Florida Human Trafficking Defense Lawyer
Speak with Our Best Human Trafficking Defense Attorneys in Florida
Human trafficking offenses often lead to other criminal charges due to the complex nature of human trafficking crimes. In most human trafficking cases, law enforcement officers and prosecutors work hard to uncover addition criminal charges or engage in “overcharging defendants” tacking on additional criminal charges such as fraud, kidnapping, money laundering, sex trafficking, tax evasion, coercion, and many other charges. To be found guilty of human trafficking, the defendant must have engaged in recruiting, harboring, soliciting, or transporting a person for a profit or engaging in those activities knowing the person would be enslaved or other subject to exploitation. Human Trafficking may also include tissue or organ extraction, forced marriages, sexual slavery, or involuntary labor. Florida’s Attorney General has affirmed that the State of Florida has zero tolerance for human trafficking and will aggressively find and prosecute individuals engaging in any illegal sex act and trade.
Cases of human trafficking are increasing worldwide. That means that both state and federal prosecutors have been quite aggressive in the prosecution of individuals who are accused of this sex crime. It is essential that if you are charged with human trafficking charges you seek a professional Florida human trafficking defense attorney to assist you. If you do not do so immediately after being charged, the consequences could ruin your life forever. Musca Law attorneys have the experience and skill to effectively represent your best interests. With more than 150 years of collective legal experience, we are fully equipped to handle whatever case you face. We are available 24/7 for client convenience. Call us 24/7 at (888) 484-5057 to discuss your potential defenses.
Florida's Definition of Human Trafficking
According to the Florida Statutes Chapter 787.06, human trafficking is defined as "Transporting, soliciting, recruiting, harboring, providing, or obtaining another person for transport." This is basically modern day slavery which is often done for sexual purposes. When done for sexual purposes, it becomes a sex crime. If a child is or has been transported for sexual purposes, then additional charges can be brought against you, including child abuse charges.
The Types of Human Trafficking Cases Our Firm Defends Clients:
(Debt) Bonded Labor: Bonded Labor is utilized as a way to repay a debt, service, or loan, where the terms of the agreement were not defined, resulting in the amount, quality, and length of work is greater than the amount of money borrowed.
Sex Trafficking of Children and Women: Sex Trafficking takes advantage of vulnerable people who are in hopeless conditions, such as refugees, poor, mentally disabled, homeless, refugees, or drug addicts, and forcing those vulnerable women and children into engaging in prostitution, performing in pornography, dancing in strip clubs, and other forms of involuntary, sexual services.
Trafficking in Illegal Workers: Trafficking (Transporting) illegal or undocumented workers illegally into the United States bypassing United States immigration laws.
What Constitutes Human Trafficking in Florida?
There are many different types of crimes which fall under the threshold of human trafficking.
- Transporting or helping someone else transport potential victims to be used in slave labor
- The solicitation of new victims to be used for sexual purposes or slave labor
- Knowingly harboring those thought to be slaves
- Any knowledge that people are being used as sex slaves, or being forced into labor.
- Making any money from any portion of human trafficking
If you are charged with human trafficking within the State of Florida, you face very serious charges. Human trafficking is considered a second degree felony. Human trafficking penalties include:
- 15 to 30 years in prison maximum
- Federal felony convictions
- Registration as a sexual offender for life
Florida Human Trafficking Laws
Florida law defines human trafficking as "modern-day slavery." The victims of human trafficking include adults, teenagers, and young children. Each year, thousands of human trafficking victims are shipped across international borders throughout the world. Many of these victims are trafficked into the state of Florida each year. Victims of human trafficking include U.S. citizens and people who are trafficked within the United States' borders. The Florida Legislature finds that human trafficking victims are enslaved by fraud, force, or coercion for the purpose of forced labor or sexual exploitation.
Florida State Statute §787.06(2)(d) defines human trafficking as "transporting, soliciting, recruiting, harboring, providing, enticing, maintaining, or obtaining another person for the purpose of exploitation of that person." The law also describes Florida's aims of helping victims and prosecuting the offenders.
- Florida State Statute §787.06(3)(a), Using Coercion for labor or services is a 1st Degree Felony.
- Florida State Statute §787.06(3)(b), Using Coercion for commercial sexual activity is a 1st Degree Felony.
- Florida State Statute §787.06(3), Anyone who knowingly or in reckless disregard of the facts engages in or benefits financially by receiving anything of value from trafficking can be prosecuted.
- Florida State Statute §895.02(1)(a)26, All human trafficking offenses can be prosecuted as RICO offenses in Florida as organized crime.
- Florida State Statute §796.001, Minors cannot consent to commercial sex.
- Florida State Statute §796.07(2)(e), Minors are not subject to arrest/prosecution for offering to commit prostitution. §796.07(2)(e), (effective Oct. 1, 2016).
