In the last five years, Florida law enforcement has boosted their efforts in seeking out human and sex traffickers. This is due to Florida becoming a “zero-tolerance” state in regards to human trafficking. Sex trafficking is a frequent reality in Florida as the state is an international port and border.

Sex trafficking happens when the accused transports, provides, solicits, recruits, maintains, entices, or obtains another person for the purpose of sexual exploitation. Florida statutes do not define “sex trafficking,” instead sex trafficking is considered a fact of human trafficking involving forced sexual acts.

Gainesville Lawyers for Sex Trafficking Charges in Florida

A human trafficking charge is life-altering. Have you or someone you know been accused of sex trafficking, it is vital that you contact an experienced criminal defense attorney. The Gainesville lawyers at Galigani Law Firm are practiced in Florida’s criminal defense law.

Galigani Law Firm is composed of a team of qualified criminal defense attorneys. Our attorneys have over twenty years of practice in Florida’s criminal defense courts with promising results. Do not take a chance with your future. Put yourself in the best possible hands. Get in contact with the attorneys at Galigani Law Firm.

Let us be your partner in this legal process. We accept clients and handled human trafficking cases throughout the greater Eighth Judicial Circuit court area and surrounding counties including Marion County, Union County, Gilchrist County, Baker County, Levy County, and Bradford County.

Do not be stranded in legal complexities. Get help from an experienced criminal defense attorney today. Call (352) 375-0812 or submit an online contact form today.

Overview for Sex Trafficking Charges in Florida

Elements of Sex Trafficking under Florida Law

Florida statute § 787.06(3) defines human trafficking, but does not define sex trafficking. Instead, Florida legislature dictates sex trafficking as a facet of human trafficking. In order to prove the crime of sex trafficking, the prosecutor must prove two things beyond a reasonable doubt.

  • The accused knowingly or in reckless disregard of the facts, engaged in, attempted to engage in, benefited financially by receiving something of value from participation in a venture that subjected a person to human trafficking.
  • The offender enticed, subjected to force, coerced, fraud, or forced the victim(s) of human trafficking to perform or work in:
    • Sexual assault;
    • Sex entertainment industry;
    • Prostitution; or
    • Another form of commercial sex.

Keep note, that this list doesn’t incorporate the act of instilling fear of deportation. A person who threatens to or does confiscate passports, visas, and other identification documents in exchange for sex acts is also committing the offense of sex trafficking.

In addition to this, sex trafficking penalties are enhanced if the offender allegedly sexually trafficks a child.

Penalties for Sex Trafficking under Florida Statute § 787.06

Human trafficking is normally considered a second-degree felony under Florida legislature. Felony convictions are incredibly serious and can follow a person for life-long. The degree of the felony is based on the circumstances of the sex trafficking.

If convicted for sex trafficking, the judge may impose the following penalties based on the conditions of the sex trafficking:

  • Up to 30 years in prison
  • Up to 30 years of probation
  • Up to $10,000 in fines.

Any sex trafficking involving a child or children have enhanced penalties. Sex trafficking a child by transport or transfer into Florida is usually convicted as a first-degree felony. The maximum penalties for first-degree felonies are life incarceration and a possible large fine.

Definitions in the Florida Human Trafficking Statute

The term “Coercion” as defined under § 787.06(2)(a):

  • Restraining, isolating, or threatening to restrain, isolate, or confine any person without lawful authority and against her or his will;
  • Using or threatening to use physical force against any person;
  • Using lending or other credit methods to establish a debt by any person when labor or services are pledged as a security for the debt. If the value of the labor or services is reasonably assessed and is not applied towards the liquidation of the debt, the length and nature of the labor or services are not respectively limited and defined;
  • Destroying, removing, withholding, confiscating, concealing, or possessing any actual or purported passport, visa, or other immigration document, or any other actual or purported government identification documents of any person;
  • Enticing or luring any person by fraud or deceit;
  • Causing or threatening to cause financial harm to any person; or
  • Providing a controlled substance as outlined in Schedule I or Schedule II of Florida Statute 893.03 to any person for the purpose of exploitation of that person.

