More and more today, as I continue in my career of over 30 years, I've seen the most prosecutions ever as it relates to sex trafficking-related offenses.
If you or a loved one is charged with one of these crimes, you've got to figure out your best course of action because you're facing state prison, sex registration and a host of other problems that literally can destroy your life.
The first thing I do is set up a meeting, whether at my office or if the person is in custody; I'll visit them, talk about the case, and figure out the best course of action.
In other words, will we fight the sex trafficking case and show that you're innocent? You didn't do it. The person you're supposedly sex trafficking was operating on their own or had another pimp, or whatever the case may be in your case.
Common Mistakes Made by Sex Trafficking Defendants
In today's society, sex trafficking is probably one of the most heavily prosecuted crimes in America. Those people who are involved with prostitution, pimping and pandering, and moving younger-aged individuals, to have sex for money are facing many years in prison and a lifetime of sex registration.
So, you want to make sure if you find yourself in this predicament where you're being investigated, you've been arrested, or you're trying to help a loved one find an attorney, make no more mistakes because if you do, you will find yourself in a position that you cannot get out of.
One common mistake is talking over the phone, where it gets recorded by the police – whether the person's in jail or otherwise – may be talking to an alleged victim. That information is captured by law enforcement, passed to the prosecutors, and used against you.
Do not talk over the phone about anything related to an investigation for sex trafficking. If it's your loved one who is in custody, make sure there are no conversations related to the case that can be used against that individual so you can avoid the standard mistake number one in sex trafficking cases, which is talking about it and allowing the police to capture information.
Another thing I will see once in a while is what we call a pretext phone call, where an alleged victim calls the individual who is being targeted by the police, asks them a bunch of questions, and the police pick up that information.
This is because they are listening in on the phone conversation, or maybe even the alleged victim of the sex trafficking is now working against the person who is being investigated. The police tape records everything in the conversation and uses that against the individual.
The other thing that people do that I believe is a common mistake in sex trafficking is waiting to hire an attorney and trying to handle it themselves. This is usually a big mistake, and a lot of times, bridges are burned, and potential negotiating opportunities are lost – even investigation opportunities are lost that could help defend the case.
First and foremost, you want to hire an attorney. I would say even above bailing the person out because just because a person is bailed out certainly doesn't mean that particular person is going to be able to do anything to defend their case. You want an attorney by your side to defend your case.
Fight the Case or Negotiate a Plea Bargain?
We must be realistic, depending on the circumstances, and realize that they've got the goods on us and will be able to prove the case. So it's a situation where we must mitigate things and figure out how to keep you out of a lengthy prison sentence.
This is probably one of the first things you want to decide because, to me, what it's doing in a sex trafficking case is setting up your road map for how to get the best result.
Suppose you're marching down the road saying that you're innocent or angering the prosecutor and filing a bunch of motions and doing a bunch of things that, in the end, will result in you getting convicted and getting a long prison sentence. In that case, we're not doing you any favors.
That's where you've got to let somebody like me who's been doing this for 30 years, worked for the district attorney's office, worked for a superior court judge.
I've got experience. I know what the other side is looking at. I've also been a criminal defense attorney since the early 1990s, so I know how to handle it from that perspective. So, when you have a well-rounded attorney, that attorney can best advise you. So, step number one is:
- Figure out what course we are going to take;
- Are we going to fight and attack?
- Are we going to try to work out a deal?
Or are we going to do both? Sometimes, we do both. Sometimes, I do the preliminary hearing in a sex trafficking case to show the weaknesses in the prosecution's case.
Sometimes there are problems. Sometimes, they can't get their alleged victims into court, and if they don't have a preliminary hearing, but if they don't get them in at a trial, many times, that's a big problem.
Contact our Firm for a Consultation
So, we have to decide what the best strategy is. That's going to be left up to me, who has the experience and has handled many of these sex trafficking cases, who's seen how these cases have developed through the use of the internet and various advertisements.
Also, one who knows what it takes to succeed in these cases and what goal we need to go after in the sex trafficking case so we can get you the best result.
All too many times, I've seen other less experienced attorneys taking the wrong approach and not handling it the right way, angering the prosecutors and angering the judge. But, unfortunately, that will be taken out on their client, not on them.
So, if you need the best if you or a loved one is charged with sex trafficking-related offenses, pimping and pandering, and the like, pick up the phone now and ask for a meeting with Ron Hedding. I stand at the ready to help you.