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Since the enactment of Proposition 35 in California, the penalties for Human trafficking are very clear on the severity of consequences for conviction of this crime. The Californians Against Sexual Exploitation Act (Prop 35) was placed on the 2012 ballot and voted for by 81 percent of Californians.
In California, human trafficking is defined in three ways:
Prop 35 enabled an increase in penalties for committing acts of this felony crime such as. Some of the changes include:
Many people don’t understand what human trafficking is or how easily it can be to fall victim to a human trafficker.
Outside of legal terms, human trafficking is modern-day slavery. The U.S. State Department reports that more than 800,000 people are trafficked in the United States alone and 80 percent of those people are women and girls. 80 percent of all human trafficking in the U.S. is for sexual exploitation while only 19 percent is for purposes of forced labor.
The many different ways people are trafficked and include:
The National Human Trafficking Resource Center (NHTRC) reports that California has the highest reported sex-trafficking victims, with Los Angeles listed as the number one city for human trafficking on the FBI list. San Francisco and San Diego were also in the top 13 cities.
Some people are under the misconception that there is no defense for any of the crimes under the penal code for human trafficking which includes:
An attorney can fight a criminal defense charge of human trafficking on the following grounds:
You were falsely accused
There have been instances where having an undocumented person employed in a home has led to human trafficking charges although the person was not forced or held against their will. Perhaps a parent innocently photographed their child in the bathtub as so many parents have done throughout the years, they placed that photo on social media and are then accused of the sexual exploitation of a child. Many innocent scenarios such as these have led to human trafficking charges.
You did not actually deprive the accuser of their liberty
It is important to remember that no evidence of force, coercion, or abuse is needed for a victim to bring a lawsuit against someone for human trafficking. If no evidence of the charges is found, the accused is released from any responsibility a conviction would have incurred, however, the accused will need a defense attorney for representation against those charges as the consequences of conviction are severe.
You made a mistake of fact
In criminal law, a “mistake of fact” can be a defense if it is reasonable. A mistake of fact means that a person may be defended to limit their criminal liability due to the fact that they were operating not for a criminal purpose but because they acted from an incorrect assumption.
If you’ve been charged with any of the felony crimes under the Penal Codes for human trafficking you will need a criminal defense attorney to defend you against the severe nature of these charges.