Human trafficking is the illegal use of coercion, force, or fraud to obtain labor, commercial sex, and services from unwilling participants or underage victims. Prosecutors, law enforcement agencies, and lawmakers regard human trafficking as modern slavery. Persons are guilty of human trafficking charges if one has participated in harboring, recruiting, soliciting, or transporting human beings for profit. Get more information about human trafficking charges, penalties, and how to contact a human trafficking lawyer at Meltzer & Bell, P.A. Attorneys for assistance.
Florida Laws And Human Trafficking
The State of Florida classifies human trafficking as modern slavery. The victims of human trafficking include;
- Homeless individuals
- Runaway teens
- Drug addicts
- Neglected/abused children
Florida’s Enforcement agencies and legislators established that perpetrators hold human trafficking victims against their will. The perpetrators use the vulnerabilities of these groups to exploit them for financial gains.
How Do Prosecutors Prove Human Trafficking Charges?
Federal and state prosecutors have heightened their approaches to prosecuting human trafficking suspects. For instance, Florida’s Attorney General declared a “Zero Tolerance” towards human trafficking cases to show the state’s commitment to stopping these crimes.
Human trafficking constitutes different categories of offenses depending on the level of participation and knowledge. For prosecutors to show that a person is liable for human charges conviction, they must prove that;
- The accused person or defendant harbored, transported, solicited, recruited, or obtained human beings for transport.
- The defendant knew that the transported person would participate in sexual exploitation.
- The defendant obtained financial benefits from participating in the endeavors.
- The accused transported or helped someone to transport slave labor and services victims.
Innocent individuals are sometimes caught in human trafficking investigations, and some are declared guilty. For instance, a Huber driver might transport a kid in the company of an adult client without the driver’s knowledge that the adult is a human trafficker.
The defendant has a strong defense in such a case. However, navigating the justice system without a human trafficking lawyer may impact the driver and the business. The prosecutor treats the Huber driver as a fringe player in such circumstances.
Fringe players sometimes take equal responsibility for the crimes as the participants. However, seeking legal counsel helps you to prove that you did nothing wrong.
Fringe players face criminal charges for helping human traffickers to complete their activities without the players’ knowledge. However, you may face equal crimes against participants if the available evidence vindicates you.
What Are The Penalties For Human Trafficking Charges?
Individuals convicted for human trafficking charges in Florida face serious charges. The State of Florida considers human smuggling a second-degree felony that attracts one or a combination of the following penalties;
- 15 to 13 years imprisonment
- Maximum 30 years’ probation
- Life registration as a sexual offender
- Federal felony convictions
- Maximum fines of $10,000
The penalty a convicted person faces depends on the level of participation and the case at hand. For example, individuals that aid the transportation of human trafficking victims may face fines. The penalty increases under the following circumstances;
- The perpetrator used coercion in the human trafficking
- The defendant transported the victim for commercial sex, services, and labor
- The victim a minor, mentally disabled person, and unauthorized alien
The vulnerability of the victim increases the resultant penalty. Human trafficking charges involving children and disabled people attract severe punishment.
What Do Florida’s Laws Say About Human Trafficking for Commercial Sex Or Labor?
According to Florida’s laws, human trafficking for commercial sex or labor services is a first-degree felony with a severity of 7 to 9. Convicted persons face a minimum of 21 months imprisonment or a combination of the following penalties;
- Maximum 30 years imprisonment
- Maximum 30 years’ probation
- Heavy fines of up to $10,000
These penalties also apply to individuals convicted of trafficking children or mentally unstable victims. Children traffickers face a Level 10 criminal offense according to Florida’s Criminal Punishment Code.
Human Trafficking Charges In Palm Beach
Are you facing human trafficking charges in Palm Beach County? Take such accusations seriously and seek legal counsel. Meltzer & Bell, P.A has a team of criminal defense attorneys to listen to your case and offer the legal counsel you need. Meltzer & Bell, P.A Law Firm provides defense for human trafficking charges.
The magnitude of human trafficking cases increases the need for an experienced defense attorney. You have a right to legal representation, irrespective of the allegations. Meltzer & Bell, P.A understands that clients want to secure their freedom, erase their criminal records, and protect their dignity. The lawyers analyze your case and walk with you in every step towards a desirable outcome.
We offer legal services in the following areas;
First Amendment Rights
You have a constitutional right to privacy and a fair hearing until proven guilty. Meltzer & Bell, P.A uses your case details to argue for your first amendment rights. First Amendment activity applies if your conduct emanates from a constitutionally recognized activity.
You would have a strong defense for commercial sexual activity human trafficking charges if the victim participated in the actions willingly. You’re not guilty of human trafficking if your actions didn’t coerce or exploit the victim against their wishes. However, you’ll face charges for prostitution solicitation.
You’re not guilty of commercial sexual activity if the victim partners with the defendant willingly. The possible charges here include deriving or benefiting from prostitution proceeds.
Human trafficking charges may include separate criminal charges such as;
Defendants sometimes face state and federal charges if the human trafficking crimes traverse states. These individuals face federal prosecution per the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000.
Call Meltzer & Bell, P.A For Human Trafficking Defense Attorney
Facing human trafficking charges may jeopardize your future and dignity. You can avoid criminal records, imprisonment, and fines if you get experienced legal counsel. Meltzer & Bell P. A has represented clients facing human trafficking charges. You’re innocent no matter the charges the prosecutor has leveled against you. Call Meltzer & Bell P.A and speak to a human trafficking lawyer for consultations. A team of experts will listen to you and evaluate your case.