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 sort of sexual act for money.
The trafficking part, obviously, 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 purposes of criminal activities is really someone being exploited in a sexual manner and basically for purposes of sex or some sort of a sexual act for a monetary gain.
Usually, the person who is doing the sexual act is not the one who is getting the main benefit. Usually the people that I see getting charged with sex trafficking are acting more like pimps in the prostitution/pimp sense than anything else.
Pimps Who Set Up Commercial Sex Acts
In other words, they are having a number of women who perform sex acts with other men, and the person who is 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 usually hang out together, sleep together, live together, move around together 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 really all over California and even all over the United States and then sometimes you even have international activity related to sex trafficking.
That's when the federal government is going to get involved in prosecuting those individuals. If it's a large-scale operation that involves multiple states or even different countries, then 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.
You will start out in Department 30 at 210 West Temple, which is 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 main people that are 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're going to deal with these cases.
What type of punishment they're going to seek, what charges they are going to charge against a particular defendant.
If you or a loved on is charged with sex trafficking, you should get to an attorney immediately. Sometimes these cases are over-filed and the police give the prosecutors kind of a bad perspective of what's really going on.
Obviously, 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 right control and we're usually trying to do damage control.
Keep the person from getting some lengthy prison sentence and some of the other bad consequences that can come along with a sex trafficking conviction.
Sex Crime Defense Lawyer in California
So, if 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, there are a bunch of different scenarios that can trigger a sex trafficking prosecution.
So, obviously 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 really does fall under the umbrella of a sex trafficking case.
We will also figure out whether or not the person should be facing 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.