State Law Regarding the Trafficking of Persons

It is believed that thousands of men, women, and children are trafficked in and out of Texas each year. As one of the largest border states, Texas has become a trafficking hotspot. In an effort to combat the crisis, the state attorney general has formed a “Human Trafficking Initiative.” In addition, the state regularly prosecutes cases against suspected traffickers.

At Fibich, Leebron, Copeland & Briggs we provide compassionate, dedicated representation for survivors of human trafficking. Traffickers and other liable parties can face both criminal and civil penalties. Civil lawsuits allow survivors to obtain financial compensation for their losses including for pain and suffering. If you or someone you know has been trafficked, contact our office at (713) 751-0025 to book a free consultation. 

What Is Human Trafficking?

The Texas Penal Code explicitly defines the “trafficking of persons” under Title 5, Chapter 20A. A person may be charged with human trafficking if they knowingly traffic a person with the intent to make them engage in forced labor or service.

As defined by state law, trafficking may include:

  • Transporting;
  • Enticing; 
  • Recruiting;
  • Harboring;
  • Providing; or
  • Obtaining a person by any means.

In addition to the physical act of trafficking another person, a person may be charged with a criminal offense under Chapter 20A for receiving a “benefit from participating in a venture that involves” trafficking. 

Forcing a Person to Engage in Prohibited Conduct

Trafficking may also include causing a person to engage in prohibited conduct through “force, fraud, or coercion.” 

Prohibited conduct, under state law, includes:

  • Prostitution
  • Promotion of prostitution
  • Online promotion of prostitution
  • Aggravated promotion of prostitution
  • Aggravated online promotion of prostitution
  • Compelling prostitution

It is important to note that trafficking can involve people of all ages, races, and genders. Tragically, many times traffickers target the most vulnerable populations including teens and young children. 

Trafficking of Children

The penal code codifies trafficking of children in Section 20A.02. It can include engaging in activities that cause a child to do forced labor or services or benefitting from participating in a venture that engages in trafficking activities. Furthermore, it is illegal to be involved in actions that cause a child to engage in or become the victim of prohibited conduct.

Traffickers may be involved in or cause a child to become a victim of:

  • Continuous sexual abuse of a young child or disabled individual
  • Indecency with a child
  • Sexual assault
  • Aggravated sexual assault
  • Prostitution
  • Solicitation of prostitution
  • Promotion of prostitution
  • Online promotion of prostitution
  • Aggravated promotion of prostitution
  • Aggravated online promotion of prostitution
  • Compelling prostitution
  • Sexual performance by a child
  • Employment harmful to a child
  • Possession or promotion of child pornography

Human trafficking survivors are strongly encouraged to contact an experienced attorney. In many cases, the trafficker and individuals who benefitted from trafficking activities may be held liable for damages. 

Were You the Victim of Trafficking? Contact Our Office. 

If you were the victim of human trafficking contact our office at (713) 751-0025 to speak directly with an attorney. Our lawyers are well-versed in handling human trafficking cases. We provide representation for individuals throughout Texas. Call now to book a free, confidential consultation. 

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