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Child Prostitution Laws

California Child Prostitution Laws

As you might guess, a child prostitution charge can be devastating to your present and future life. Your first move in these cases is to sit down with a sex crime defense attorney and give them all the details about your topic.

It would help if you gave your chosen attorney all of the relevant information related to your case without trying to make it sound better than it is. Trying to spin the situation or only give the facts that are helpful to you is not the best strategy.

Being a top-level sex crime defense attorney is defusing the prosecutor's best arguments. If your client only gives you half the story and leaves out the information that is damaging to them, then, in the end, the attorney will not be as effective as they could have been with a complete understanding of the total circumstances of the case.

It is crucial in these cases that the client and the attorney are candid with each other. Trying to sugarcoat things and make them seem better than they are in the wrong decision will haunt both attorney and client.

Both parties must know the strengths and weaknesses of the case and are both moving in the right direction as the case proceeds. In the 25 years I have been practicing criminal defense, I know that everything is not what meets the eyes and that the police and prosecutors do not always have it right and are typically only part of the story. It is my job to get your version of events across to the appropriate parties or even a jury if that's what it takes to achieve justice.

Penal Code 236.1 - Human Trafficking 

In general, child or human trafficking crime has to do with a child being transported by force to a location. This element can also be satisfied by way of some verbal threat. The act of child trafficking can take several different forms.

It can involve recruiting a child to exploit them or have them engage in an illegal act, such as for a sexual purpose. As indicated above, the act of physically transporting the child with an unlawful purpose will suffice for this element.

If a person harbors a minor for an illegal purpose during the child trafficking incident, they would be just as guilty as the principal perpetrator. Sometimes, many people are involved in the crime, and the government will use a conspiracy theory to hold them all accountable for their actions.

This means that each player in the conspiracy does not have to do all the acts necessary for the crime but must know of the criminal purpose, agree to it, and be involved in one of the acts required to accomplish the conspiracy.

To be convicted of this crime, the prosecution must prove the following:

  • 1) That you were involved with depriving someone of their freedom with the intent to force them to give labor or services;
  • 2) You had the intent to violate California's pimping and pandering code section by exploiting a child, for example;
  • 3) You persuaded a minor to engage in commercial sex with the intent to violate one of the pimping and pandering laws.

The critical thing that must be considered in child prostitution type cases is that the government wants to protect children. If they believe that a child is being taken advantage of, they will file serious charges and seek prison and sex registration.

In these cases, I sit down with the client, go over the issues related to their topic, and discuss what the prosecutors would have to prove to find them guilty. Then, we assess the strengths and weaknesses of our case and decide precisely how it will be defended.

Threats to Use Force in Child Trafficking cases

The way that this crime can be accomplished is usually by a threat to use force. This threat can come in several different forms, and the evidence can come from the child or a witness who observes the danger. Another more subtle way that the means element can be established involves coercion.

They mean that the perpetrator somehow coerces the minor into becoming involved in the crime of child trafficking. As you might guess, this element will likely be construed quite liberally because a child is involved in the commission of the crime.

If the defendant, charged with the crime, deceives the minor into becoming involved with the subject offense, this would also satisfy the means element. Abusing one's power in a position of authority is another category prosecuted for this offense.

And, of course, any fraud associated with the crime of abduction of the child or even giving payments or benefits to the child or another to traffick them would suffice for purposes of the means element for this crime.

The purpose element of the crime of child trafficking can be satisfied if the defendant engages in the exploitation of the child. For example, if they move the child for prostitution (which is typical for this particular crime), this would satisfy the exploitation of a child requirement to convict a person of this crime.

Forced labor is another example of the purpose behind why a child would be moved and trafficked under this category of crime. In the more severe cases, there can be other purposes, including slavery and the removal of organs.

Federal Child Prostitution Cases

Federal prosecutors are usually the ones that prosecute federal child prostitution cases. This is why you must have an attorney who has been down the road you are about to travel and had success. If you are interested in finding out the strengths and weaknesses of your case and what you are facing, then make the call and set up the meeting that will help turn the tide in your favor.

