If you or a loved one is charged with human trafficking under California Penal Code 236.1 PC, it usually has something to do with women being used for sex or some sexual act for money.
The trafficking part is the women are coming in from either different states or different countries and are being moved around for purposes of the sex trade. This is where the human trafficking concept comes in.
Victim Exploited in a Sexual Manner
I see it all over the place. My main office is based in Los Angeles, and we get a lot of sex trafficking and human trafficking type cases.
The definition of human trafficking or sex trafficking for criminal activities is someone being exploited sexually and basically for sex or some sexual act for monetary gain.
Usually, the person doing the sexual act is not the one who is getting the main benefit. Usually, the people I see getting charged with sex trafficking act more like pimps in the prostitution/pimp sense than anything else.
Pimps Who Set Up Commercial Sex Acts
In other words, they have several women who perform sex acts with other men and the person in charge of it.
This is typically the client — who is getting arrested, is setting up the sex acts, and then collecting either all of the money or part of the money or a good portion of the money.
They usually have multiple women working for them, and they typically hang out together, sleep together, live together, move around, or travel together. This is where this whole sex trafficking concept comes in in Los Angeles.
I've seen it in Orange County, Santa Barbara, Santa Maria — it's all over California and even all over the United States. Then sometimes, you even have international activity related to sex trafficking.
That's when the federal government will get involved in prosecuting those individuals. If it's a large-scale operation involving multiple states or even different countries, you will probably see a federal prosecution for sex trafficking.
Sex Trafficking Cases in Downtown Los Angeles Court
But most of the sex trafficking prosecutions that I see are at the state level. I see Los Angeles prosecuting sex trafficking cases, usually in the downtown courthouse.
In Department 30 at 210 West Temple, you will start in the felony arraignment court. Most of the sex crime prosecutors are based out of downtown Los Angeles. They have their main office there and the prominent people in charge.
You will once in a while see a Los Angeles sex trafficking case prosecuted in one of the branch courts — one of the 38 other courts in Los Angeles county.
Again, they will have specific sex crime prosecutors in charge of the case who have marching orders with exactly how they will deal with these cases.
What type of punishment they will seek, and what charges they will charge against a particular defendant.
If you or a loved one is charged with sex trafficking, you should get to an attorney immediately. Sometimes these cases are over-filed, and the police give the prosecutors a lousy perspective of what's going on.
That's where a defense attorney comes in — to kind of turn the tide and do the investigation and the work necessary to show the other side of the story.
Other times the police have it right, and the prosecutors have it right, and they charge the proper control, and we're usually trying to do damage control.
Keep the person from getting some lengthy prison sentence and some of the other dire consequences that can come along with a sex trafficking conviction.
Sex Crime Defense Lawyer in California
So, suppose you or a loved one is charged with sex trafficking, and you're trying to figure out exactly what the prosecutors need to prove to get a conviction. In that case, there are a bunch of different scenarios that can trigger a sex-trafficking prosecution.
So, you're going to want to talk to an attorney like me and go over the specific details and facts of your case so we can figure out whether or not this does fall under the umbrella of a sex trafficking case.
We will also figure out whether the person should face some of the mandatory minimum prison sentences that these cases can bring.
So, pick up the phone. Make the call. I stand at the ready to help you.
Hedding Law Firm is a criminal defense law firm located in Los Angeles County at 16000 Ventura Blvd #1208 Encino, CA 91436. Contact our office for a free case evaluation at (213) 542-0979.