Human trafficking refers to transporting people through different cities, states, and counties for forced labor or sexual exploitation. This crime is especially prevalent with undocumented immigrants and children who have run away from their home.
Both state and federal charges for human trafficking carry steep penalties. In recent years, state legislatures have moved to increase the penalties for this offense. If you are facing criminal charges for human trafficking, it is imperative that you speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney immediately. You will be at a substantial disadvantage if you attempt to take on your case without a Lincoln human trafficking lawyer.
Human Trafficking Offenses in Lincoln
Because human trafficking frequently occurs across state lines, the federal government typically prosecutes these cases. However, the state government could pursue charges against the accused party as well. Human trafficking is illegal under Nebraska Revised Statutes § 28-830. This statute distinguishes between two human trafficking offenses: forced labor and sex trafficking.
Forced labor involves the recruitment or enticement of a person over the age of 18 with the intention of forcing them to work without pay. The state may charge an individual with this offense for simply attempting labor trafficking.
Sex trafficking involves purposeful recruitment, enticement, or transportation of individuals over the age of 18 for non-consensual sexual activity. Like labor trafficking, merely attempting to engage in sex trafficking is a violation of state law.
The statute referenced above defines non-consensual sex acts as any sexual activity compelled through the use of force, threat of violence, or deception. Allegations of human trafficking are serious, making the guidance of a skilled lawyer indispensable in these cases.
What Are the Penalties for Sex and Labor Trafficking?
The sentences that can come with state human trafficking convictions are significant. Trafficking is generally a Class II felony, but it becomes a Class IB felony when it involves minors. A Class IB felony can carry a sentence of 20 years to life in prison. Alternatively, a Class II felony conviction can lead to as much as 50 years in state prison.
Even the act of knowingly benefiting from human trafficking could lead to a 20-year prison sentence under state law as it is considered a Class IIA felony in Nebraska. A dedicated criminal defense lawyer at Berry Law can help you build a defense to fight your human trafficking charges and the subsequent penalties.
Federal Human Trafficking Laws
On the federal level, human trafficking is illegal according to the Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA) of 2000, stated in 18 U.S.C. § 1581. This statute carries steep fines and prison time upon conviction. The law also allows the federal government to charge individuals involved in a trafficking scheme under the Racketeering Influenced Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act.
The penalties for human trafficking under federal law are also severe. In many cases, they can lead to terms in federal prison of 20 years or more. Penalties also frequently involve paying restitution. Seeking guidance from a defense attorney in Lincoln can be essential in helping you put together an effective defense strategy for your federal human trafficking charges.
Reach Out to a Lincoln Human Trafficking Attorney
Human trafficking is one of the most severe offenses that exist under state or federal law. If law enforcement has accused you of human trafficking, it is vital that you speak to an attorney right away.
A Lincoln human trafficking lawyer can help you pursue an aggressive defense against these charges. Call today to schedule a confidential consultation right away.