Human trafficking is a major problem. The global value of human trafficking is estimated to be about $150 billion per year. California is believed to be a major human trafficking hub.
The California Department of Justice reports that: “In 2013, the State enacted Senate Bill 1193 (Steinberg), which added Section 52.6 to the California Civil Code. Section 52.6 mandates that specified businesses and other establishments are required to post a human trafficking model notice created by the Attorney General’s Office. This model notice must include information related to support and services available to human trafficking victims and be posted in a conspicuous place in full view of the public.
In 2017, two additional measures were enacted, Senate Bill 225 (Stern) and Assembly Bill 260 (Santiago). SB 225 required the model notice to include a specified number that victims can text for help, while AB 260 required that hotels, motels and bed, and breakfast inns be added to the list of businesses required to post the model notice.”
In 2018, further attempts to raise awareness of human trafficking and to help stop the industry. This time Assembly Bill 2034 was used to provide both school districts and local agencies with additional resources that were to be used to help increase awareness of human trafficking.
California’s lawmakers define human trafficking as an action that:
- Deprives another person of their personal freedom for the purpose of providing services or obtaining involuntary labor from the individual.
- Forcing someone to work in a manner that violates California’s laws regarding pandering, prostitution and pimping.
- Forcing a minor to engage in acts of commercial sex.
Anyone caught perpetrating California’s human trafficking laws is in direct violation of Penal Code 236.1 PC.
Anyone who is accused of human trafficking in California faces felony charges. There are no exceptions, though sometimes a few misdemeanor charges will be included on what is often a long list of charges the individual faces.
The law is quite clear. If you are convicted of human trafficking in California, you will spend time in prison. The current sentence for human trafficking is 5, 8 or 12 years in a state prison as well as a $500,000 fine. Since there are is usually additional charges attached to a human trafficking charge, it’s likely the ultimate sentence will involve a great deal more prison time.
The sentence is even worse if you are convicted of engaging in human trafficking for purposes of commercial sex, extortion or child pornography. Those types of charges involve a sentence that includes 8, 14 or 20 years in a state prison as well as a $500,000 fine. When you’re eventually released from prison, you’ll be required to register as a sex offender.
If a minor was involved in your human trafficking and commercial sex charges, the sentence is 5, 12 or 15 years-life in prison. You’ll have to pay a $500,000 fine and register as a sex offender.