Human trafficking is a serious problem in Virginia, and this crime is prosecuted aggressively. You could face a lengthy prison sentence and hefty fines if convicted of this offense. If you are arrested for human trafficking, your first step should be to retain an experienced criminal defense lawyer to defend you.
What Is Considered Human Trafficking in Virginia?
Human trafficking involves someone benefitting from the exploitation or control of a victim. The offense is a crime under state and federal law and is charged as a felony in Virginia.
Under Virginia Code §18.2-355, there are four ways a person can commit human trafficking, including:
- Taking, persuading, encouraging, or causing another individual to enter a bawdy place or taking them there against their will for prostitution or unlawful sexual intercourse
- Taking or detaining a victim against their will by force, threat, persuasion, menace, or duress to coerce them to marry or be defiled by someone
- Consenting to someone being taken or detained for prostitution or unlawful sexual intercourse where the accused is the victim’s parent, guardian, or legal custodian
- Taking, persuading, encouraging, or causing a minor to enter a bawdy place or be taken there for the purpose of prostitution
Punishments for Human Trafficking
This crime could be charged as a Class 3 or Class 4 felony. If you were accused of one of the first three ways of committing this crime, you would be charged with a Class 4 felony. Trafficking a minor would be charged as a Class 3 felony. The punishments include:
- Class 3 felony. A person could be sentenced to five to twenty years in prison and a fine of up to $100,000.
- Class 4 felony. The sentence for a Class 4 felony could include a prison sentence of two to ten years and a fine of up to $100,000.
Are you facing human trafficking charges in Virginia? Our dedicated criminal defense attorneys are here to explain your options and mount an aggressive defense strategy that could help you get the charges dismissed or reduced to a less severe offense. Schedule a free consultation by calling our Manassas office at 888-DUI-LWYR, or filling out our online form to learn more about how we can help you.