Human trafficking is a type of modern-day slavery that is prohibited under Florida law. Victims of human trafficking can include adults, teenagers, and even young children. Citizens of the United States may be victims of human trafficking, but there are also thousands trafficked across international borders, and into the country. They may be forced to prostitute themselves or be involved in pornography or other types of exploitative situations such as domestic servitude or migrant agricultural work. If you have been charged with human trafficking, you may face substantial penalties. It is advisable to talk to an experienced St. Petersburg sex crime attorney regarding your legal options. Hanlon Law fights for the accused.Human Trafficking
Human trafficking is a felony. It occurs if somebody knowingly or in reckless disregard of the facts gets involved in or financially benefits from soliciting, transporting, recruiting, soliciting, harboring, enticing, providing, maintaining, or getting another person for purposes of exploitation of the person for services, labor, or commercial sexual activity. When an adult is the purported victim, the Florida prosecutor must show he or she was coerced into commercial sexual acts or providing services or labor.
When the purported victim is a child, however, a prosecuting attorney won’t need to show there was coercion used to get the child to be involved in services, labor, or commercial sexual activity. Commercial sexual activity includes any violation of Chapter 796 or trying to perpetrate that type of crime; it includes production of pornography and includes sexually explicit performance. All that must be shown is that there was exploitation for those purposes.Coercion
Human trafficking penalties are increased where coercion is used for trafficking. Coercion in the context of a human trafficking charge includes: threatening to use or using physical force against someone; isolating or restraining or threatening to restrain someone without lawful authority and against her will; using credit methods to establish a debt by someone if services or labor are treated as security for debt, where the value of the services or labor aren’t applied to liquidate the debt, and the nature and length of the services or labor aren’t respectively defined or limited; causing or threatening to cause harm to someone; luring or enticing someone through deceit or fraud; or concealing or destroying or confiscating a purported or actual passport or other immigration document of someone; or providing controlled substances in order to exploit someone.
Penalties are also increased where the trafficking is for the purpose of commercial sexual actions, for services or labor, or where the victim is an unauthorized immigrant, child, or mentally impaired person.Penalties
Human trafficking is often charged as a first degree felony. First degree felony charges can be punished with up to 30 years in prison, 30 years of probation, or a maximum of $10,000 in fines.
Many different situations give rise to first degree felony charges. For example, if you trafficked children for labor or services, you will be facing first degree felony charges. If you use coercion for the labor or services of an adult, you will face first degree felony charges. Similarly, if you use coercion for the commercial sexual activity of an adult, you will face first degree felony charges. Another first degree felony is to traffic in the labor or services of a child who is an authorized immigrant under age 18. It is also a first degree felony to use coercion for the services or labor of an adult who is an unauthorized immigrant. Similarly, if you use coercion in connection with an unauthorized immigrant adult’s commercial sexual activity, you can be charged with a first degree felony.
If you are convicted of any of the foregoing, the judge must sentence you to 21 months in prison, unless there is some basis to depart downward. A separate crime is perpetrated for every instance of human trafficking of a person under Florida Statutes section 787.06. Where there are multiple trafficking victims in your case, you can face particularly harsh penalties.
It is a serious felony when the trafficking charge involves commercial sexual activity with a child under age 18 or any person who is mentally incapacitated or mentally disabled. If convicted, you can face a maximum of life imprisonment, life on probation, and a maximum of $10,000.Consult a Human Trafficking Attorney in St. Petersburg
If you have been arrested for or charged with human trafficking in St. Petersburg, you must take these charges very seriously. It is important to talk to a criminal defense lawyer with experience handling human trafficking, as well as sex crimes charges. At Hanlon Law, our founder Will Hanlon has provided strong strategic defenses to the accused since 1994. Please contact Hanlon Law at 727.289.0222 or via our online form.