Union County NJ Criminal Lawyers

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Human Trafficking

Union County Sex Trafficking Defense Firm

New Jersey has spent a substantial amount of resources increasing public awareness of Human Trafficking. As part of these efforts, the State has passed new legislation called the “Human Trafficking Prevention, Protection, and Treatment Act”. While an individual falling within the target of this law is often involved in promoting prostitution, the real intention of this statute is to prosecute individuals who are essentially engaging in a form of slavery. This is obviously a rather extreme accusation and so too are the penalties an individual will face if they are convicted of human trafficking. For this reason, you really need to contact us at 908-272-1700 if you have been charged with this offense. Initial consultations are free of charge.

New Jersey Human Trafficking Law

In accordance with N.J.S.A. 2C:13-8, human trafficking is a first degree crime, the highest grade of criminal violation provided under NJ Law. An individual commits the offense of human trafficking if they hold, recruit, lure, entice, harbor, transport, provide or obtain another for purposes of engaging in “sexual activity” using any of the following tactics:

  • threats to injure or restrain;
  • criminal coercion;
  • withholding immigration and/or identification paperwork such as a passport, visa, etc.;
  • threats of legal prosecution;
  • defrauding, deceiving, or engaging  in misrepresentation; or
  • providing drugs.

It should be repeated that transporting prostitutes into or within a New Jersey for the purpose of promoting prostitution also potentially falls within this first degree crime. However, an individual who is a victim of human trafficking is not subject to prosecution under this law. Accordingly, if an individual is rendered a prostitute through any of the aforesaid tactics, they possess an affirmative defense to a human trafficking charge.

Jail Time & Other Penalties for Human Trafficking

As you may already know, a first degree crime like this typically carries a period of incarceration of 10-20 years. In accordance with N.J.S.A. 2C:13-8, however, the jail term is enhanced when someone is sentenced for human trafficking. There is a period of parole ineligibility of at least twenty (20) years that is to be imposed, meaning that an individual would have to serve at least twenty (20) years in state prison before he/she would have any chance of being released. N.J.S.A. 2C:13-8 also creates the possibility of a “life” sentence. A fine of at least $25,000 but no more than $200,000, must also be levied at the time of sentencing.

First Degree Human Trafficking Charges at the Union County Superior Court, Elizabeth NJ

There are very few criminal offenses under the New Jersey Criminal Code that carry stiffer penalties than those that apply in the case of human trafficking. It carries a mandatory minimum sentence of twenty (20) years in prison and even has the potential for resulting in a life sentence. You clearly therefore need the best representation you can find if you have been arrested for human trafficking. Our former prosecutors comprise one of the largest defense firms in New Jersey and we also happen to possess over 100 years of combined criminal experience. Call us for a free consultation at 908-272-1700.


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(908) 272-1700
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