Cecil County Human Trafficking Lawyer
A Cecil County human trafficking lawyer could help in numerous ways if you have been accused of actions related to human trafficking offenses. Even if criminal charges have not yet been filed, a defense attorney could help you take proactive steps to reduce potential adverse consequences. Moreover, an attorney could help you understand your rights and how to protect them.
In their zeal to protect vulnerable members of society, law enforcement officials may bring charges of human trafficking in situations where they do not apply. Working with an experienced defense lawyer right from the start allows your attorney to collect the best available evidence and advocate on your behalf to help reach a positive outcome.
Overview of Human Trafficking Offenses
Human trafficking could mean different things in different contexts. Many times, human trafficking refers to activities connected with sex crimes where individuals are unlawfully coerced into participating in sexual acts or performances. In other situations, the term human trafficking is used in connection with unlawful detention for labor.
Both state and federal laws prohibit various actions connected with human trafficking, which means that crimes could be investigated and prosecuted by both federal and state officials. A Cecil County human trafficking attorney who understands how courts handle these offenses could evaluate a situation, explain potential ramifications, and devise a solid defense strategy.
Penalties Under State Law
Sex trafficking offenses may be prosecuted under Md. Code, Crim. Law §11-303. If minors are involved, which is often the case, then prohibited activities are treated as felonies punishable by up to 25 years in prison. Those guilty may also be fined up to $15,000.
In situations where minors are not involved, human trafficking is nominally referred to as a misdemeanor under the statute. However, those convicted still may be imprisoned for up to ten years and required to pay a $5,000 fine, so the penalties are as severe as those for felonies in most jurisdictions.
A Cecil County human trafficking attorney may be able to seek alternative penalties. It is worth noting if an individual is prosecuted under the federal Trafficking Victims Protection Act or other federal statutes, penalties could be even more onerous.
Many Actions May Be Prosecuted in Connection with Human Trafficking
Allegations of human trafficking may extend to many different types of actions. Those conceived to have aided in or profited from human trafficking may be treated just as severely as those engaged in direct sex trafficking activities. Someone may be convicted with sex trafficking for:
- Allowing their minor child to participate in prostitution
- Hiding passports in connection with prostitution or trafficking operations
- Participating in a “scheme” in which individuals are led to believe that they or others would be harmed if they do not participate in sexually explicit performances
- Taking or placing an individual in a location for prostitution
- Persuading someone to go somewhere for prostitution
- Receiving consideration for procuring prostitution
- Engaging in online sites for the purposes of trafficking
Some of the activities that had been treated less severely under older laws are now penalized much more harshly now that they are labeled “human trafficking.” However, an individual must commit a violation “knowingly” to be found guilty, so in some situations, a Cecil County human trafficking attorney may be able to show that an individual accused was not aware of the human trafficking scheme or activities.
Work with a Cecil County Human Trafficking Attorney
Accusations involving human trafficking may have far-reaching effects. It is wise to take all available opportunities to combat allegations and work toward a positive outcome.
If you were arrested in a sting operation and accused of human trafficking offenses, an experienced Cecil County human trafficking lawyer who understands state and federal trafficking cases could help protect your rights and fight for your interests throughout the process. For a confidential consultation to learn more about how a dedicated attorney could help in your situation, call now.