Human trafficking cases are on the rise in Iowa. In 2017, the National Human Trafficking Hotline received 218 calls from Iowa alone. The mounting pressure to convict traffickers has caused the State Attorney’s office to aggressively prosecute each human trafficking case. Additionally, the penalties for human trafficking are incredibly severe and could have a life-long impact. If you’re convicted for human trafficking, then you’ll face a felony and receive time in prison.
The serious penalties associated with human trafficking means you must act quickly. The faster you gain legal representation, the more time you will have dedicated to building your defense.
If you or someone you know has been charged with human trafficking, find a reputable and skilled criminal defense attorney at McCarthy & Hamrock, P.C.
Human Trafficking Defense Attorney in Des Moines, Iowa
It can be difficult to defend a person against human trafficking charges. The stigma associated with human trafficking often influences both the jury and judge’s decision making, and therefore could hurt the defendant’s case. If you have been charged with human trafficking or another serious violent crime in the state of Iowa, we urge you to contact our skilled defense attorneys at McCarthy & Hamrock, P.C..
Get started on your defense as soon as possible with McCarthy & Hamrock, P.C. Our attorney’s decades of experience will give you the advantage you need when fighting your human trafficking charges. Set up your first consultation with McCarthy & Hamrock, P.C. by calling (515) 279-9700. McCarthy & Hamrock, P.C. accepts clients throughout the greater Des Moines area including cities in Polk County and Dallas County.
- Definitions for Human Trafficking Under the Iowa Code
- What Are the Penalties for Human Trafficking in Iowa?
- Additional Resources
Definitions for Human Trafficking Under the Iowa Code
Human trafficking is when a person has been forced into labor, sexual slavery, commercial sexual exploitation, marriages, or other forms of servitude that would be considered a type of slavery. To understand the crime and penalties for human trafficking, you must first learn the definitions behind the offense. Listed below are the various definitions for legal terms associated with human trafficking under the Iowa Code.
- Human Trafficking – Participation in a venture to recruit, harbor, transport, supply provisions or obtain a person for any of the following purposes:
- Forced labor or service that results in involuntary peonage, servitude, debt bondage, or slavery
- Commercial sexual activity through the use of force, fraud, or coercion. If the person is under the age of 18, then it’s considered commercial sexual activity even if no coercion, fraud, or force was involved.
- Forced Labor or Services – Labor or services that are performed or provided by another person and obtained/maintained through any of the following:
- Causing or threatening to inflict serious physical injury
- Physically restraining or threatening to physically restrain a person
- Abusing or threatening to abuse the law or legal process
- Knowingly concealing, destroying, removing, confiscating, or possessing any actual or purported passport, or other immigration/government identification document
- Involuntary Servitude—A condition of servitude induced by means of any scheme, plan, or pattern. The scheme, plan, or pattern must be intended to cause the person to believe that if they did not comply or continue with such condition, they would suffer serious harm, physical restraint or be threatened with abuse of legal process.
- Peonage – Status or condition of involuntary servitude based on alleged indebtedness.
Additionally, human trafficking can also be defined as knowingly purchasing or attempting to purchase services involving commercial sexual activity from a victim or another person engaged in a human trafficking scheme.
What Are the Penalties for Human Trafficking in Iowa?
The consequences upon conviction for human trafficking could potentially uproot your life. If the court finds any of the following to be true, you’ll be charged with a class D felony.
- You engaged in human trafficking.
- You engaged in human trafficking by physically restraining or threatening to physically restrain another person.
- You engaged in human trafficking by soliciting services or benefiting from the services of an alleged victim.
- You engaged in human trafficking by abusing or threatening to abuse the law or legal process.
- You engaged in human trafficking by knowingly destroying, concealing, removing, confiscating, or possessing any actual or purported passport, immigration document, or other type of government identification.
A class D felony is punishable by:
- Up to 5 years in prison
- A fine ranging between $750 and $7,500
If any of the following is proven in court, your charge will be enhanced to a class C felony.
- You engaged in human trafficking by causing or attempting to cause serious physical injury to the alleged victim(s)
- The alleged victim(s) were under the age of 18
The penalties for a class C felony include:
- Up to 10 years in prison
- A fine ranging between $1,000 and $10,000
Engaging in human trafficking with a victim under the age of 18 by causing serious physical injury or threatening to cause serious physical injury is a class B felony. The maximum prison sentence for a class B felony is up to 25 years.
Office to Combat Human Trafficking | Iowa DPS – Visit the official website for the Iowa Department of Public Safety to learn more about their objective to stop human trafficking in Iowa. Access the report to learn more about their investigative techniques, human trafficking statistics in Iowa, their planned response to the increase in human trafficking cases, and more.
Human Trafficking Laws in Iowa – Visit the official website for the Iowa Legal Code to learn more about their human trafficking laws. Access the site to learn about the penalties for human trafficking, the consequences for solicitation of commercial sexual activity, and other information that may be relevant to you and your case.
Defense Attorney for Human Trafficking in Des Moines, IA
If you or someone you know has been accused of human trafficking, it’s within your best interest to contact an experienced criminal defense attorney like the legal team at McCarthy & Hamrock, P.C. Our skilled criminal defense attorneys can investigate every aspect of your case and begin building a sturdy defense immediately. Don’t wait another moment to protect your freedoms and future. Contact the attorneys at McCarthy & Hamrock, P.C. today for experienced legal representation.
To set up your first consultation with McCarthy & Hamrock, P.C., call our offices at (515) 279-9700 today. McCarthy & Hamrock, P.C. accepts clients throughout the greater Des Moines county area including Polk County and Dallas County.