Human trafficking can be prosecuted by both the federal government or in the state where the alleged crime took place.
Always keep in mind that the word "alleged" may or may not mean a crime has been committed. The burden of proof always lies with the prosecution.
My Fort Lauderdale based law practice can challenge the prosecution with the ceaseless effectiveness needed to return the best possible outcome.
The Law Offices of Michael B. Cohen can assist you with all human trafficking charges right now if a charge for an alleged crime has been filed. My personal experience shows the credentials and know-how of a former Assistant United States Attorney and an extensively skilled former Assistant State Attorney as well as a former Assistant Attorney General for the State of Florida.
With two office locations in Fort Lauderdale and one in Palm Beach County my law offices can immediately assist you with all answers concerning questions for a strong criminal defense when human trafficking charges are filed including cases relating to allegations of the trafficking of illegal workers between or within state lines or from another country and those involving illegal or undocumented workers in addition to sex trafficking or the transport of adult women and minors under eighteen years of age.
Some examples of these types of cases may involve the transport of what the prosecution will paint as vulnerable victims facing dismal circumstances including those involved with drug abuse, in addition to runaway teens, the homeless, or refugees, being coerced into involuntary services against their will.
The prosecution may also point out how these individuals are often forced into prostitution, or are used to perform in pornographic videos, placed to work in bars that provide adult entertainment such as strip clubs as well as other forms of what amounts to indentured servitude, a modern day form of slavery.
Many human trafficking cases involve other criminal charges such as conspiracy, coercion, and fraud.
You could be facing up to thirty years in prison or worse and mandatory registration as a sex offender if found guilty of human trafficking charges along with other underlying crimes.
In a recent case I handled regarding an alleged human trafficker in a Florida federal court, I was able to significantly minimize the penalties my client faced using successful legal tactics. For the purpose of privacy, the client will only be identified as "R.S.".
He was charged with the prostitution of victims in a human trafficking ring and was extradited from Mexico to face these charges in the Southern District of Florida.
The prosecution alleged that a family conspired to smuggle girls and young women from Mexico. After trafficking them across the border, the defendants allegedly required the victims to work as prostitutes in brothels to pay off the agreed upon $2,000 smuggling fee. The females were allegedly housed in a windowless room, given no money for their labors, and constantly threatened with beatings and attacks against their families who remained in Mexico. Some of the female victims attempted escape, but were captured and subsequently beaten. Additional charges filed against all the suspects were conspiracy against rights of citizens, conspiracy to defraud the United States and coercion or enticement of a minor female.
The charges filed against R.S. was transporting for prostitution, collection of credit by extortion, bringing in and harboring aliens, importation of aliens for immoral purpose and sale into involuntary servitude. R.S. along with fifteen other defendants was named in the criminal complaint.
The case was presided over by a United States District Court Judge, who was nominated by President George W. Bush and confirmed by the Senate in September, 2002. A notable case he presided over was Sinaltrainal v. Coca-Cola which demanded a monetary compensation of $500 million for the deaths of three workers in Colombia. The case was ultimately dismissed and all appeals were unsuccessful.
This case as do many in the international arena first had unresolved extradition issues. One in particular concerned the amount of time the client would have faced because although the he had been extradited on a conspiracy count which would have meant that he faced only a five year maximum term, the other human trafficking charges in the Indictment would have resulted in life in prison for the alleged human trafficker. More than ten individuals, all female, some being minors were identified as the victims. The case was categorized as Escort Service/Brothel, Commercial Sexual Exploitation/Prostitution.
Using this strategy and legal reality to my client's advantage I was able to negotiate a plea agreement for the case (after reviewing a very strong government evidentiary case) that resulted in a much less severe sentence than R.S. would have faced upon conviction of the more serious charges.
R.S. was ultimately sentenced to a much lesser term than he faced. Considering the strong evidence against him and the possible incriminatory outcome, the accepted agreement was a victory in every sense of the word.
Accused of human trafficking in Florida? Don't delay. My law firm can and will meticulously defend multiple types of federal and state allegations. Contact The Law Offices of Michael B. Cohen for a completely confidential and free consultation today.
Michael B. Cohen is a veteran Fort Lauderdale federal human trafficking attorney.