, espionage is one of three non-violent federal crimes punishable by death. There are 60 total federal crimes that can lead to capital punishment; the non-violent crimes on this list include espionage, drug trafficking (under certain circumstances), and treason.

  • Additional consequences associated with espionage include visa ineligibility. In short, if the government suspects that you are attempting to gain entrance to the U.S. as a spy, you will be denied a visa.

Law Offices of Billy Skinner Can Fight for You

At the Law Offices of Billy Skinner, our legal team is dedicated solely to criminal defense. When you work with our team, your case will receive the personalized attention to detail that it deserves, giving you the best possible chance of a favorable outcome.

Are you facing allegations of a federal crime? You may feel hopeless and overwhelmed. Our firm is committed to helping people when they need it the most. We provide individualized case strategies backed by thorough investigations and a proven record of success. Take the first step toward the help you need and call the Law Offices of Billy Skinner today.

Call (713) 600-7777 for a Consultation

If you are under investigation for espionage or were arrested for this offense, speak with a member of our legal team today. You need an attorney with the skill to fight for your rights, future, and your freedom. The Houston criminal defense lawyers at the Law Offices of Billy Skinner can help you avoid the harsh penalties associated with an espionage charge. Speak with a member of our legal team today to learn more.