Prostitution and Human Trafficking Charges
New federal and state laws are passed regularly regarding prostitution and human trafficking. State and federal prosecutors aggressively pursue prosecution in these matters in courts throughout Michigan.
Human Trafficking and Prostitution are More Common Than you Would Think.
Human Trafficking in Michigan is a surprisingly common thing. Statistics show that 21 million people worldwide are exploited for slave labor or sex trade trafficking. The United States alone has almost a million victims of human trafficking. Michigan has prioritized prosecuting and punishing individuals facing prostitution and human trafficking charges.
The victims are generally undocumented immigrants or young girls.
The primary concern relative to human trafficking is how to stop it. The situation is improved if poor labor standards are abolished and the government decriminalizes the offenses victims are forced to commit. The major problem is that the victims of human trafficking are being treated as the offender and not as a victim…unless they have strong and influential lawyers fighting to protect and defend them.
Amendments to Michigan’s Human Trafficking Laws
Michigan law prohibits a person from knowingly recruiting, enticing, harboring, transporting, providing, or obtaining an individual for forced labor or services, to hold a person in debt bondage.
Also, Michigan law prohibits a person from benefiting financially or receiving anything of value from an enterprise engaged in human trafficking. A specific statute prohibits prostitution and human trafficking charges when the victim is a minor.
The penalties can vary from a 10-year felony (if there was no injury) up to life in prison (if the violation involved kidnapping, rape, death, or the attempt to commit any of those offenses)
There is no need for the victim to testify in prosecutions under the new human trafficking laws. The statute of limitations is 25 years – meaning that a person who commits a human trafficking offense can be prosecuted for that offense for 25 years afterward. If the offense is punishable by life in prison, there is no time limit on when the government can file charges.
Human Trafficking in Michigan and Prostitution Crimes
Michigan law has changed relative to prostitution. A person who engages the services of another for prostitution or lewdness that is not their spouse, by payment of money or other forms of consideration, is guilty of a 93-day misdemeanor, with punishments increasing for second or subsequent offenses. If the victim is less than 18 years old, the charge is a felony with a penalty of 5 years. Before the amendments, only a man could face charges for engaging the services of a woman other than his wife.
The law requires a presumption that a person under 18 years of age for certain prostitution offenses was coerced or forced into committing the offense.
A conviction for engaging or offering to engage a minor’s services for prostitution requires registration on the Sex Offender Registry.
Michigan Criminal Defense Attorneys
Michigan is taking human trafficking very seriously. When a person is under investigation for any possible criminal offense, it is essential that you have legal representation to protect your rights and not allow the police to take advantage of you.
The law firm of LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. is the Michigan criminal law firm that people can count on for top-notch defense. Our attorneys have decades of experience helping people charged with criminal offenses. In some cases, our attorneys can step in and stop the prosecutor from filing charges in the first place!! When your freedom is at stake, having the best Michigan criminal defense attorneys experienced with human trafficking working for you is vital.
Call us today at (248) 263-6800 for a free consultation or complete a Request for Assistance Form. We will contact you promptly and find a way to help you.