What are the factors or elements for 236.1 PC Trafficking?
Under Penal Code 236.1 PC, the crime of “human trafficking” in California is defined as:
- Depriving someone of their personal liberty with the intent to obtain forced labor or services from them,
- Depriving someone of their personal liberty with the intent to violate California’s pimping and pandering laws, California’s child pornography laws, California laws against extortion and blackmail, or certain other California laws concerning commercial sexual activity and the sexual exploitation of children, OR
- Persuading or trying to persuade a minor to engage in a commercial sex act, with the intent to violate one of those same laws.
The following scenarios are examples of ways in which people may violate California’s human trafficking law:
- A pimp has several underage prostitutes working for him. He confiscates most of their earnings and tells them that he will kill their parents if they ever stop working for him.
- The owner of a clothing factory employs a number of illegal immigrants from Mexico. She (the owner) provides her workers with room and board but no wages. She tells them that she will report them to the immigration authorities if they try to stop working for her.
- A wealthy family has a domestic servant from the Philippines, who is here illegally. They confiscate her passport and keep her under lock and key, not allowing her to leave the house and threatening her with violence when she tries to escape.
In 2012, California voters passed Proposition 35 (the “Californians Against Sexual Exploitation Act”), which provides for new, very harsh penalties for people convicted of violating Penal Code 236.1 PC.
Human trafficking is always a felony in California law.
If you are convicted of human trafficking in order to obtain forced labor or services, you face:
- Five (5), eight (8), or twelve (12) years in California state prison, and
- A fine of up to five hundred thousand dollars ($500,000)
If you are convicted of human trafficking in order to commit a crime related to commercial sex, child pornography, or extortion, you face:
- Eight (8), fourteen (14), or twenty (20) years in state prison,
- A fine of up to five hundred thousand dollars ($500,000),and
- The requirement that youregister as a sex offender.
Finally, if you persuade a minor to engage in a commercial sex act, you could receive:
- Five (5) to twelve (12) years in prison, OR a sentence of fifteen (15) years to life, if the jury determines that you used force, fear, violence, or threat of injury to the alleged victim,
- A five hundred thousand dollar ($500,000) fine, and
- A sex offender registration requirement.
How can we defend you against charges of California Penal Code 236.1 PC Human Trafficking?
Human trafficking sounds like a monstrous crime. But many people accused of it have done nothing wrong—or, at the very least, may actually have only committed a much less serious offense.
An experienced criminal defense attorney can help you mount a convincing legal defense to human trafficking charges. Some potential defenses are:
- You were falsely accused,
- You did not actually deprive the alleged “victim” of his/her liberty (i.e., the alleged victim was actually free to go), and
- You made amistake of fact that makes you not guilty of the crime of human trafficking.
We have been successfully defending clients facing all types of criminal charges in Sonoma and Marin Counties, since 1992.
The 100 Trial Lawyers Association has recognized us as one of the best criminal defense attorneys in the country!
Please call our office today at (707) 571-8600 in our centrally located Santa Rosa office in Sonoma County or call our office in San Rafael in Marin County at (415) 492-4507 to schedule a free and confidential case evaluation.
Don’t bargain with your freedom! The right attorney makes all the difference between your freedom and incarceration!
Please CLICK HERE to visit our dedicated page on sex crimes charges for more info.