Federal Charges for Human Trafficking

 Posted on February 13, 2024 in Human Trafficking

IL federal crimes lawyerHuman trafficking involves the exploitation of people for forced labor or commercial sexual services. To crack down on crime, our judicial system imposes severe penalties for human trafficking offenders.

Human trafficking often involves force, fraud, or coercion to get the victim to perform forced labor or sexual acts. These acts are against the victim’s will but are performed due to financial hardship, emotional vulnerability, or out of fear.

If you have been accused of human trafficking, you need to speak with a Chicago federal criminal lawyer to defend the charges brought against you.

Trafficking Victims Protections Act of 2000

The Trafficking Victims Protections Act of 2000 (TVPA) was created to assist victims of human trafficking by establishing a federal task force to combat such illegal activity. Along with preventing trafficking, the law gives certain federal agencies the power to establish programs that will help victims reintegrate into society.

TVPA also directs the heads of various federal agencies to provide benefits and services to trafficking victims that are also readily available to refugees who are admitted into the country. Additionally, TVPA provides trafficking victims with medical treatment and seeks to protect the victim from being recaptured by his or her attacker.

Federal Penalties for Human Trafficking 

When human trafficking is charged as a federal crime, you will be facing harsher punishments than if you were tried in state court.

United States Code sets out penalties for anyone convicted of federal human trafficking:

18 U.S. Code § 1581

This law imposes a 10-year maximum prison sentence for any person who intends to place or hold a person in peonage. If the death of the victim or any aggravating factors are present, then the accused may be subjected to fines, life in prison, or both.

18 U.S. Code § 1582 

This law imposes a seven-year maximum prison sentence for any person who is involved in transporting or selling persons by ship to be used for slavery or forced labor.

18 U.S. Code § 1583

If you have been charged for enticing or seducing another person to board a ship with the intention of selling the individual into slavery, you could be facing 30 years in federal prison, paying substantial fines, or both.

Aggravating factors, such as attempting to kill, kidnapping, attempted kidnapping, aggravated sexual abuse, or death of the victim, could result in a life sentence.

18 U.S. Code § 1584

If you knowingly or willfully hold a person in involuntary servitude or sell the individual into involuntary servitude, you could be facing 20 years of incarceration, fines, or both. If there are any aggravating factors or if the victim died, you could be sentenced to life in prison.

While it may seem that your situation is hopeless, there are usually defenses to trafficking charges. A Chicago federal criminal lawyer will know what potential defenses may be available in your case.

Consult with our Chicago, IL, Federal Criminal Lawyer Immediately

A federal prosecutor will have federal agencies assist in investigating your case. If you have been charged with human trafficking, you need a Chicago, IL, federal criminal lawyer who has experience defending clients facing similar federal charges.  

Contact Law Offices of Hal M. Garfinkel LLC, Chicago Criminal Defense Attorney online or by calling 312-629-0669 to schedule your free consultation today.

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