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The trafficking of children and its penalties

Many Californians do not realize that human trafficking is a major concern for our federal government. Men, women and children are forced into labor and sex trades, often in obscurity. In response, the federal government has tried to crack down on those who participate in this illegal activity by passing strict laws and enforcing serious penalties. However, when the government becomes eager to put a stop to crimes like these, they often wind up accusing individuals who do not deserve it.

Those facing these types of allegations should do everything they can to understand the law so that they can best protect themselves. Under federal statute, it is illegal for an individual to knowingly transport, recruit, provide or obtain any person knowing that coercion, fraud or force will be used to engage a child under the age of 18 in a commercial sex act. It is also a crime if an individual receives some sort of benefit, financially speaking, from the acts defined in the previous sentence.

Those convicted of this crime can face harsh penalties. If the child involved in the crime was under the age of 14, then a convicted individual can be hit with a fine and up to life imprisonment. If the child involved was over the age of 14, then a conviction could lead to up to 20 years in prison and a fine.

As can be seen here, the federal government takes the trafficking of children very seriously. This means that those accused of such federal crimes will have to go up against aggressive prosecutors who are not interested in the accused's side of the story. Yet, by acquiring the assistance of an experienced criminal defense attorney, a defendant can force the court to hear their side of the story and why they should not be penalized.

Source: The Library of Congress, "Sec. 1591," accessed on Oct. 31, 2015

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