Human trafficking has been an ongoing issue in Texas. In 2017, the National Human Trafficking Hotline reported 792 human trafficking cases in the state. This made Texas one of the largest contributors to human trafficking in the nation. The mounting pressure to catch traffickers has caused the District Attorney’s Office to aggressively prosecute each human trafficking case.
The term “human trafficking” is frequently referred to as a modern-day form of slavery. People who were forced into labor, sexual slavery, commercial sexual exploitation, marriages or other forms of servitude would be considered victims of human trafficking. Since Texas shares an international border, it’s become a hub for human traffickers.
If you or someone you know has been charged with human trafficking, it’s crucial you gain legal representation. The sooner you begin charting out your defense, the better your chances will be for reduced or dismissed charges.
The shame associated with human trafficking could influence the jury’s decision, making the charge challenging to defend. It’s imperative you have quality legal representation before moving forward. Find that today by calling the attorneys at [frim]. We can provide a sturdy defense for you by collecting evidence, filling motions and using our extensive resources.
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Overview of Human Trafficking Charges in Texas
It’s unlawful to force another person into labor, services or any type of enslavement. The Texas Penal Code § 20A.02 states you’re committing human trafficking if you:
The term “coercion” refers to the act of confiscating, destroying, concealing or withholding government records or identifying documents from a trafficked person.
The penalties associated with human trafficking are especially harsh. Texas Penal Code § 20A.02 states human trafficking is a second-degree felony, which is punishable by:
Certain factors could enhance your penalties, such as:
It’s a first-degree felony if your case includes any of the factors mentioned above. A first-degree felony is the second highest offense under capital felony. It has a minimum prison sentence of 5 years but can result in up to 99 years or life in prison.
Some human trafficking schemes operate on a much larger scale. If you have more than one victim involved in your crime, then it may be considered “continuous trafficking of persons.” You can be found guilty if you did the following:
Continuous trafficking of a person is a first-degree felony, which is punishable by:
It’s hard to believe that a form of slavery is happening in the U.S. every day. Because of this, it’s important to know the signs of human trafficking. Victims of human trafficking can be found in broad daylight “working” at local businesses such as massage parlors. Listed below are some signs that a person may be a victim of human trafficking.
National Human Trafficking Hotline: Texas Division – Visit the official website of the National Human Trafficking Hotline (NHTH) to learn more about human trafficking in Texas. Access the site to learn statistics for human trafficking in Texas, resources for victims and upcoming events held by NHTH.
Human Trafficking – Visit the official website for Ken Paxton, the Attorney General of Texas to learn more about human trafficking. Access the site to learn more about U.S human trafficking statistics and the Human Trafficking and Transnational/Organized Crime Section (HTTOC) created by Ken Paxton.
If you or someone you know has been charged with human trafficking, it’s crucial you contact an experienced criminal defense attorney. A skilled attorney can assess your charges and uncover any available legal options. [firm] understands the intense social stigma entailing human trafficking allegations, which is why it’s our mission to provide you with the best quality legal service possible.
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This article was last updated March 7th, 2019.