What Happens to Someone Charged With Child Trafficking in Texas?
Human trafficking has gained significant public notoriety in recent years with high-profile campaigns meant to bring awareness and eradication of this issue. While human trafficking does exist, there are legitimate questions as to whether its prevalence has been somewhat exaggerated, leading to an overzealous law enforcement response that often rushes to judgment without sufficient evidence. This is especially true if the allegations of human trafficking involve child victims. If you have been charged with child trafficking, it is important to take these charges seriously and understand the potential consequences of conviction.
What is Child Trafficking?
Any person who intentionally entices, recruits, transports, harbors, or restricts the movement of someone to force them to provide work or services, including sexual acts, may be guilty of human trafficking. If the alleged victim is a minor, the behavior is considered child trafficking and the penalties are more serious. Child trafficking often involves illegal sexual acts between adults and children, including prostitution, child pornography, sexual abuse, and indecency with a child. Even if a person engaged in sexual conduct with someone who they did not know was a trafficked minor, they may be charged with child trafficking.
What Are the Punishments for Child Trafficking in Texas?
Because Texas shares a large border with Mexico, many trafficked children are brought into the country through Texas and Texas has taken a particularly aggressive stance on the issue of human trafficking. The least aggressive punishment is a second degree felony. Second degree felonies allow up to 20 years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines.
But, charges are immediately enhanced to first degree felonies if the victim is a minor. First degree felonies allow between 5 years and life in prison and up to $10,000 in fines. Other compounding criminal activities, such as drug use or possession of child pornography, can bring increased charges and punishments.
Even after they have served jail time, first-degree felons convicted of child trafficking face serious consequences. This includes losing the right to vote, possess firearms, or pursue certain professional careers, and lifetime registration on the sex offenders list.
Meet with a Collin County Child Trafficking Defense Lawyer
Texas takes crimes against children very seriously. If you have been charged with trafficking a child, it is essential to retain a competent, aggressive Collin County criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. At The Crowder Law Firm, P.C., we believe in protecting the constitutional rights of our clients no matter what the charges are. Call us today at 214-303-9600 to schedule a free case review today.