Human Trafficking Allegations Are Serious, You Need The Right Attorney To Defend You
Human trafficking is one of the most serious criminal charges you can face. It involves using people for commercial or sexual exploitation, including forced labor, marriages, organ extraction, surrogacy or sexual slavery. If you face human trafficking charges in Texas, you need to contact an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible to begin preparing your defense.
At The Cantú Law Firm, I defend clients in Laredo and throughout South Texas against damaging human trafficking charges. As a former prosecutor, I have seen both sides of the criminal justice system, giving me a unique insight into the strategies and tactics prosecutors use. I use this knowledge to create impactful defenses for my clients that fights for the most favorable outcome in their case.
Human Trafficking Carries Harsh Penalties
With close proximity to the United States – Mexico border, Texas and the United States takes human trafficking seriously and aggressively prosecutes and punishes trafficking crimes.
Human trafficking can include using a person for:
- Forced labor
- Involuntary servitude
- Forced marriage
- Sexual slavery
- Organ extraction
A human trafficking conviction can lead to a variety of penalties depending on the severity of the case, past criminal history and if you used a weapon to commit the crime. Typically, a trafficking conviction is charged as a first-degree felony, which can lead to up to 99 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000. If the crime involved sex trafficking, you may face additional penalties, such as registering as a sex offender.
Understanding Federal Statute Law Title 8 USC 1324
Title 8 USC 1324 defines a set of crimes that constitute human trafficking. Depending on the severity of the crime and whether the human trafficking was done for commercial advantage or private financial gain, most penalties include fines and imprisonment from one to five years. In cases involving bodily harm or death, punishment may include a death sentence or a sentence of up to life in prison. Listed below are the specific crimes outlined in Title 8 USC 1324 by the United States Department of Justice.
- 8 U.S.C. 1324(a)(1)(A)(i) (alien smuggling and conspiracy)
makes it an offense for any person who — knowing that a person is an alien, to bring to or attempts to bring to the United States in any manner whatsoever such person at a place other than a designated port of entry or place other than as designated by the Commissioner.
- 8 U.S.C. 1324(a)(1)(A)(ii) makes it an offense for any person who — knowing or in reckless disregard of the fact that an alien has come to, entered, or remains in the United States in violation of law, transports, or moves or attempts to transport or move such alien within the United States.
- 8 U.S.C. 1324(a)(1)(A)(iii) makes it an offense for any person who — knowing or in reckless disregard of the fact that an alien has come to, entered, or remains in the United States in violation of law, conceals harbors, or shields from detection, or attempts to conceal, harbor, or shield from detection, such alien in any place, including any building or any means of transportation.
- 8 U.S.C 1324(a)(1)(A)(iv) makes it an offense for any person who — encourages or induces an alien to come to, enter, or reside in the United States, knowing or in reckless disregard of the fact that such coming to, entry, or residence is or will be in violation of law.
- 8 U.S.C. 1324(a)(1)(A)(v) expressly makes it an offense to engage in a conspiracy to commit or aid or abet the commission of the foregoing offenses.
- 8 U.S.C 1324(a)(2) makes it an offense for any person who — knowing or in reckless disregard of the fact that an alien has not received prior authorization to come to, enter, or reside in the United States, to bring to or attempts to bring to the United States in any manner whatsoever.
- 8 U.S.C. 1324(a)(3)(A) makes it an offense for any person, during any 12-month period, to knowingly hire at least 10 individuals with actual knowledge that these individuals are unauthorized aliens.
Don’t Wait To Get Started On Your Case
Human trafficking is a growing problem in the United States and throughout the world. Law enforcement and federal authorities take these crimes very seriously and will harshly prosecute anyone suspected of such a crime. If you face a trafficking charge, contact me as soon as possible to get started on your defense. Call me at 956-468-3589 or complete my online contact form to schedule a consultation at my Laredo office. For your convenience, I can assist clients in English and Spanish.