- Florida State Statute §§796.001; 787.06(3)(g), Buyers of minors for commercial sexual activity may be charged as human traffickers. §796.001; §787.06(3)(g)
- Coercion is not an element of foreign or domestic minor sex trafficking.
Florida Safe Harbor Law §409.1678 maintains that the "dependency track" instead of the "delinquency track" will be the official approach in handling minors discovered to be involved in commercial sex (domestic minor sex trafficking victims). The law also authorizes a number of beds for victims in different locations. It gives law enforcement officers the option of referring minors to DCF safe harbor facilities (with 24-hour supervision) instead of detention facilities.
Penalties for Human Trafficking in Florida
The punishments for Human Trafficking in the State of Florida can increase if:
- coercion was used in the act of committing human trafficking;
- the human trafficking was for services and labor or commercial sexual activity; or
- the human trafficking victim was an unauthorized alien, child, or a mentally disabled person.
Human Trafficking for Services or Labor or Commercial Sexual Activity in Florida
The crime of “Human Trafficking for Labor or Services or Commercial Sexual Activity” is a first-degree felony, and is given a Level 7, 8, or 9 offense severity ranking in accordance with Florida’s Criminal Punishment Code.
If a defendant is convicted of “Human Trafficking for Labor or Services or Commercial Sexual Activity,” a Criminal Justice Judge is required to sentence the defendant to a minimum prison sentence of 21 months and may impose any combination of these penalties:
- Up to thirty (30) thirty years in prison.
- Up to thirty (30) thirty years of probation.
- Up to $10,000 in fines.
Human Trafficking of a Child or Mentally Defective Person for Commercial Sexual Activity in Florida
“Human Trafficking of a Child or Mentally Defective Person for Commercial Sexual Activity” is a crime in the State of Florida and it is sentenced as a “Life Felony” and is charged as a Level 10 criminal offense severity ranking in accordance with Florida’s Criminal Punishment Code.
If an individual is convicted of Human Trafficking, a judge is required to sentence the defendant to a minimum sentence of 66 months in prison and may also add any combination of the following penalties:
- Up to $10,000 in fines.
- Up to Life in prison.
- Up to Life on probation.
Federal Human Trafficking Laws
The Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000 (TVPA) defines "severe forms of human trafficking" as the harboring, recruitment, provision, transportation, or obtaining of an individual for the purpose of either a) sex trafficking in which commercial sex acts are induced by fraud, coercion, force or the victim is induced to perform such acts has not reached the age of 18 years; or provides labor or services by way of force, coercion, or fraud for the purpose of subjection to involuntary peonage, servitude, slavery, or debt bondage.
The federal government aggressively finds and prosecutes human trafficking crimes in sweatshops, agricultural fields, suburban mansions, escort services, brothels, bars, restaurants, and strip clubs. In the past several years, victim-protection provisions, enhanced criminal statutes, and public awareness campaigns as part of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000, along with a sustained commitment to fighting human trafficking, the numbers of human trafficking investigations and human trafficking prosecutions have grown significantly.
Federal Human Trafficking Statutes
18 U.S.C. § 1581 (Peonage)
18 U.S.C. § 1584 (Involuntary Servitude)
18 U.S.C. § 1589 (Forced Labor)
18 U.S.C. § 1590 (Trafficking with Respect to Peonage, Slavery, Involuntary Servitude, or Forced Labor)
18 U.S.C. § 1591 (Sex Trafficking of Children or by Force, Fraud, or Coercion)
18 U.S.C. § 1592 (Unlawful Conduct with Respect to Documents in Furtherance of Trafficking, Peonage, Slavery, Involuntary Servitude, or Forced Labor)
18 U.S.C. § 1593 (Mandatory Restitution)
18 U.S.C. § 1594 (Attempt and Forfeiture)
18 U.S.C. § 1595 (Private Right of Action)
18 U.S.C. § 2423 (Transportation of Minors into Prostitution)
18 U.S.C. § 1546 (Visa Fraud)
Call for a Free Case Evaluation with a Florida Human Trafficking Defense Attorney!
Accusations of human trafficking should not be taken lightly. You must immediately seek the assistance of a fully qualified Florida human trafficking defense lawyer from Musca Law. Failure to hire a lawyer can affect your life in a negative way forever.
Musca Law relentlessly defends clients against all misdemeanor and felony criminal charges throughout the State of Florida. We have over 30 convenient office locations throughout Florida to meet or visit clients no matter where they are in Florida. If you or a family member are being questioned by law enforcement, arrested, or charged with human trafficking in Florida, you need an aggressive Florida Human Trafficking Defense Attorney who is has successfully defended clients is sex crimes trials in Florida. Our Florida Sex Crimes Lawyers are ready 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to discuss your human trafficking case. Call us 24/7 (888) 484-5057.