Colorado Revised Statute 18-3-503 makes it a felony under state law to traffic human beings. Specifically, the statute provides that:
“A person who knowingly sells, recruits, harbors, transports, transfers, isolates, entices, provides, receives, or obtains by any means another person for the purpose of coercing the other person to perform labor or services commits human trafficking for involuntary servitude.”
If the trafficking involves alleged sex acts then it is a crime of sexual trafficking governed by C.R.S. 18-3-504. .
Contact a Colorado criminal defense lawyer representing clients in Boulder, CO today to schedule your initial consultation.
Coercion is defined in C.R.S. 18-3-503 and provides:
Coercing means inducting a person to act or to refrain from acting if the inducement is accomplished by any one or more of the following means:
- The use or threat of the use of force against, abduction of, causing serious harm to, or physical restraint of a person;
- The use of a plan, pattern, or statement for the purpose of causing the person to believe that failure to perform the act or failure to refrain from performing the act will result in the use of force against, abduction of, causing of serious harm to, or physical restraint of that person or another person;
- Using or threatening to use the law or the legal process, whether administrative, civil or criminal, in any manner or for any purpose for which the law was not designed;
- Threatening to notify law enforcement officials that a person is present in the United States in violation of federal immigration law
- The destruction or taking, or a threat to destroy or take, a person’s identification document or other property;
- Controlling or threatening to control a person’s access to a controlled substance, as defined in section 18-18-102(5);
- The use of debt bondage; or
- The exploitation of a person’s physical or mental impairment, where such impairment has a substantial adverse effect on the person’s cognitive or volitional functions.
Debt bondage is defined by C.R.S. 18-3-503(2):
- Demanding commercial sexual activity as payment toward or satisfaction of a real or purported debt; or
- Demanding labor or services as payment toward or satisfaction of the real or purported debt and failing to apply the reasonable value of the labor or services toward the liquidation of the debt; or
- Demanding labor or services where the length of the labor or services is not limited and the nature of the labor or services is not defined.
Separate from the alleged trafficking of sex workers, human trafficking tends to involve alleged victims working in a few particular fields including nannies, housekeepers, landscaping, cleaning, construction, hospitality, agriculture and factory settings.
If you would like to schedule an initial consultation, contact a Colorado criminal defense attorney, we represent clients in Boulder, Colorado, and surrounding area. The Savela Law Firm, P.C. Give us a call at (303) 856-5700 or complete our inquiry form.
If the alleged victim of human trafficking is an adult, the charge is a class three felony; however, it is elevated to a class 2 felony if the alleged victim is a child.
The penalties for a class 2 felony are as follows:
- 16-48 years in prison
- A fine of $5,000 to $1,000,000.
The penalties for a class 3 felony are as follows:
- 4-16 years in prison
- A fine of $3,000 to $750,000.
Trafficking cases can be defended. They are complex crimes and require the prosecution to prove elements that are extremely difficult for a prosecutor to prove beyond a reasonable doubt. They are commonly defendable simply by showing the alleged victims weren’t coerced, threatened, or exploited.
If you have been charged with human trafficking a skilled Denver human trafficking defense attorney is essential. Get in touch with experienced Denver human trafficking defense attorneys Jason Savela and Ryan Dawson by filling out our online contact form or by calling (303) 856-5700.