It’s an unfortunate reality that Texas has become a hub for human trafficking due to its vicinity to international borders and ports. In 2017, the National Human Trafficking Hotline reported 792 human trafficking cases in the state. These statistics have caused legislators to spur into action and implement harsh penalties for those accused of human trafficking.
If you or someone you know has been arrested or charged with human trafficking, it’s crucial you have legal representation as soon as possible. The penalties associated with human trafficking are severe and can alter your life forever. You could be sentenced to years in prison and be required to pay expensive fines. The sooner you begin charting out your defense, the better your chances are of having your charges reduced or dismissed. Don’t wait another moment to have legal counsel you can trust to guide you.
Human Trafficking Defense Attorney in Georgetown, Texas
When a person is charged with human trafficking they are normally objected to shame and this negative social stigma could affect the jury’s decision, which means the charges could be especially challenging to defend. It’s important you have representation you can trust such as the guidance from Law Office of Price & Wiggins, P.C..
Attorney Michael J. Price is an experienced sex crimes attorney who has represented numerous clients who were charged with human trafficking or sex trafficking. He’s not only a practiced attorney but has a deep passion for what he does. Get started with your defense by calling (512) 354-1880 to set up your first consultation today.
Law Office of Price & Wiggins, P.C. represents people throughout the greater Georgetown area including Hutto, Liberty Hill, Taylor, Killeen, Temple, Belton and Hacker Heights.
Overview of Human Trafficking in Texas
- Texas Laws for Human Trafficking
- Penalties for Human Trafficking in Texas
- Texas Penalties for Continuous Trafficking of Persons
- Additional Resources
Texas Laws for Human Trafficking
Forcing another person into labor, services or any type of enslavement is illegal. The Penal Code Section 20A.02 states you’re guilty of human trafficking if you:
- Traffic a person or persons into forced labor or services;
- Benefit from a human trafficking scheme, including receiving services from a victim;
- Traffic a person or persons by force, coercion and force the victim to do:
- Compelling prostitution;
- Promoting prostitution; or
- Aggravated prostitution
- Having sexual contact with a sex trafficking victim through fraud, force or coercion;
- Traffic a child or children into services or labor;
- Benefits from a child trafficking scheme;
- Traffic a child or children and force them to do any of the following:
- Employment harmful to children;
- Possession or promotion of child pornography;
- Sexual performance by a child;
- Continuous sexual abuse of young child or children;
- Indecency with a child;
- Promotion of prostitution;
- Aggravated promotion of prostitution;
- Compelling prostitution; or
- Sexual assault
- Engages in sexual contact with a trafficked child
Coercion is defined under the Penal Code refers to the act of destroying, concealing, confiscating or withholding a government records or identifying documents from a trafficked person.
Penalties for Human Trafficking or Sex Trafficking in Texas
The consequences for human trafficking are life-altering. The Penal Code Section 20A.02 states trafficking a person is a second-degree felony, which is punishable by:
- Minimum prison sentence of 2 years;
- Maximum prison sentence of 20 years; and
- A possible fine of up to $10,000
Certain circumstances known as aggravating factors could enhance your penalties, such as:
- Trafficking a child/children for services or labor;
- The offense involved in the death of a human trafficking victim; or
- The unborn child of a trafficking victim died because of the crime
If any of the above factors were included in the crime, then the crime is enhanced to a first-degree felony. The penalties for a first-degree felony include a minimum prison sentence of 5 years but can result in up to 99 years or life in prison.
Continuous Trafficking of Persons Penalties in Texas
When a human trafficking scheme operates on a much larger scale, the penalties are enhanced. If there is more than one victim involved in your human trafficking crime, then it could be charged as continuous trafficking of persons. You can also be charged with continuous smuggling if you were charged with more than one human trafficking offense during a period of 30 continuous days.
Continuous trafficking of a person is a first-degree felony and can lead to:
- Up to 99 years or life in prison; and
- A possible fine of up to $10,000
National Human Trafficking Hotline: Texas Division – Visit the official website of the National Human Trafficking Hotline (NHTH) to learn more about human trafficking and statistics for the crime in Texas. Access the site to staggering numbers on how prevalent human trafficking is in Texas, helpful resources for victims and upcoming events held by NHTH.
Human Trafficking – Visit the official website for Ken Paxton, the Attorney General of Texas to learn more about human and sex trafficking. Access the site to learn more about U.S human trafficking statistics, resources for victims and the Human Trafficking and Transnational/Organized Crime Section (HTTOC) created by Ken Paxton.
Defense Lawyer for Human Trafficking in Williamson County, Texas
If you or someone you know has been charged with human trafficking, it’s imperative you have a criminal defense attorney available to represent you. One great option is to go with Law Office of Price & Wiggins, P.C.. Michael J. Price has been practicing for years and can help you discover your legal options for your charges as well as represent you in court.
Get in contact with attorney Price today by calling (512) 354-1880. He can sit with you, answer your legal questions and do whatever possible to help you. Law Office of Price & Wiggins, P.C. accepts clients throughout the greater Williamson County and Bell County area including Killeen, Georgetown, Belton, Harker Heights and Hutto.
This article was last updated on December 4th, 2019.