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Peonage, Slavery, and Trafficking Persons

Federal Defense Attorneys Explain Peonage, Slavery and Trafficking Crimes

Federal Peonage, Slavery, and TraffickingSlavery is strictly forbidden in the United States, not only by state laws and by federal laws but also by the United States Constitution. Yet, despite strict laws prohibiting slavery, people are still trafficked as slaves and people are still enslaved, either as sexual slaves, as labor slaves, or for other purposes.

The law takes it very seriously when someone is enslaved or when someone is trafficked, and those who engage in the wrongful conduct can be charged with a federal crime that carries harsh penalties.

Federal charges can be brought against defendants for peonage, slavery, and trafficking crimes, and any defendant who is accused of involvement with these behaviors needs to reach out and get help from an experienced federal criminal defense lawyer.

LV Criminal Defense can help. Our skilled legal team will work closely with you to evaluate evidence that prosecutors have against you, to explore all your options for responding to charges, and to fight for acquittal or to fight for the most favorable plea agreement possible.

You need an advocate on your side with an in-depth knowledge of federal law when you are facing slavery charges, and our firm has decades of collective experience representing clients in Arizona, California, Nevada, Oregon, and Utah who have been charged with federal offenses. We can put that experience to work for you, so give us a call today.

Federal Laws On Peonage, Slavery, and Trafficking Persons

Federal laws are very strict regarding peonage, slavery, and trafficking persons. The relevant laws that make these behaviors a federal crime are found within 18 U.S. Code Chapter 77. Within this Chapter, there are a total of 18 different statutes.

Some of these statutes define particular types of criminal conduct and explain what prosecutors must prove in order to secure a conviction for those specific unlawful behaviors. Some of the statutes also address other issues, including when a convicted defendant must make restitution and what civil remedies are available. The relevant statutes include:

  • 18 U.S. Code section 1581: Peonage; obstructing enforcement
  • 18 U.S. Code section 1582: Vessels for slave trade
  • 18 U.S. Code section 1583: Enticement into slavery
  • 18 U.S. Code section 1584: Sale into involuntary servitude
  • 18 U.S. Code section 1585: Seizure, detention, transportation or sale of slaves
  • 18 U.S. Code section 1586: Service on vessels in slave trade
  • 18 U.S. Code section 1587: Possession of slaves aboard vessel
  • 18 U.S. Code section 1588: Transportation of slaves from United States
  • 18 U.S. Code section 1589: Forced labor
  • 18 U.S. Code section 1590: Trafficking with respect to peonage, slavery, involuntary servitude, or forced labor
  • 18 U.S. Code section 1591: Sex trafficking of children or by force, fraud, or coercion
  • 18 U.S. Code section 1592: Unlawful conduct with respect to documents in furtherance of trafficking, peonage, slavery, involuntary servitude, or forced labor
  • 18 U.S. Code section 1593: Mandatory restitution
  • 18 U.S. Code section 1593A: Benefitting financially from peonage, slavery, and trafficking in persons
  • 18 U.S. Code section 1594: General provisions
  • 18 U.S. Code section 1595: Civil remedy
  • 18 U.S. Code section 1596: Additional jurisdiction in certain trafficking offenses
  • 18 U.S. Code section 1597: Unlawful conduct with respect to immigration documents

There are different definitions for each of these different offenses that you should know if you’ve been accused of violating any of the provisions of 18 U.S. Code Chapter 77. For example, 18 U.S. code section 1583 deals with enticement into slavery and specifies that a defendant can be convicted for:

  • Kidnapping or carrying away a person with the intent for that person to be held as a slave or with the intent for that person to be sold into involuntary servitude.
  • Enticing, persuading, or inducing any person to get aboard a vessel or to go someplace with the intent that the person will be made a slave, held as a slave, or sent out of the country to be made into a slave or held as a slave.
  • Obstructing, or trying to obstruct, the enforcement of any of the laws aimed at preventing slavery, peonage or trafficking in persons found within 18 U.S. Code Chapter 77.

If a prosecutor can prove that a defendant engaged in any of these actions in violation of 18 U.S. Code section 77, then the defendant could be sentenced to up to a maximum of life imprisonment if the victim was killed; if kidnapping or attempted kidnapping was involved; or if the violation involved aggravated sexual abuse, attempted aggravated sexual abuse; or an attempt to kill.

Other statutes within Chapter 77 establish different elements of related offenses involving peonage, slavery, and trafficking in persons but there are different elements of each crime prosecutors have to prove and different penalties.

A federal criminal defense attorney will assist you in understanding the specifics of the statute that you have been charged under because this will shape the defenses that are available to you.

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Getting help from a Federal Criminal Defense Attorney

Peonage, slavery, and trafficking in persons are some of the most serious of all criminal offenses and you need a federal criminal defense lawyer who can provide the advocacy you need to fight against a conviction for these crimes. LV Criminal Defense has helped many clients in California, Arizona, Oregon, Nevada, Utah, or surrounding areas and we can put our extensive experience with federal criminal cases to work to help you.

Just give us a call to find out more about the assistance we can offer as you navigate the criminal justice system. Our federal defense lawyers will help you to fight charges in court, introduce reasonable doubt to avoid conviction, or otherwise take the right strategic approach to avoid penalties or lessen the charges you face. Call now to find out more.

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