San Diego County Human Trafficking Defense Attorney
In San Diego County, human trafficking is a serious crime that is always a felony. If you are charged with human trafficking, you must get legal help immediately to counteract the accusation. To know more about the crime you are involved in, read on.
Human trafficking is defined under Penal Code 236.1 as the 1) taking away of a person’s freedom or liberty with the intent of forcing him to provide service or labor; 2) taking away of a person’s freedom or liberty with the intent to deliberately violate the pimping and pandering laws, laws against extortion and blackmail, child pornography laws, and other laws tackling commercial sexual activity as well as the sexual exploitation of children in California; 3) intentional persuasion or attempt to persuade a minor to get involved in any commercial sex act and violation of the aforementioned laws.
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Legal Definition of Human Trafficking
Depending on each section, Penal Code 236.1 lists distinct definitions of human trafficking for differing situations. Here are the following:
Forced Labor or Services Under Penal Code 236.1(a)
To prosecute a person due to forced labor or services listed in Penal Code 236.1(a), the following elements of human trafficking must be proven by the prosecution:
- Deprivation of the victim’s liberty;
- The unlawful intent to obtain money from forced labor or services.
If you use coercion, threat, fear, deception, violence, menace, duress, etc. to restrict or strip a person of his right to liberty, then what you are doing is deprivation.
Forced labor and services, on the other hand, are acquired through the use of deception, fear, threat, violence, menace, coercion, duress, or other things that will gain control over a person’s liberty. The labor may be in the form of slavery or an income-generating job.
Human Trafficking for the Purposes of Child Pornography, Extortion, or Pimping under Penal Code 236.1(b)
Committing the crime of human trafficking for the purposes of child pornography, extortion, or pimping involves the following elements:
- Deprivation or violation of a person’s liberty;
- Commission of one of the specified crimes in Penal Code 236.1(b)
The crimes correlated to human trafficking under Penal Code 236.1(b) include the following:
- Deception of a minor (under 18 years of age) to engage in sexual exploitation or prostitution (Penal Code 266);
- Pimping (Penal Code 266h);
- Pandering (Penal Code 266i);
- Acquisition of a minor (under 16 years of age) for corrupt or obscene acts (Penal Code 266j);
- The kidnapping of a minor (under 18 years of age) for the purpose of prostitution (Penal Code 267);
- Transportation or distribution of child pornography (Penal Code 311.1 or 311.2);
- Development, duplication, printing, or exchange of child pornography (Penal Code 311.3);
- Employment of minors (under 18 years of age) to engage in child pornography (Penal Code 311.4);
- Advertisement of indecent or salacious material (Penal Code 311.5);
- Production of lascivious live performances (Penal Code 311.6), and
- Blackmail or extortion (Penal Code 311.7).
Coercion of Minor to Engage in Commercial Sex under Penal Code 236.1(c)
Whoever coerces a minor (under 18 years of age) to participate in commercial sex commits the crime of human trafficking. The conviction of this crime occurs after the prosecution demonstrates the existence of the following elements:
- Persuasion, coaxing, or deception of a minor to participate in commercial sex;
- The unlawful intent to perform the criminal acts listed in section b of Penal Code 236.1.
Although there was no deprivation of a person or minor’s liberty, if you force or persuaded a minor to engage in commercial sex or violate the laws listed above, then you may be convicted of human trafficking in California.
Possible Defenses to Human Trafficking Charges
A professional attorney will be the mouthpiece of your strong defenses. Human trafficking is punishable by lengthy prison sentences and heavy penalties as you face an appalling social stigma in San Diego County, CA. With a criminal defense lawyer, the prosecution will be opposed accordingly in a legal approach.
The possible defenses that you and your lawyer can utilize in court are as follows:
Mistake of Fact
Mistake of fact as a legal defense excludes the defendant’s unlawful intent to commit human trafficking. The acts are reasonably justified while proving that there was no intent to involve any forced labor or services to obtain money nor deprive the plaintiff of his liberty.
For instance, the defendant helped a friend look for a job, so she introduced her to a person who happens to be an employer in a field that interests her. Later on, they both found out that the employer sends off people to entertainment bars where people are paying money for sex.
A false accusation can be used as a legal defense in court if the defendant was not involved in the crime, but he was falsely accused due to some reasons or circumstances. It may be effective, especially if there is no sufficient evidence to support the prosecution’s claim. The reasons may include the plaintiff’s anger, jealousy, intimidation, and other negative feelings against the defendant.
No deprivation of the victim’s liberty
There are many cases in which a person was given an unwarranted accusation. Under specific circumstances, the victim or plaintiff thinks that he was deprived of his liberty when, in reality, the alleged offender did not make himself a criminally liable person with his actions or words. There was no unlawful intent to commit human trafficking or violate the laws under Penal Code 236.1.
Get Legal Help from Lee Law Group
Lee Law Group is a reputable legal company in San Diego County. We have a group of criminal defense attorneys who can convince the court to spare you from the peril of jail sentences and hefty fines. We will use our years of experience in the field and specialized knowledge to plot the best defense for your case and guide you from the beginning until you overcome the court litigation. In Lee Law Group, we are committed to providing you with professional and competitive legal services that will help you regain your liberty and good reputation.
Call Lee Law Group at (619) 349-1588 and book a free consultation with us now!