Human Trafficking Defense
Houston Human Trafficking Lawyers :: The Law Office of Matthew D. Sharp
Human trafficking, also known as modern-day slavery, is quite common in the Houston area due to an abundance of air and water transportation. Convicted human traffickers are subject to significant criminal and civil penalties. On the other hand, false allegations related to the trafficking of human beings are also prevalent in the state of Texas. Law enforcement personnel and criminal prosecutors are determined to reduce the incentive to profit from human slavery. When someone is erroneously charged with human trafficking, the legal representation of a qualified human trafficking lawyer in Houston, TX could be the difference between remaining free and going to prison.
Modern Slavery in Texas
Although it’s against the law, modern-day human slavery is a thriving enterprise in the Greater Houston Area. It’s also true that a substantial amount of victims are minor children. These young people are often used to provide child labor or engage in unlawful sex acts. Texas law specifically prohibits human slavery activities such as enticing, recruiting, transporting or providing human beings.
Types of Human Trafficking
Child sex trafficking often involves children who are as young as 12 or 13 years of age. Many of these victims are subjected to sexual assault, child sexual abuse, false imprisonment, kidnapping and various labor law violations. Not only are Texas human trafficking laws difficult to interpret, overly exuberant prosecutors frequently accuse people of committing human trafficking or sex trafficking even when the available evidence doesn’t support the allegations. The following activities are prohibited in Chapter 20A of the Texas Penal Code:
- Knowingly trafficking for the purpose of using a person for forced or harmful labor
- Knowingly benefiting from human slavery activities
- Engaging in or benefitting from a child sex act
- Subjecting a trafficking victim to continuous sexual abuse, prostitution or illegal forms of pornography
Penalties for the Trafficking of Humans
As with most criminal felonies, the exact punishment for a trafficking of persons conviction will vary in accordance with the defendant’s prior criminal record and whether a weapon was employed to commit the crime. Nevertheless, trafficking of human beings is a serious criminal offense that usually results in a first-degree felony. This could mean anywhere from five to 99 years in prison, a maximum fine of $10,000 and mandatory sex offender registration.
Meet With a Human Trafficking Lawyer in Houston, TX
Even though the prosecution is legally required to prove every element of a human trafficking charge beyond a reasonable doubt, this seldom happens unless a knowledgeable criminal attorney has been retained by the defendant. Attorneys at The Law Office of Matthew D. Sharp are experts at defending trafficking of persons and will fight hard to protect your rights. For a free initial consultation, call The Law Office of Matthew D. Sharp right now.