Human Trafficking Attorney Los Angeles

Human trafficking forbids using threats, kidnapping, deception, coercion, or any other means to recruit, transport, harbor, or receive people to benefit financially or have control over them. It can be charged as a state or federal crime. Anyone involved in planning or attempting to commit the crime of human trafficking or helping someone else as an accomplice can be charged. Penalties are severe under both California and federal law, with long prison sentences and steep fines of up to $500,000.

Retaining skilled and experienced counsel early in a human trafficking investigation is necessary to preserve your options and protect your rights as a criminal defendant. As soon as you learn that you might be the target of such an investigation, or upon your arrest, you should contact RP Criminal Defense Law to schedule a consultation to permit our Los Angeles-based criminal defense attorneys to assess the strength of the prosecution’s case and to guide you through the criminal prosecution process.

We are conveniently located in Encino and Ontario. RP Criminal Defense Law provides aggressive, individualized representation backed by experience and a thorough understanding of criminal law and criminal procedure. We know all the players—the police and investigators, the prosecutors in both state and federal jurisdictions, the judges who presided over Los Angeles area criminal courts, and the probation offices overseeing probation and parole.

What Is Human Trafficking?

Human trafficking can be for the purposes of sex and labor trafficking.

  • Sex trafficking: the recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision, obtaining, patronizing, or soliciting of a person for the purpose of a commercial sex act, in which the commercial sex act is induced by force, fraud, or coercion, or in which the person induced to perform such act has not attained 18 years of age
  • Labor trafficking: the recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision, or obtaining of a person for labor or services, through the use of force, fraud, or coercion for the purpose of subjection to involuntary servitude, peonage, debt bondage, or slavery.

Because human trafficking often targets immigrants, language barriers, fear of their traffickers, and the precarious immigration status of the victims often make this an invisible crime, making prosecution difficult. That’s why you want a knowledgeable and skilled attorney to represent you as soon as you become aware of any investigation.

What Is False Imprisonment?

False imprisonment under California Penal Code section 236 defines the crime as the unlawful violation of the personal liberty of another by confining another person against their will and without legal authority to do so. False imprisonment can be charged as a misdemeanor or as a felony. Many times false imprisonment is also charged in prosecutions for human trafficking. How many charges are brought in a single indictment telegraphs the prosecution’s strategy, a strategy that can be recognized and accommodated by experienced criminal defense attorneys.

What Are the Penalties for Human Trafficking in California?

Unlike false imprisonment, in California, human trafficking is always prosecuted as a felony, which increases the penalties upon conviction. A conviction for human trafficking without enhancements under California Penal Code sec 236.1(a) can result in a prison sentence of up to 12 years and a fine of $500,000, to ensure that the convicted defendant has not benefited from the crime. Under California Penal Code sec 236.1(b), a conviction involving pandering, pimping, or child pornography ups the penalty to up to 20 years in prison, a fine of $500,000, and lifelong registration as a sex offender.

If convicted under California Penal Code sec 136.1(c), persuading a minor to engage in a commercial sex act, a prison sentence of up to 12 years and a fine of $500,000 will be imposed, as well as registration as a sex offender.

Certain enhancements such as inflicting great bodily harm to the victim or engaging in human trafficking as part of gang activity, will increase penalties, adding an additional 2-10 years to any prison sentence.

Legal Defense for Human Trafficking Charges

Every criminal prosecution is unique and requires an astute assessment of all phases of the government’s investigation, including how the police conducted themselves and the reputations of the various prosecutors. Legal defense is crafted to ascertain whether police investigations were conducted within the framework of constitutional and statutory rights of the defendant and around the weaknesses of the prosecution’s case.

At RP Criminal Defense Law, we are alert to how certain police departments operate and know how to question officers to fully examine the methods used by police to gather evidence and identify witnesses. We know the prosecutors in Los Angeles area jurisdictions so that we know how they operate. Whether defending a charge of human trafficking by claiming willing participation in the activities, misidentification, or false charges to gain sympathy or favorable treatment by cooperating with authorities, or out of anger and revenge, at RP Criminal Defense Law, APC we craft a defense based on the facts and the personalities of the government officials.

Human Trafficking Defense Attorney Serving Los Angeles & San Bernadino

Facing a charge of human trafficking can be daunting. You deserve a fair assessment of the strength of the prosecution’s case to determine how best to proceed. You also deserve representation that will bring skill and expertise to examining the police reports and investigatory files, an independent investigation and laboratory testing to understand the weight of evidence fully, and the savvy one gets from years of experience representing criminal defendants in the Los Angeles and San Bernadino courts. Our offices are conveniently located in Encino and Ontario. Only seasoned criminal defense attorneys can realistically evaluate the evidence, the credibility of witnesses, and the predilection of the trial judge. Contact us today for your initial consultation. A $250 fee will be charged, and credited to your account if RP Criminal Defense Law is retained.