Houston Federal Sex Trafficking Defense Lawyers

Houston, TX federal sex trafficking charges defense lawyer

Defending Against Federal Sex Trafficking Charges in Texas

Sex trafficking is a serious crime that involves the exploitation of individuals for commercial sex acts. In recent years, law enforcement agencies and prosecutors have increased their efforts to combat sex trafficking and punish those they think responsible. If you have been accused of sex trafficking or any other federal sex crime in Texas, it is crucial to seek qualified legal representation immediately.

At Bennett & Bennett, our team of criminal-defense attorneys understands the complexity of sex-trafficking cases, and we will zealously defend your rights throughout all stages of the legal process. We will work to build creative defense strategies that will help you to avoid a federal conviction or to resolve your case while minimizing the penalties you may face.

The Definition of Federal Sex Trafficking in Texas

Under 18 U.S.C. § 1591, sex trafficking is committed if a person knowingly causes an adult to engage in commercial sex acts through force, fraud, or coercion or causes a child under the age of 18 to engage in commercial sex acts. These sex acts may involve prostitution or other transactions in which sex acts are performed in exchange for money or anything of value.

A person may be charged with sex trafficking if they allegedly recruited, transported, or harbored people to engage in commercial sex acts. Soliciting, patronizing, or advertising commercial sex acts or otherwise receiving money or other benefits from these activities may also result in federal sex trafficking charges.

Additional Federal Laws Addressing Sex Trafficking

The United States has implemented several laws at the federal level to combat sex trafficking and protect victims. Some key federal laws related to sex trafficking include:

  1. Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA): The TVPA was first enacted in 2000 and has since been reauthorized multiple times. This act includes provisions that define human trafficking crimes, enhance punishments for offenders, provide resources for victims' assistance programs, and establish avenues for immigration relief for victims.
  2. Mann Act: This law, which was originally passed in 1910, made it illegal to transport women via interstate or foreign commerce for "immoral purposes." It has been amended several times to include provisions related to child pornography and to ensure that the scope of the law is limited to illegal sexual activity.
  3. RICO (Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations) statutes: These statutes can be applied to prosecute individuals who are involved in organized criminal enterprises involving sex trafficking activities. This may allow federal prosecutors to bring charges against those who allegedly profited from sex trafficking without being directly involved in these activities.

Potential Consequences

The consequences for engaging in sex trafficking can be severe under federal laws. Those convicted of offenses related to sex trafficking may face significant penalties that include:

  1. Imprisonment: Causing a person to engage in commercial sex acts through force, fraud, or coercion or sex trafficking of children under the age of 14 may result in a prison sentence of 15 years to life. Sex trafficking of children over the age of 14 but under the age of 18 without the use of force, fraud, or coercion may result in a sentence of 10 years to life.
  2. Fines: Convicted individuals may be required to pay substantial fines imposed by the court. These fines may be as high as $250,000 or twice the amount that a person allegedly gained by being involved in sex trafficking.
  3. Asset forfeiture: Federal officials may seize any money or property that a person allegedly obtained through their participation in sex trafficking.
  4. Mandatory restitution: A person convicted of sex trafficking may be required to pay the alleged victims for the full amount of their losses, which may include the value of the labor or services they provided.
  5. Civil Penalties: In addition to criminal penalties, offenders may also face civil lawsuits filed by victims seeking monetary damages for physical and emotional harm suffered during their experience of being trafficked.

Contact a Houston Federal Sex Trafficking Crimes Attorney

If you have been accused of sex trafficking, it is vital to seek legal assistance promptly. At Bennett & Bennett, we are committed to providing comprehensive support and experienced representation to defendants who have been charged with federal sex crimes. Our team understands the sensitive nature of these cases, and we will fight tirelessly to protect your rights.

For more information about how our firm can assist with sex trafficking cases or any other legal matters, contact us today at 713-224-1747. We offer confidential consultations where we can discuss your situation and guide you toward the appropriate course of action.

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