Human trafficking is known to occur worldwide, and victims are typically trafficked by people unknown to them. In some cases, however, victims are coerced into the varying labors of human trafficking by their own family members. In the United States, familial trafficking is taken seriously, and engaging in any form of trafficking may lead those involved to be prosecuted and charged with a criminal offense.
Whether the victim is a minor or an adult, you may face severe penalties and significant life changes if you are arrested and accused of trafficking a family member. A criminal defense attorney at John D. & Eric G. Johnson Law Firm may help by investigating the circumstances and accusations, analyzing proof in your case, and helping you navigate familial trafficking charges.
What to Know While Navigating Familial Trafficking Charges
Human trafficking cases may become complex because of the local, state, and federal laws that enforce and address human trafficking crimes. Suppose you are an adult arrested for the suspected trafficking of a family member. In that case, there are different steps you can take to best navigate through this process. If you are arrested or accused of human tracking charges, here’s some helpful information:
What You Should Consider After an Arrest
Human trafficking cases and accusations are taken seriously in Louisiana, and perpetrators and defendants have to face the prosecution’s claims. If you are facing trafficking charges, you should:
- Refrain from giving a statement or waiving your Miranda rights.
- Consider seeking an attorney to investigate the case and the circumstances of the human trafficking arrest.
- Refrain from contacting or attempting to speak with the child or family member involved.
- Do not contact any other parties involved in the schemes.
It is essential to understand your rights and how these cases are handled. If you have further questions, a lawyer will be able to help you know what to do following an arrest.
Penalties of Lousiana Human Trafficking Convictions
Sex trafficking is punishable by local, state, and federal laws. Regardless of the nature in which individuals or children are trafficked by those accused, the law outlines the elements in which these crimes are punishable. In human trafficking cases, you may face the following penalties in Louisiana:
- Human trafficking in non-sex labor: $10,000 in fines and imprisoned for no more than 10 years.
- Commercialized sexual activity/trafficking: No more than $15,000 in fines and imprisonment for no more than 20 years.
- Human trafficking of minors: No more than $25,000 in fines, imprisoned for not less than five years and no more than 25 years, five of which are without parole, probation, or sentence suspension.
Facing a criminal conviction and a lawsuit may negatively impact your future, but an attorney may help you build a defense while keeping your future in mind. People convicted of sex crimes, solicitation, and other acts involving children are usually required to register as sex offenders. In these cases, you may experience unfortunate limitations in housing, employment, and other areas of your life. Despite the challenges and difficulties you may face after being accused of a crime, an attorney may best help you towards a better outcome.
Understanding Familial Trafficking in Louisiana
People are usually convicted of trafficking crimes when they knowingly benefit from another’s labor, commonly for sex trading, but labor includes any industry. In familial trafficking cases, there are some elements to consider, such as the age of a trafficking victim, your relation to them, your state, and the nature of the crime.
Louisiana statute 14:46.2. explains human trafficking as “any person to knowingly recruit, harbor, transport, provide, solicit, receive, isolate, entice, obtain, patronize, procure, purchase, hold, restrain, induce, threaten, subject, or maintain the use of another person through fraud, force, or coercion to provide services or labor.”
Based on National Human Trafficking Resource Center, human traffickers are often any of the following:
- Fraudulent business owners, such as massage establishments or hotels
- Employers in industries such as agriculture
- Gangs and local criminal networks
- Family members and intimate partners
- Pimps and those who profit off of prostitution
When family members are involved in trafficking their family members, particularly children, they may face severe penalties. At times, individuals are wrongly accused. Other times, criminal acts may fall under sexual abuse rather than sex trafficking, whether minors are involved or not. Regardless, an attorney may help you ensure your rights are upheld in a courtroom and false evidence is not pinned against you.
How May an Attorney Defend Me in a Human Trafficking Case?
Being arrested for trafficking someone can cause various consequences if you are convicted. In many cases, victims of human trafficking are permitted to sue their traffickers for the damages and suffering the parties imposed on them. When children are forced into trafficking, whether for labor or sex schemes, it may be complex to build a defense without a skilled or experienced attorney.
If you are facing familial trafficking charges, the following defenses are not permitted:
- The person did not know the age of the victim.
- The victim consented to the prohibited activity.
Regardless of the cause for an arrest, every individual has rights and should be aware of the specific laws that affect their case. Our legal team understands the delicacy and sensitivity of these cases, and we will work diligently to investigate all elements of a crime and help our clients navigate through a case. Whether wrongfully accused or involved in a familial trafficking case, you can count on our team to represent you well in a courtroom and refute the prosecution’s case against you.
Consult With an Experienced Criminal Defense Attorney After a Louisiana Familial Trafficking Arrest
At John D. & Eric G. Johnson Law Firm, attorney Eric G. Johnson has many years of experience providing legal services and trustworthy representation for clients in the Louisiana community. Familial trafficking cases require an experienced and knowledgeable defense to help an individual towards a better future.
Fines and jail time often await people convicted of trafficking charges, but your best chance in reducing charges or penalties in Louisiana may lie within our legal services. To schedule a free consultation with our defense lawyer, complete a contact form or call us at (318) 377-1555.