Phoenix has some of the toughest human trafficking laws anywhere in the nation. Based on its legal definition in this context, to “traffic" means to entice, recruit, harbor, provide, transport or otherwise obtain another person by deception, coercion or force. According to Arizona Revised Statute A.R.S. 13-1308, it is unlawful for a person to either:
- Knowingly traffic another person with the intent to or knowledge that the other person will be subject to forced labor or services
- Knowingly benefit, financially or by receiving anything of value, from participation in a venture that has engaged in an act of human trafficking
If you are found guilty of involvement in human trafficking on any level, your life can come to a screeching halt through lengthy prison sentences, enormous fines, and social stigma that can plague you for many years to come. Therefore, if you find yourself charged with any type of human trafficking crime in Phoenix, you should immediately consult an experienced, reputable defense attorney who will aggressively fight to make sure your rights are being upheld throughout every phase of the legal process.
What is Forced Labor?
Under the A.R.S statute, “forced labor” means labor or services that are obtained through a person by:
- Causing or threatening to cause serious physical injury to any person
- Restraining or threatening to physically restrain another person
- Knowingly destroying, concealing, removing, confiscating, possessing or withholding another person's actual or purported passport or other immigration document, government issued identification document, government record or personal property
- Abusing or threatening to abuse the law or the legal system
- Causing or threatening to cause financial harm to any person
- Facilitating or controlling another person's access to a controlled substance
The only legal exception to the human trafficking statute involves ordinary household chores, and reasonable disciplinary measures between a parent or legal guardian and the parent's or legal guardian's child.
What are the Penalties for Human Trafficking in Phoenix?
Human trafficking warrants a mandatory class 2 felony charge that can be tried on a state or federal level depending on the circumstances surrounding your case felony.
- In Arizona, the presumptive term for class 4 felonies is 2.5 years in prison, and the aggravated term is 3.75 years in prison, as well as up to $150,000 in fines per charge plus any other criminal or civil financial liabilities you may incur
However, the specific charges you will face for your purported involvement in human trafficking depend entirely upon what kind of trafficking you are accused of partaking in. For example:
- Unlawfully obtaining labor or services is a class 4 felony
- Trafficking forced labor or services is a class 2 felony
- Sex trafficking is a class 2 felony
If other crimes are involved with human trafficking, such as drug trafficking, or sexual assault or molestation of a minor sex crimes, then you can face additional felony charges relating to those crimes in conjunction with human trafficking charges. This means:
- Prison sentences can vary greatly, from many years to many decades depending on the specifics of the case
- Fines can be up to millions of dollars, not counting civil liabilities and judgments you may incur if you are found guilty
Trust Phoenix Criminal Attorney with your Human Trafficking Crimes Defense in Phoenix
The extremely serious nature of human trafficking charges requires an aggressive, knowledgeable defense attorney who will represent you during this most trying time. Phoenix Criminal Attorney provides our clients with focused legal assistance for human trafficking charges of all severities. We will not stop fighting for your rights by making sure that every possible legal option and defense strategy is available to you. If you have been arrested and charged with any type of human trafficking crime in Phoenix, contact us today for a private, no obligation consultation at 602-551-8092.