Human Trafficking in Chicago

mingyue-sun-153025-300x169The harrowing circumstances that typically surround a human trafficking case in Chicago means challenging work for a defense attorney. The crime tends to intersect with other serious crimes such as rape and sexual assault. That is why organizations like the Alliance Against Sexual Exploitation were formed in order to ensure that the victims get full justice. Chicago has adopted a two-pronged approach that complements local legislative arrangements with the provisions of the relevant federal law. At the same time the law enforcement agencies are paying a lot of attention to how the sex industry is directly and indirectly at the heart of these types of crimes.

Establishing the Factual Basis for the Prosecution and Defense

The process of gathering evidence is quite complex in these cases, which is why it is advisable to first consult with the best attorneys before presenting any defense. The fact that there is an aspect of conspiracy significantly increases the range of punishments that are available to the courts. The Illinois legislature has been coming up with new bills and amendments that are designed to cover the loopholes that were left behind by the federal law. Of particular interest is the use of the affirmative defense, one which is applicable in 28 other states. The law is contained within the provisions of SB 1588.

The clauses were designed in order to avoid the farce of having to prosecute those who were victims of the index offense but whose actions can be construed to be those of an unwilling accomplice. Hence it is entirely possible that someone who has been arrested for prostitution can mount a successful defense based on the fact that they were victims of trafficking, which forced them to engage in prostitution. The alternative is to blindly prosecute anyone that is involved in the illicit business without due regard to the differing degrees of culpability. These provisions are in line with the intent behind the Victims Protection Act of 2000.

New Procedural Requirements

The law not only defines when prosecutions can be commissioned and the acceptable defenses, it also presents a procedural model for the prosecution in order to avoid unfairness during the process. The ultimate aim behind this provision is to enhance the safety of the victims so that there is more confidence in the criminal justice system to be able to bring the culprits to book. A case in point is how victims can use camera hearings in order to avoid having to confront the perpetrators in public court.

The prosecution may want to use the defendant for purposes of entrapping other major culprits, and this can be used by the defense attorneys as a bargaining tool. Cooperation with the authorities in due time is always a mitigating factor. By contrast, any form of concealment will turn out to be an aggravating feature of the case. The defense attorney must make a judgement as to whether the benefits of cooperating with the police outweigh the risk of self-incrimination for the defendant.  

Expanding the Notion of Resultant Consequences

The law concerning human trafficking in Chicago has sometimes faced some scrutiny over whether it gives sufficient credence to the notion that a single act of criminality can lead to a series of serious consequences for the victim. The Public Act 097-0897 is not always clear on these issues. For example; it might come under consideration when a trafficked person acquires a deadly disease such as HIV/AIDS as a direct consequence of the prostitution. The courts are reluctant to follow an endless stream of prosecutions but will certainly take note if the victim dies in the course of the prostitution. If you need a great lawyer to take your case, contact David Freidberg attorney at law today at (312) 560-7100.


(image courtesy of Mingyue Sun)

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