Human trafficking can be defined as the contemporary term which defines slavery or as the definition so aptly puts it:
“Illegal trade or sale of human beings for the commercial uses of sexual exploitation or forced labor.”
As the Polaris Project states, the number of people, mostly children and women, is unknown even though the estimate is in hundreds and thousands. The federal government has reported having been asked for more investigations and prosecutions for the sex trafficking than that of labor trafficking.
Thus, if you have been accused of human trafficking in the state of Virginia, it is very important that you get the services of Virginia human trafficking lawyer with the professional experience in handling all these various types of cases in the federal court.
To meet the standards of the human trafficking, be it federal or state, it has to be proven that the defendant themselves tried to engage in the transportation, recruitment, providing, solicitation, harboring or obtaining of people for transport purposes; irrespective of whether this was against the person’s will or done with their consent. This situation can easily be determined by using one of the following conditions:
- The defendant was financially profited by obtaining something worthwhile through their participation
- The defendant had direct knowledge and interest in the transport
What Constitutes Human Trafficking?
When facing human trafficking charges, it is most likely that one of the following applies:
- Sex trafficking of women and/or children takes place when the alleged offender forces the victims into miserable conditions; then forces them to participate in prostitution, strip club dancing, acting in pornographic films and/or videos, and other types of involuntary sexual services. Usually, victims are fugitive teenagers, vagrant people, refugees, and drug addicts.
- It might be an investigation of bondage labor or “debt slavery,” which is a type of reimbursement for a mortgage or deal where the terms and conditions of the “agreement” have not been clearly defined for the “indentured” individual. This leads to the quality along with the length of work being accomplished by this specific person as disproportionally larger than the sum of money required or the value of the trafficker’s service which was originally “on loan.”
- Trafficking can also be defined as the illegal transportation of people in an effort to bypass the US immigration laws. In numerous cases, bonded labor and human trafficking go hand in hand.
Human Trafficking Penalties in VA
In the Commonwealth of Virginia, the trial for human trafficking is spoken as a sex crime which comes under the statute which administers the taking, keeping or confining of a person against their will for prostitution. Per se, the penalties are really straightforward. A Class four felony conviction has approximately 2 to 10 years in prison. It might also carry a possible fine of up to $100,000 fine. As mentioned earlier, there might be other charges which are folded into a human sex trafficking case, numerous of which are austere felonies which can lead to extremely long-term prison sentences.
Federal punishment for the sexual human trafficking offenses comes in the range from imprisonment of some years to a life sentence. The United States of America has begun to charge human sex trafficking offenses under the laws which govern Homeland Security, particularly those which involve illegal migration. If you are currently facing this type of prosecution, you are in a very serious situation and ought to contact a well qualified criminal defense attorney straight away.