Human trafficking is a serious issue in the modern era, and Mississippi has taken a very tough stance against this crime. The state has its own human trafficking laws, and it has been praised by various human rights activists for its no-nonsense approach. It might seem unthinkable that slavery still exists in a first-world nation like the United States, but in many ways, we have not really progressed since the Roman times, when slavery was common. Perhaps some things never change.
If you have been accused of human trafficking, it is important that you get in touch with a qualified, experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. If this is all a misunderstanding, it is important that you clear your name. With the right legal representation, you can gather conclusive evidence and show that the accusations laid against you are false.
Human Trafficking is a Genuine Issue in Mississippi
In June of 2021, it was reported that 20 human trafficking victims had been rescued in Mississippi during a two-week operation. Many of these victims were involved in prostitution, and arrests were also made in connection to felony narcotics possession. This shows how human trafficking is often tied in with other criminal activities, such as the drug trade and prostitution.
Mississippi’s Human Trafficking Laws
Mississippi has unique laws that apply to human trafficking. For example, it is illegal to traffic a minor for sexual purposes, even if that minor is willing to participate in these activities. Minor victims of human trafficking cannot be charged with prostitution. The trafficker can either be charged with human trafficking or “promoting prostitution.” The penalties for human trafficking of a minor involve a maximum prison sentence of 30 years and a fine of up to $500,000.
You can also be charged with human trafficking even if the victim was not a minor. Under Mississippi law, anyone who “coerces, recruits, entices, harbors, transports, provides or obtains by any means, or attempts to coerce, recruit, entice, harbor, transport, provide or obtain by any means, another person” can be charged with human trafficking, as long as they are aware that the individual will be subject to forced labor or services.
If you purchase a human trafficking victim or their services, you will be charged with “procuring involuntary servitude.”
Regardless of whether you have been charged with procuring involuntary servitude or human trafficking, you face a maximum prison sentence of 20 years and a fine of up to $100,000. If you are charged with promoting prostitution of a minor, you will face a prison sentence of up to 30 years and a fine of up to $500,000.
Enlist the Help of a Qualified Attorney Today
If you have been searching the Mississippi area for a qualified, experienced criminal defense attorney, look no further than Vic Carmody Jr., P.A. We have helped countless defendants reach positive legal outcomes, and we can employ a number of effective defense strategies if you have been accused of human trafficking. Reach out and book your consultation today.