Human Trafficking Defense Lawyer in Utah
Charges of human trafficking in the state of Utah are always serious, and a conviction based on this type of charge has a high chance of changing someone’s life forever. In order to avoid the harshest punishments for these crimes, it is critical to speak with a criminal defense lawyer as quickly as possible. That is where we can help.
Have you been charged with human trafficking in the state of Utah? Contact Wasatch Defense Lawyers today for a free case evaluation.
Human Trafficking Laws in Utah
In general, human trafficking in the state of Utah involves the intentional sexual or labor exploitation of individuals by force, coercion, or fraud. While human trafficking in Utah can take many forms, some of the most common examples include:
- Threatening harm either to that person or their loved ones
- Destroying documentation that they would otherwise need to travel freely
- Threatening the involvement of law enforcement against that individual
Because human trafficking is a felony in Utah. It is critical to ensure that everyone has access to experienced legal representation that will vigorously defend the rights of anyone accused of this crime.
Human Trafficking for Sexual Exploitation
A person is committing human trafficking for sexual exploitation or labor if they obtain, transport, patronize, or solicit a person by fraud, coercion, or force, or constitute trafficking by other actions provided for in Utah Code 76-5-308. Such coercion or force is constituted by, for example:
- Physically restraining the victim
- Threatening severe harm
- Threatening to falsely have the victim or someone else prosecuted
- Withholding a passport or other identification issued by the government
- Exploiting or creating a relationship in which the victim depends on the perpetrator.
- Threatening to harm or hold a third person captive
- Using a person’s debt to compel them into servitude without deducting the reasonable value of their services from the debt or defining or limiting the terms of the service.
Sexual Exploitation in Human Trafficking
Human trafficking for sexual exploitation can involve any type of commercially salable sexual activity when the victim is performing any of the following acts due to fraud, force, or coercion:
- Sexually explicit actions
- Acts in strip clubs
- Exotic display or dancing of a sexual nature
- Involvement in pornography production
Penalties for Human Trafficking of a Child
Under Utah 76-5-308.5, commercial sexual activity with a child refers to any sexual act for which something of value is exchanged between persons. An actor commits human trafficking of a child if the actor recruits, harbors, transports, or in any way described above in Section 308 obtains and utilizes the child under any of the circumstances described. Trafficking of a child is a first-degree felony.
Human Trafficking and Human Smuggling Charges
Under 76-5-308, the crime of human smuggling is a third-degree felony. Human trafficking or smuggling for labor or sexual exploitation is a second-degree felony (with exceptions in 76-5-310).
Trafficking or smuggling of a child is a first-degree felony, and those two crimes are separate offenses from other crimes related to either of those offenses. (Utah 76-5-308, 308.5, or 310.)
A person who receives anything of value or otherwise benefits from knowingly participating in human trafficking commits a second-degree felony. (Exceptions would be found in certain cases that are not definable as aggravated sexual abuse of a child (See 76-5-404.1.4.h).
Aggravated Human Trafficking or Smuggling
Under Section 76-5-310, a person commits aggravated human trafficking or smuggling if the crime results in the serious bodily injury or death of the victim or if it also involves:
- Trafficking of a victim for over 30 days consecutively
- Rape or object rape of an adult or child
- Forcible sodomy on an adult or sodomy on a child
- Aggravated sexual assault
- Aggravated sexual abuse of a child
- At least 10 victims
See 76-5-402 through 76-5-405 for more details on each of these charges.
Aggravated human smuggling, per Utah 76-5-308, is smuggling a child who is unaccompanied by a family member who is at least 18 years old. Aggravated human trafficking or smuggling are both first-degree felonies, and they are each separate crimes from any related crime committed by the perpetrator.
Human Trafficking of a Vulnerable Adult
An actor commits human trafficking of a vulnerable adult in the same ways and by the same means as described above. The crime is committed by sexually exploiting a vulnerable adult or forcing the individual into labor (76-5-308) when the perpetrator knows or should know the victim is a vulnerable adult.
Sexual exploitation of a vulnerable adult includes the same commercial sexual activities listed above. “Commercial sexual activity with a vulnerable adult” (76-5-311) refers to a sexual act with a vulnerable adult for which something of value is exchanged between any individuals. Trafficking of a vulnerable adult (as defined in 76-5-111.1) in violation of Section 308 is a first-degree felony.
If you are facing human trafficking charges in Utah, a conviction can severely impact your future. For the human trafficking penalty for a crime under Utah 76-5-308, you must work with an experienced human trafficking defense lawyer to defend your rights and protect your freedom.
Consequences You Face If You Are Found Guilty of Human Trafficking in the State of Utah
If you are found guilty of human trafficking in Utah, you should know that the penalties are stiff. In some cases, for those who are found guilty of human trafficking, particularly if they are convicted of a first-degree felony, then the penalty could include life in prison. This comes in addition to hefty fines and a lifetime sex offender registry penalty. If human trafficking in Utah involves children, then the penalties might be made worse.
Therefore, it is critical to rely on an experienced defense attorney who has experience with this type of case. There are a lot of intricate details that the prosecution has to prove, and it is critical to rely on a defense attorney who knows how to evaluate this case in an objective manner and provide you with accurate legal advice to ensure that your rights are stiffly defended.
Have You Been Charged with Human Trafficking in the State of Utah? Contact Us Today for a Free Case Evaluation!
No matter how baseless you might think the accusations against you are, you need to make sure that you do not leave anything to chance. This is why you need a sex crime lawyer who understands the criminal case process when it comes to sexual abuse in Utah. This is where our sex crimes attorney can help.
At Wasatch Defense Lawyers, we are experienced sex crime defense attorneys. As sex crime defense lawyers in Utah, we will work on your behalf to get the charges against you reduced or dropped altogether. In some cases, we can even keep you off of the sex offenders register in Utah. When it comes to your rights, you need to hire the right team to defend them.
We are ready to listen to your situation without judgment or reservation, so contact us today for a free case evaluation!