The offense of child trafficking has to do with the abduction of a minor by force, threat, intimidation or in any other way in order to use the young person for sexual profit. The laws apply equally to girls or boys. In addition, a person who travels for the purpose of exploiting an abducted minor sexually can also be charged with child trafficking. Related charges can be the production or sale of child pornography, child prostitution, and internet pornography. A knowledgeable Los Angeles sex crime defense attorney can help you to understand your charges, the possible punishments and what can be accomplished in your defense.
In the fall of 2009, a new law was passed by our state legislature that made the penalties for child trafficking even more severe. If you are convicted, you may be fined up to $20,000, plus forfeit your property and any money that was made from the trafficking activity. Child trafficking is thought by our society to be a particularly abhorrent crime and is prosecuted as such.
Attorneys from our firm, Mark Haushalter and Ryan Okabe, are experienced former prosecutors who know the uphill battle you face when accused of child trafficking. For years, we have been willing and able defenders to those accused of sex crimes and would like to offer our aggressive and skilled representation to you.
The University of Pennsylvania reported that in our country approximately 293,000 children per year were in danger of being abducted for sexual purposes. Law enforcement and prosecutors are highly motivated to punish anyone considered to be a sexual predator. This can result, however, in persons being accused of crimes that they did not commit and improper police actions being done in order to gain evidence against an alleged child trafficker.
Federal statutes also cover child trafficking and the penalties for conviction are even more severe than on the state level. Conviction on a federal child trafficking offense can result in a life term in prison. We want you to have a legal team who understands federal laws and how to produce a favorable result in your case at the federal level.
Knowing that the penalties you may face if you are convicted of a child trafficking crime can be serious may lead you to make critical mistakes in these circumstances. For example, someone who has been accused of child trafficking in Los Angeles might believe they can lie to their attorney and claim to be innocent of crimes they actually committed. Their assumption is that, if they can convince their lawyer they are not guilty, their lawyer will be able to convince a jury of their innocence as well.
Do not make this error. While it can be stressful to admit that the accusations made against you are true, you must understand that your attorney can only build a strong case in your defense if you are honest with them. If you are guilty of the crimes you are charged with, while you may have to accept that you will likely face certain penalties, your lawyer will have a better chance of minimizing the severity of those penalties if you have been completely upfront with them.
Being dishonest with your attorney is just one mistake you can make after being charged with a child trafficking crime in California. Other mistakes you must avoid include the following:
You may personally know the individual or individuals who have accused you of child trafficking. Perhaps you feel the urge to get in touch with them while your case is still ongoing.
Don’t. Regardless of what your motives may be, reaching out to your accusers at this time will not yield any positive benefits and could have significant negative consequences.
Waiting to learn if you will be convicted of a child trafficking crime can be a very frustrating experience. This is particularly true if you know you are innocent. It’s possible you’ll occasionally be tempted to vent on social media. If you’re innocent, you may wish to use social media to let as many people as possible know the accusations made against you are false.
This is another major error. Nothing you post on social media will strengthen your case. On the other hand, what you post on social media could potentially be used against you during a trial if its content is questionable.
It’s wise to stay off social media in general after being charged with child trafficking in Los Angeles. If you are unable to completely give up social media, you must at least refrain from posting anything about your case.
If you know of any potential evidence or witnesses that could strengthen your case, alert your Los Angeles child trafficking defense attorney. Doing so may help your lawyer prove you are innocent.
However, you should not take it upon yourself to conduct an investigation. This is a task for professionals who have access to the vast resources of a Los Angeles child trafficking law firm. We will handle gathering evidence and contacting witnesses, taking all necessary steps to build the strongest defense we can.