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Child Trafficking

California Child Trafficking Laws – Penal Code 236.1


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 to 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, there are many people 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.

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 are meaning, 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 of the fact a child is involved in the commission of the crime.

If the defendant, who is 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 that is 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 in any way. For example, if they move the child for purposes of 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 which include slavery and removal of organs.

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 by 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. In my opinion, 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 in the more brutal way possible.

Federal Child Trafficking Cases

Though child trafficking can be prosecuted at both the state and federal level, it will depend on the circumstances of the case 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 crime 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 for the sole purpose of using 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 up to 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.

Our Los Angeles lawyers are confident in their skill and knowledge, and our unmatched credentials back up the confidence we have to represent you effectively.

Contact our L.A. sex crime defense lawyers and set up a free face-to-face consultation.

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