Human Trafficking in Florida

Human trafficking involves the sexual exploitation or forced labor of another person. Human Trafficking is considered a form of modern day slavery and is aggressively prosecuted in Florida.

If accused of Human Trafficking in Florida, you need to know the:

Definition of Human Trafficking

Under Florida Statute Florida Statute 787.06, the crime of Human Trafficking is committed when a person knowingly, or in reckless disregard of the facts, engages in or financially benefits from transporting, soliciting, recruiting, harboring, providing, enticing, maintaining, or obtaining another person for the purpose of exploitation of that person for labor, services, or commercial sexual activity.

Human Trafficking Victims: Adult-Child Distinctions

If an adult is alleged to have been a victim of human trafficking, the prosecutor must prove that the adult victim was coerced into performing labor, services, or commercial sexual activity.

On the other hand, if a child is alleged to have been a victim of human trafficking, the prosecutor does not need to prove that the child was coerced into performing labor, services, or commercial sexual activity.

As a result, simply exploiting a child for the purpose of labor, services, or commercial sexual activity would support a Human Trafficking conviction.

Penalties for Human Trafficking

The minimum and maximum penalties for Human Trafficking increase based upon whether:

  • coercion was used during the human trafficking;
  • the human trafficking was for labor and services or commercial sexual activity; or
  • the human trafficking victim was a child, unauthorized alien, or mentally impaired person.

Human Trafficking for Labor or Services or Commercial Sexual Activity

The crime of Human Trafficking for Labor or Services or Commercial Sexual Activity is classified as a First Degree Felony and is assigned either a Level 7, 8, or 9 offense severity ranking under Florida's Criminal Punishment Code.

If convicted of Human Trafficking for Labor or Services or Commercial Sexual Activity, a judge is required to impose a minimum sentence of approximately 21 months in prison absent grounds to impose a downward departure sentence and can also impose any combination of the following penalties:

  • Up to thirty (30) years in prison.
  • Up to thirty (30) years of probation.
  • Up to $10,000 in fines.

Human Trafficking of a Child or Mentally Defective Person for Commercial Sexual Activity

The crime of Human Trafficking of a Child or Mentally Defective Person for Commercial Sexual Activity is classified as a Life Felony and is assigned a Level 10 offense severity ranking under Florida's Criminal Punishment Code.

If convicted of Human Trafficking, a judge is required to impose a minimum sentence of approximately 66 months in prison absent grounds to impose a downward departure sentence and can also impose any combination of the following penalties:

  • Up to Life in prison.
  • Up to Life on probation.
  • Up to $10,000 in fines.

Defenses to Human Trafficking

In addition to the pretrial defenses and trial defenses that can be raised in any criminal case, common defenses to the crime of Human Trafficking are:

Prostitution

It is a defense to the crime of Human Trafficking for Commercial Sexual Activity if it can be shown that the victim was voluntarily engaged in prostitution and had not been exploited or coerced into engaging in the prostitution.

As a result, a person who hired a prostitute from a classified ad would not be guilty of Human Trafficking, although they would likely be guilty of Solicitation of Prostitution.

Likewise, a person who formed a business partnership with a prostitute might not be guilty of Human Trafficking for Commercial Sexual Activity, although they would likely be guilty of the lesser crime of Deriving Support from the Proceeds of Prostitution.

Contact Criminal Defense Lawyer Richard Hornsby

If you have been arrested or charged with the crime of Human Trafficking in Central Florida or the greater Orlando area, please contact Criminal Defense Lawyer today.

The initial consultation is free and I am always available to advise you on the proper course of action that can be taken.