If you have a child prostitution case, you are likely to be prosecuted at the federal level and face severe consequences.  When it comes to these types of charges, your best bet is to seek the counsel of an attorney who has handled these cases and knows the best strategy to employ in your defense.

Not all strategies are the same for sex crimes and their defense. Sometimes the authorities have a weak case against you, and your best approach is to fight the issue down the line.  In other cases, the police and prosecutors have a strong case against you, and negotiation is your best course of action.

To make the final determination as to your best move, you must consult with a sex crime defense attorney who can evaluate the facts of your case and use their experience to assist you in making the right decisions for you.

In my experience, most child prostitution cases involve the crossing of state or international lines, and the federal government will likely be involved in prosecuting the case.  They will assign a special prosecutor to deal with, and you can bet that all of the marbles will be on the line.

These types of cases are considered the most serious by the prosecutors and judges. They will be looking to dole out some severe punishment if the defendant exploits children, and they can prove it.

Child prostitution charges can be devastating, overwhelming, and humiliating. Our Los Angeles sex crime defense attorneys understand, and we want to help. Our combined 75 years of experience and legal skill, strategy, and knowledge qualify us to effectively help you face child prostitution charges.

Penalties for Child Trafficking Charges

As you might guess, these cases are prosecuted by the most sophisticated and seasoned prosecutors at both the state and federal levels. They have particular and strict marching orders from their superiors related to what will be charged, what bail they will seek for the defendant, and the punishments they will argue to the judge at the end of the case. Only the most seasoned sex crime defense attorneys should handle these cases because of the harsh sentences at stake.

When defending sex crimes in Los Angeles at both the state and federal levels, child trafficking is among the most severe offenses. Those convicted of this crime will face many years in prison and a lifetime of sex registration.

Suppose the case is prosecuted at the federal level. In that case, the offender will likely face a mandatory minimum sentence in federal prison and be subject to serving eighty-five percent of their total custody time in federal prison.

There are few cases filed in the child trafficking area of sex crimes. Therefore, the prosecutors will probably assign the case to a special prosecutor with specific marching orders from their boss.

I have an experience that the individuals involved in child trafficking are insulated and are extremely difficult to track and catch.  If the authorities happen to see someone for this offense, they will likely be looking to punish them more brutally.

Related Child Prostitution Charges

Though child trafficking can be prosecuted at both the state and federal levels, it will depend on the circumstances of the case and which entity will charge the defendant.  If the crime involved crossing state or international lines, then the federal government would likely become involved with the prosecution of the offense.

On the other hand, if the crime was more localized and the state authorities discovered it, they would likely prosecute it unless they felt like the defendant and or corruption warranted federal prosecution, based on the conduct or the sophistication level.

As discussed above, child trafficking is when a minor is held against their will by force or threat to use the little for sexual revenue and profit. A conviction of child trafficking has some severe penalties.

You may face prison time fines, sex registration, and be required to surrender any property or money made from the child trafficking activity.

If charged on the federal level, you may face a lifetime in prison. Therefore, it is essential to obtain a skilled and experienced defense lawyer to defend you if you face child trafficking charges or any other sex crime charges.

Child prostitution charges can also result in commissions for internet pornography, child pornography, and child trafficking, and a sex crime defense attorney is crucial if you face such costs.

If you face child prostitution charges, the prosecution's burden is on proving their case against you beyond a reasonable doubt. Our main objective is to show that the prosecution's evidence is insufficient or possibly obtained illegally.

Our sex crime lawyers at Hedding Law Firm are here to hear your side of the story and do everything to get you the best results possible.

Suppose you or someone you know is being charged with child prostitution. In that case, the penalties are severe, so do not waste any time contacting our child prostitution defense lawyers in L.A. and setting up a free face-to-face consultation.

Contact Us Today

Hedding Law Firm is committed to answering your questions about state or federal sex crime issues in California and throughout the United States.

I'll privately discuss your case with you at your convenience. All consultations are free, discreet, and confidential. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.