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The California Penal Code 236.1 PC defines human trafficking as:
The deprivation of an individual’s personal liberty with an intent to gain services or forced labor from the individual.
The deprivation of an individual’s personal liberty with the intent to break the laws of California regarding pimping and pandering, child pornography, extortion or blackmail, and other laws involving sexual exploitation of children.
The persuasion of attempt to persuade an individual under the age of 18 to participate in a commercial sexual act.
Penalties for Human Trafficking
California passed Proposition 35 in 2012, which is also known as the Californians Against Sexual Exploitation Act. Through this act, new and severe consequences were set in place for those convicted of human trafficking. Human trafficking in California is considered a felony. Individuals who are convicted of human trafficking for forced labor could face five to twelve years in prison and a $500,000 fine.
Those who are convicted of human trafficking with the intent to violate California laws relating to commercial sex, child pornography, or extortion could be sentenced to serve eight to twenty years in a state penitentiary and pay a fine up to $500,000. Furthermore, these individuals will be required to register with the state as a sex offender through the California Sex Offender Registration Act.
For those who are convicted of convincing a minor to participate in a commercial sexual act, they could face five to twelve years in prison. However, if a jury finds evidence that force, fear, or violence was used, then a defendant could face fifteen years to life in prison. The defendant could also be made to pay a fine up to $500,000 and must register with the state as a sex offender through the California Sex Offender Registration Act.
Examples of Human Trafficking
Here are a few examples of human trafficking:
An individual persuades many minor females in Mexico they could have a better life in the United States and could assist them finding work and homes. The individual illegally gets the girls into the country and forces them to work as prostitutes through force or violence.
An individual who owns a business wants to obtain individuals to work at a cheaper rate, so the business owner convinces men and women to come from Mexico to work illegally. The business owner provides a place for the individuals to live. However, the business owner refuses to pay them wages and threatens them through violence. The individual also threatens to turn them in for being in the country illegally.
How to Fight the Charges
There are severe penalties when an individual is charged with human trafficking. It is imperative a person charged with human trafficking obtains an expert legal team with the experience and capabilites to fight the case. There are many ways to fight a human trafficking charge in court, which include:
Being Falsely Accused
There are instances where a frustrated employee decides to lie and falsely accuse his or her boss of human trafficking. When a defendant is falsely accused, it is imperative to have a legal team that can prove without a doubt the accusations are false.
An Was Not Deprived of His or Her Liberty
There are many times when an individual accuses another of human trafficking, but the alleged victim was not deprived of his or her liberty. If an employee believed he or she was not able to leave a place of employment, but a business owner gave no cause for this, then the alleged victim was not deprived of his or her liberty.
A strong defense can ensure those charged with human trafficking have the best defense, which could prevent incarceration, fines, and having to register with the sex offender registry.