Texas law enforcement cracks down on human trafficking, which is the illegal trade of humans. Most often we hear about sex trafficking, but forced labor for farming, housework or even sweatshops is also a very real aspect of human trafficking. If you have been accused of human trafficking, the government is going to come at you with all its resources. That’s why it’s crucial to contact a defense attorney skilled at handling these high stakes, high profile cases as soon as possible.
A Grapevine human trafficking lawyer with our firm can help you understand your legal options and fight to protect your rights. Without guidance from a seasoned criminal defense attorney, it will be difficult to achieve a positive resolution.
Trafficking of Children Versus Adults
Texas Penal Code Section 20A.02 establishes a number of ways that constitute human trafficking – and it differs depending on whether the alleged victim is an adult or a minor.
In order for someone to be convicted of trafficking an adult, the prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant transported the adult victim to another place through coercion, force, or fraud so that they could engage in forced labor, or that the defendant benefitted financially from labor acquired through human trafficking. This labor may be for the purposes of prostitution or pornography, or it may be for any other industrial purpose – from farm work to food service to domestic housekeeping.
Conversely, there is no coercion or force required for a conviction if the trafficked person is a child under the age of 17. In this situation, a defendant may be charged with human trafficking if they transport, harbor, or obtain a minor through any means at all for the purposes of forced sexual services or labor, or if they benefit financially from such labor. If you are facing charges of human trafficking, it’s vital that you contact our experienced lawyers in Grapevine right away.
Potential Punishments Upon Conviction
Trafficking of a human adult is a second-degree felony offense, punishable by two to 20 years in prison and a maximum $10,000 fine. If the act of trafficking results in the victim’s death or the death of their unborn child, this offense is considered a first-degree felony punishable by a prison sentence of five to 99 years.
Regardless of any other extenuating circumstances, anyone convicted of trafficking a minor will face a first-degree felony. In addition, sex trafficking convictions will require defendants to register as sex offenders for the rest of their lives once they are released from prison.
Talk to a Grapevine Human Trafficking Attorney Today
Since human trafficking is such a significant problem in Texas, state authorities are especially harsh when it comes to handling these types of cases. However, being charged with human trafficking does not necessarily guarantee a conviction. A skilled attorney with experience handling these types of case will evaluate your case and discuss defense strategies.
A Grapevine human trafficking lawyer with Varghese Summersett can help you understand exactly what you are facing and work tirelessly on your behalf. Our office offers free initial consultations, so call today to schedule yours.