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Detroit Legal Blog

What is Human Trafficking?

Nov 29, 2017, by Maurice Davis in Legal Blog

A variety of crimes involving abuse and intimidation of victims can be considered acts of human trafficking. Victims of human trafficking are often especially vulnerable, finding themselves exploited by others. For this reason, many laws have been enacted within the United States that reflect the how strongly the public finds human trafficking to be a serious problem. These cases can occur anywhere, but the Detroit area sees many instances of human trafficking due to its large transport infrastructure and proximity to an international border.

If you or somebody you know may be a victim of a human trafficking crime, seek police help immediately. Conversely, if you have been charged with crimes related to human trafficking, you may be facing large fines and several years in prison. To speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney who understands human trafficking cases, contact Davis Law Group today.

Call us at (313) 818-3238.

Examples Of Human Trafficking Crimes

Any crimes involving the trade of other human beings can be considered human trafficking. These actions violate a person’s human rights, and while they usually exploit people for commercial gain, they do not necessarily require moving the victim from one place to another. Human trafficking offenses can be categorized into the following types of crimes:

  • Forced labor- Victims are forced through physical or emotional intimidation to work for the benefit of their abusers.
  • Sex trafficking- Victims find themselves working as prostitutes or performing other sex acts for money. Many sex trafficking victims are minors. While some work for money, many are exploited to work for food and shelter. Some who are forced into prostitution are allowed to keep some of the money they receive, but others are not.
  • Trafficking of human organs- This involves the unwilling sale of organs from victims, or from persons who choose to sell their organs illegally. The global illegal organ trade is thought to involve the exchange of billions of dollars annually.
  • Debt bondage- This is when people are forced into servitude to pay off a debt, or the debt of a relative. In many cases, the victims work under conditions that make it nearly impossible to pay off the debt.
  • Domestic servitude- Victims work as maid or in other roles in a private residence, and are not allowed to leave. Many times immigrants agree to travel to the United States to work as cooks or nannies, but find themselves exploited and not able to leave the place of their employment on their own free will.

Serious Consequences For A Human Trafficking Conviction In Michigan

Many acts of human trafficking involve offenses have been illegal since before the term “human trafficking” was used to describe these crimes. These would include assault, kidnapping, enslavement, prostitution, and sexual abuse of a minor, among others.

However, specific human trafficking laws have been enacted to help identify the systematic use of humans in trade, and to better help these victims. Michigan laws against human trafficking are robust in seeking to punish perpetrators and help victims. If you are convicted of a human trafficking crime, you face:

  • Up to 10 years in prison
  • Fines up to $50,000
  • Enhanced penalties if your crime included kidnapping, criminal sexual conduct, forced labor, or sexual acts with a minor
  • Sex offender registration
  • Restitution to the victims
  • Losing your property

A Lawyer Can Help You

Law enforcement and criminal prosecutors take human trafficking very seriously, and you face years in prison if you are convicted of a trafficking offense. In order to protect your rights, you will need the help of a skilled criminal defense lawyer. Additionally, if you are the victim of human trafficking, it is important to seek help as soon as you can. Many victims have been forced to commit crimes such as prostitution, but there are legal ways in which you can protect yourself from prosecution in these cases.

To speak with experienced Detroit criminal defense attorney Maurice Davis about human trafficking and your case, contact Davis Law Group immediately.

Contact Davis Law Group today at (313) 818-3238 for a free consultation about your case.