Human Trafficking is often referred to as a type of modern day slavery.
In many cases Human Trafficking involves the transportation of people
in order to engage them in sexual activity, such as prostitution. As a
result, Sex Trafficking statutes are applied. Both Federal and Florida
law include heavy fines and severe criminal penalties, including potential
mandatory/minimum sentences of up to 25 years and maximum potential sentences
of up to LIFE. Mr. Petruzzi has represented numerous individuals charged
with, or under investigation for, Human Trafficking offenses by both Federal
and State authorities. His experience and knowledge serves as an invaluable
asset to his clients.
To arrange for a free and confidential consultation with respect to any
Federal or State Human Trafficking offense, contact our office at (305)-770-6550.
For complete details about Mr. Petruzzi's background, expertise, and
Federal Human Trafficking offenses are investigated and prosecuted by various
agencies, including the FBI, DEA, ICE, Department of Homeland Security,
and the Department of Justice. Some common Federal Statutes criminalizing
Human Trafficking include:
18 USC Sec. 2421 –
Whoever knowingly transports any individual in interstate or foreign commerce,
or in any Territory or Possession of the United States, with intent that
such individual engage in prostitution, or in any sexual activity for
which any person can be charged with a criminal offense, or attempts to
do so, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than 10
years, or both.
Florida Human Trafficking offenses are investigated and prosecuted by various
State and Local law enforcement agencies. Some common Florida Statutes
criminalizing Human Trafficking include:
787.06 Human trafficking.—
(1) (a) The Legislature finds that human trafficking is a form of modern-day
slavery. Victims of human trafficking are young children, teenagers, and
adults. Thousands of victims are trafficked annually across international
borders worldwide. Many of these victims are trafficked into this state.
The Legislature finds that victims of human trafficking are subjected
to force, fraud, or coercion for the purpose of sexual exploitation or
(b) The Legislature finds that while many victims of human trafficking
are forced to work in prostitution or the sexual entertainment industry,
trafficking also occurs in forms of labor exploitation, such as domestic
servitude, restaurant work, janitorial work, sweatshop factory work, and
migrant agricultural work.
(c) The Legislature finds that traffickers use various techniques to instill
fear in victims and to keep them enslaved. Some traffickers keep their
victims under lock and key. However, the most frequently used practices
are less obvious techniques that include isolating victims from the public
and family members; confiscating passports, visas, or other identification
documents; using or threatening to use violence toward victims or their
families; telling victims that they will be imprisoned or deported for
immigration violations if they contact authorities; and controlling the
victims' funds by holding the money ostensibly for safekeeping.
(d) It is the intent of the Legislature that the perpetrators of human
trafficking be penalized for their illegal conduct and that the victims
of trafficking be protected and assisted by this state and its agencies.
In furtherance of this policy, it is the intent of the Legislature that
the state Supreme Court, The Florida Bar, and relevant state agencies
prepare and implement training programs in order that judges, attorneys,
law enforcement personnel, investigators, and others are able to identify
traffickers and victims of human trafficking and direct victims to appropriate
agencies for assistance. It is the intent of the Legislature that the
Department of Children and Family Services and other state agencies cooperate
with other state and federal agencies to ensure that victims of human
trafficking can access social services and benefits to alleviate their plight.
(2) As used in this section, the term:
(a) "Financial harm" includes extortionate extension of credit,
loan sharking as defined in s.687.071, or employment contracts that violate the statute of frauds as provided in s.
(b) "Forced labor or services" means labor or services obtained
from a person by:
1. Using or threatening to use physical force against that person or another person;
2. Restraining, isolating, or confining or threatening to restrain, isolate,
or confine that person or another person without lawful authority and
against her or his will;
3. Using lending or other credit methods to establish a debt by that person
or another person when labor or services are pledged as a security for
the debt, if the value of the labor or services as reasonably assessed
is not applied toward the liquidation of the debt, the length and nature
of the labor or services are not respectively limited and defined;
4. Destroying, concealing, removing, confiscating, withholding, or possessing
any actual or purported passport, visa, or other immigration document,
or any other actual or purported government identification document, of
that person or another person;
5. Causing or threatening to cause financial harm to any person; or
6. Fraud or coercion.
(c) "Human trafficking" means transporting, soliciting, recruiting,
harboring, providing, or obtaining another person for transport.
(d) "Maintain," when used in relation to labor services, means
to secure continued performance thereof, regardless of any initial agreement
on the part of the victim to perform such type service.
(3) Any person who knowingly:
(a) Engages, or attempts to engage, in human trafficking with the intent
or knowledge that the trafficked person will be subjected to forced labor
or services; or
(b) Benefits financially by receiving anything of value from participation
in a venture that has subjected a person to forced labor or services;
commits a felony of the second degree, punishable as provided in s.
775.083, or s.775.084.
(4) The Criminal Justice Standards and Training Commission shall establish
standards for basic and advanced training programs for law enforcement
officers in the subjects of investigating and preventing human trafficking
crimes. After January 1, 2007, every basic skills course required for
law enforcement officers to obtain initial certification must include
training on human trafficking crime prevention and investigation.
(5) Each state attorney shall develop standards of instruction for prosecutors
to receive training on the investigation and prosecution of human trafficking
crimes and shall provide for periodic and timely instruction.