The term “commercial sexual activity” is defined under § 787.06(2)(b) as:

  • Sexually explicit performances;
  • The production of pornography;
  • A crime named in Chapter 796; or
  • An attempt to commit any crime named in Chapter 796.

A “sexually explicit performance” can also be defined as a private or public act that is live, recorded, photographed, or videotaped. This applies as well if the media is made public, distributed to sell, or have the purpose to arouse or satisfy the sexual desires of the accused sexual offender.

Federal Laws definition of Sex Trafficking

22 U.S. Code § 7102(10) defines human trafficking as the recruitment, provision, patronizing, transportation, obtaining, harboring, or soliciting of a person for the purpose of labor or commercial sex act.

The term “commercial sex act” is defined under U.S. code as any sort of sex act, in which anything of value is given or received by any person.

If a person does any of the following knowingly or intentionally, they are in violation of 22 U.S. Code § 7102(10).

  • Using or affecting interstate or foreign commerce, including special maritime and territorial jurisdiction of the Unites States for any trafficking persons. This includes any of the following; harbors, recruits, advertise transports, entice, obtains, solicits, maintains, or patronizes any means a person; or
  • Benefits, financially or by receiving anything of value, from participation in any acts defined as trafficking as U.S. Code. Including any sort of advertising, in reckless disregard of the fact, that means of force, threats of force, fraud, coercion, or any combination of such means that can be used to cause the person to engage in a commercial sex act, or used upon a person who has not reached the age of 18 years to coerce them into a commercial sex act.

“Coercion” is defined under 22 U.S. Code § 7102 as a threat of serious harm or physical restraint against a person. This includes any sort of pattern, plan, scheme intended to cause the victim to believe consequences would follow failure to perform an act.

“Abuse or threatened abuse of law or the legal process” is defined under federal law as anything used to exert pressure on the victim. This includes anything civil, administrative, criminal, and any manner or for any purpose for which the law was not designed.

Additional Resources

Florida Statute 787.06 – Read the Florida statute regarding human trafficking. See the legal language about the specifics, scenarios, and penalties about human trafficking in Florida.

Florida Coalition Against Human Trafficking – Visit the Florida Coalition Against Human Trafficking website, and see stories on the exploitation and commercial exchange of people for purposes of servitude, debt bondage, prostitution, involuntary labor, and pornography.  FCAHT is a non-profit organization whose goal is to promote information and awareness surrounding human trafficking.

Licensed DUI Programs in Florida | Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV) – Visit the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles website and view the complete listing of all licensed DUI programs statewide. Read on how the educational courses are organized by offense, and what it takes to finish a complete course.

Find a Lawyer for Sex Trafficking Charges in Gainesville, FL

Any human trafficking charge is serious. It can be difficult to fight sex trafficking charges, especially because law and state enforcement are eager to convict human trafficking cases. If you or someone you know has been charged with sex trafficking, it is imperative that you contact an attorney at Galigani Law Firm.

Galigani Law Firm accepts and represent clients charged with human trafficking and related offenses all throughout the North Central Florida area. The attorneys at Galigani Law Firm are practiced criminal defense attorneys who have been added to many prestigious law groups such as the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL), the Florida Association of Criminal Defense Attorneys, and the 8th Judicial Circuit Bar Administration. We are passionate about criminal defense and protecting your rights. Do not face these daunting charges alone. Call us today for a partner in your case.

Galigani Law Firm have handled cases throughout the greater Alachua County area and surrounding counties including Gainesville in Alachua County, Lake City in Columbia County, Trenton in Gilchrist County, Bronson in Levy County, Ocala in Marion County, Starke in Bradford County, and Macclenny in Baker County.

In addition to this, Galigani Law Firm has worked cases involving various law officials including the Alachua County Sheriff’s Department, the University of Florida Police Department (UFPD), the Office of Columbia County’s Sheriff, the Bronson Police Department, the Levy County Sheriff’s Office, the Bronson Police Department, the Gainesville Police Department, the Union County Sheriff’s Office, the Baker County Sheriff’s Office, the Lake City Police Department, and the Trenton Police Department.

Put your future in the best hands. Dial (352) 375-0812 or schedule an online appointment for a free consultation today.