The Problem of Human Trafficking
Every year, thousands of people are trafficked worldwide. The main purpose of trafficking is to create profits for traffickers by exploiting other people. This exploitation often involves forced prostitution or forced labor.
The word “trafficking” may lead people to believe that this crime always involves transporting people from one place to another against their will. Illegal transportation plays a role in many trafficking cases but transportation is not required for someone to be charged with human trafficking.
Illegal immigration is sometimes associated with human trafficking. However, a person who illegally smuggles people across a border may not necessarily be guilty of trafficking. This is because the people being transported may have been willing to be smuggled. Trafficking implies that the victims have been exploited and forced to do something against their will.
A person may be prosecuted and convicted of human trafficking if they knowingly traffic or transport a human being for the purposes of forced labor or illegal activities. A person may also be charged if they receive profit or benefits by participating in trafficking.
Human Trafficking Penalties
The legal consequences for this crime are severe. Recently, many states enacted tougher laws to create harsher penalties for anyone convicted of human trafficking. For example, in 2003 Texas passed House Bill 2096, which established new penalties for this crime. The penalties can include:
- a second-degree felony conviction, punishable by two to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000
- a first-degree felony conviction for trafficking people under age 18, punishable by five to 99 years in prison
- a first-degree felony conviction for trafficking that results in death, punishable by five to 99 years or life in prison
Texas Trafficking Laws
At the moment, many countries are engaging in wide-ranging efforts to fight human trafficking offenses. In the U.S., some states are taking action by launching investigations into underground criminal networks that engage in trafficking. In 2011, the Texas government proposed the formation of a committee to investigate trafficking in the state.
Getting involved in human distribution is a serious crime in the state of Texas. If convicted, you will face hefty fines. However, by getting a skilled lawyer you can minimize or even eliminate your penalties. Allow Brett A. Podolsky to help you today by calling 713.227.0087.
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