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Tampa Human Trafficking Lawyer

Human trafficking is one of the fastest growing criminal enterprises. It is a worldwide problem, with over a million annual victims right here in the US. Some are sold into slave labor or near-slave-labor-like conditions, others are forced into the slave trade, and countless more are sold into domestic servitude. Many victims of human trafficking are children and teenagers, who eventually become victims of malnourishment, beatings, rape, and an early death. As one can imagine, a conviction for human trafficking carries a severe penalty—up to two decades in prison. If you were arrested for human trafficking, you need to contact a Tampa human trafficking lawyer as soon as possible. The Matassini Law Firm, P.A. represents individuals who have been wrongly accused of human trafficking by clearing their name through dismissal, or by working diligently to have their penalties drastically reduced.

What is Human Trafficking?

According to the the Department of Justice, human trafficking, or forced labor, is “the recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision, or obtaining of a person for labor or services, through the use of force, fraud, or coercion for the purpose of subjection to involuntary servitude, peonage, debt bondage, or slavery.” Victims of human trafficking are usually subjected to one or more of the following types of forced servitude:

  • Sex trafficking
  • Sexual exploitation of children, including pornography
  • Domestic servitude
  • Forced labor in the agricultural industry
  • Forced labor in factories or warehouses
  • Forced labor in the construction industry
  • Forced labor on the service industry
  • Forced labor in janitorial services
  • Forced labor in salons
  • Debt bondage

Penalties for a Human Trafficking Conviction

Federal penalties for human trafficking include a prison sentence of up to 20 years. If any of the following occurred during the offense, the prison term can be extended to life behind bars:

  • Kidnapping
  • Attempted kidnapping
  • Aggravated sexual abuse
  • Attempted aggravated sexual abuse
  • Attempted murder
  • Murder

If the individuals were trafficked within Florida’s borders, the crime will be punished at the state level, as opposed to federal. Human trafficking is a class 1 felony in Florida, penalized by up to 30 years in prison. Enhanced penalites apply if the victim is a minor, or serious injury, death, or sexual assault occurred.

Defenses to Human Trafficking

While human trafficking does not actually have to involve trafficking or transporting human beings, there does have to be an element of coercion, force, exploitation, kidnapping, etc. As such, prosecutors have to prove that this element took place. One defense to human trafficking charges is to establish that the alleged victim or victims in question were willingly cooperating with whatever activities that took place. This defense may result in a smaller offense, such as alien smuggling or wage theft, both of which are smaller crimes than human trafficking.

Call a Tampa Human Trafficking Lawyer Today

No one should ever take an accusation of human trafficking lightly. If you were arrested or are under investigation, it is in your best interest to call a Tampa human trafficking lawyer immediately. Call The Matassini Law Firm, P.A. today at 813-217-5715 to schedule a free consultation.

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A crisis in your life calls for capable and compassionate assistance. The Matassini Law Firm, P.A. addresses your needs all the way through the legal process. For your free initial confidential conference with one of our Tampa car accident attorneys, call us today at 813-217-5715 or contact us online.

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