Sex Trafficking Defense Attorney
Federal and state law enforcement is highly focused on the investigation and prosecution of sex trafficking crimes. Those charged with sex trafficking crimes face aggressive prosecutors and hard-hitting judges.
Sex Trafficking charges are aggressively pursued in Michigan. The United States Attorney, the Attorney General, and state prosecutors take a “no holds barred” approach to these cases. Prison and jail sentences are routine in sex trafficking cases, and individuals can face charges and convictions even on weak and dubious evidence. A strong defense must be built in these matters if a person charged has any hope of avoiding a conviction or harsh sentence. Typically, a defense to sex trafficking charges can either be (1) a claim of innocence or (2) mitigation to obtain a lenient plea bargain or merciful sentence.
Defenses to Sex Trafficking Charges in State and Federal Court
Police and federal agents are often in a rush to assign judgment in cases involving sex trafficking charges. Because of the intense pressure to make arrests, innocent people sometimes are wrongfully accused. In other cases, when a defendant has done something wrong, the allegations of law enforcement may be excessive or exaggerate the offense conduct.
A skilled and effective defense attorney can raise a variety of defenses for an innocent client. If the wrong person is charged, the defense would be wrongful identification. Other defenses can include duress, necessity, lack of intent, and mistake. Since law enforcement may not be inclined to believe even a truthful defense, the reputation and skill of a lawyer can be critical to proving his or her client’s innocence.
When a defendant did commit a crime, and the prosecution has strong evidence, the best defense may be to negotiate a favorable plea bargain for reduced charges or to advocate for a minimal jail sentence or probationary sentence focused on rehabilitation. In most of these cases, there are extenuating circumstances, and the defendants have stories that are sympathetic if someone cares and takes the time to listen.
What is sex trafficking?
Sex trafficking takes many forms, and violators face the possibility of long prison sentences. In state and federal court, this is a felony offense. Basically, sex trafficking is the action or practice of illegally transporting people from one country or area to another for the purpose of sexual exploitation. Sex trafficking occurs when a person is forced or coerced into engaging in a commercial sex act with an adult or if a person engages in a commercial sex act with a minor under any circumstances.
A “commercial sex act” includes prostitution, pornography, child pornography, child sexually abusive activity, molestation, statutory rape, criminal sexual conduct, or any other sexual activity that is done in exchange for something of value, including money, shelter, food, privileges, drugs, or clothing.
Consumers engaging in commercial sex acts with those who are not United States citizens, like visa holders, permanent residents, and green card holders, are considered just as guilty under the law as those who facilitate, organize, or profit from the sex trafficking trade.
Sentencing for Sex Trafficking Convictions
In either state or federal court, a conviction for sex trafficking will often result in a prison sentence. These crimes are generally punishable by 5 or 20 years, and in some cases, up to life in prison. The seriousness of the allegations, a prior criminal record, remorse, legitimate employment and education, family support, and other factors can impact the severity of a sentence. Although sex trafficking defendants face prison sentences, time in jail or prison is usually not mandatory, and a convincing and persuasive defense attorney will take measures to reduce or eliminate any impending incarceration.
Innocent Conduct Can Result in Prosecution
False allegations of forced or coerced sex acts are not uncommon. In certain cases, a person may engage in a sexual act out of passion, after consuming alcohol or voluntarily ingesting recreational drugs, and then regret the decision at a later time. In these cases, it may be psychologically easier to falsely claim that the sex act was the result of a threat of violence, rather than admit to reckless or impulsive promiscuity. This is most prevalent when the voluntary sex act was outside of marriage or a committed relationship, discovered by disapproving family, or contrary to deeply held religious convictions. In these cases, a serious and potentially life-altering prosecution can be initiated against a completely innocent person. A defense lawyer would be instrumental in defending false allegations of sex trafficking, and the better the attorney, the better the defense.
Sex Trafficking Defense Attorneys
Sex trafficking allegations must be defended by a top attorney and not a multi-practice or budget lawyer. Attorneys who practice in multiple areas, like immigration and criminal defense, cannot be as skilled or accomplished as a lawyer that specializes only in criminal defense. The defense lawyers with LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. have decades of experience and an unparalleled track record of successfully defending thousands of clients. If you are facing an allegation of sex trafficking or any other serious crime, call us immediately for a free consultation at (248) 263-6800 or complete a Request for Assistance Form and a caring, compassionate defense attorney will promptly contact you.
We will find a way to help you and, most importantly,
we are not afraid to win!