Human trafficking charges are very serious. The 13th Amendment outlaws the act but it remains a prevalent crime in our society today. The penalties of these charges are severe and vary depending on the type of trafficking, force used, duration and victims. Here, we will give a brief overview explaining what human trafficking means in a legal sense and how these charges could affect your life.

Improper means

Human trafficking involves “improper means,” which means that the people being trafficked are unwilling and includes force, abduction, coercion or fraud. Improper means can include:

  • Physical restraint
  • Blackmail
  • Kidnapping or abduction
  • Using and threatening force
  • Financial harm, including debt bondage
  • Abusing power
  • Withholding a passport
  • Using substances, like alcohol or drugs

Labor and exploitation

Human trafficking is most often for labor or sexual exploitation. It can include recruitment, transportation, transfer, obtaining and harboring of people. Businesses, residential areas, online platforms, domestic work and commercial fronts can all be locations for human trafficking.

Penalties of human trafficking

Federal human trafficking penalties include fines and up to 20 years in prison for holding a person against their will in debt slavery. If there is a death, kidnapping, sexual abuse or aggravation, time in prison can increase up to life.

Texas penal code 20A defines the “continuous trafficking of person” as lasting for 30 or more days and two or more instances of the misconduct. This offense is a felony and can result in a prison sentence between 25 and 99 years.

It is important to fully understand human trafficking crimes and their potential effect on your life. Talk to your criminal defense attorney to learn more.