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What Are the Criminal Consequences of Child Trafficking in Texas?

Posted on in Criminal Defense

Tarrant County child trafficking defense attorney

Human trafficking is the term used to describe the process through which individuals are transported for the purposes of forced labor and other exploitation. Children are often the victims of trafficking in Texas and throughout the United States. Nearly a quarter of the approximately 300,000 American children forced into sex trafficking every year live in Texas. Children involved in child trafficking may be tricked or forced into working in sweatshops, restaurants, brothels, escort operations, or worse. In some cases, children are forced into acting as child soldiers or domestic servants in other countries. Texas law carries stiff penalties for all human trafficking activities, but there are especially harsh criminal consequences for child trafficking. If you are charged with child trafficking in Texas, you could face years or even life in prison.

Defining Child Trafficking According to Texas Law

Texas statutes state that an individual commits trafficking of persons if he or she knowingly:

  • Transports a person for the purposes of forced labor or services

  • Receives services or labor that are the result of forced labor or human trafficking

  • Traffics another person and causes him or her to engage in prostitution through fraud, force, or coercion

  • Engages in sexual conduct with a trafficked individual

  • Traffics a child and causes the child to become a victim of crimes such as indecency with a child, sexual assault, prostitution, sexual performance by a child, employment harmful to children, or child pornography

Penalties for a Child Trafficking Conviction

According to Texas law, the criminal offense of trafficking of persons is a second-degree felony. If you are convicted of human trafficking in Texas, you face a maximum prison sentence of 20 years and a fine of up to $10,000. The offense is elevated to a first-degree felony if the crime results in the death of the trafficked person or the death of the trafficked person’s unborn child, or if the crime involves someone under age 18. A first-degree felony child trafficking conviction can result in $10,000 fine and 5 to 99 years' incarceration. If you are convicted of trafficking a minor in Texas, you may face life imprisonment. Human trafficking often involves the transport of individuals across state lines and international borders, so it may be prosecuted as a federal offense. A federal sex trafficking conviction carries a minimum prison sentence of 15 years if the victim is under age 14.

Contact a Collin County Child Trafficking Lawyer

Crimes against children such as child trafficking are taken very seriously in the state of Texas. If you or a loved one are facing criminal charges of any kind, you need the help of a skilled legal team to avoid prison time. Plano, Texas criminal defense attorney Darlina Crowder has obtained more than 200 not guilty verdicts and acquittals for her clients. For help defending against human trafficking charges and to clear your name, contact The Crowder Law Firm, P.C. Call us today at 214-303-9600 for a confidential and free consultation.

 

Sources:
https://www.mysanantonio.com/news/local_news/article/Child-sex-trafficking-a-huge-problem-in-Texas-and-3714153.php
https://statutes.capitol.texas.gov/Docs/PE/htm/PE.20A.htm

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