Human trafficking charges can be laid against any person who recruits, transports, receives, holds, conceals, transfers, or harbours another person. Charges may also be laid on any person who exercises control, direction, or influence over the movements of another person for the purposes of exploiting them for a sexual or forced labour reason, or facilitates their exploitation for those reasons. Trafficking charges can include charges for pimping or transporting women. Trafficking is common in the sex industry, but also occurs in agricultural work or domestic work.
Human trafficking is an offense under the Criminal Code as well as the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, attracting mandatory minimum sentences (i.e. a sentence that must be imposed upon conviction) under the Code with additional potential charges under the Act.
If you have been charged with human trafficking or a related offence, it is critical to retain a criminal defense lawyer with specific experience bringing such matters to trial. As one of the largest criminal defense firms in Canada, Hicks Adams LLP has many years of experience defending clients against such charges. Our criminal defense lawyers have more than a century of combined experience as well as the resources necessary to defend clients in complex proceedings such as human trafficking trials.
Human Trafficking under the Criminal Code
Human trafficking allegations can involve a wide range of criminal charges under the Criminal Code:
- Trafficking in persons;
- Trafficking of a person under age of 18 (i.e.- minors);
- Receiving a financial or other material benefit the for purpose of committing or facilitating trafficking in persons (this includes pimping);
- Withholding or destroying a person’s identity documents for the purpose of committing or facilitating trafficking of that person (adult victim or child victim) (e.g.- taking someone’s driver’s license, passport, or other i.d. in order to keep them dependent on you)
These offences are intended to broadly capture a large number of individuals who may be involved in trafficking of persons. For instance, charges can be brought against drivers who are driving women, children, or men to and from appointments or work. As a result, a wide range of individuals may be charged with human trafficking and related offenses.
Depending on the circumstances, police and prosecutors may also charge other offences under the Criminal Code, including:
- Forcible confinement
- Uttering threats
- Sexual assault
- Aggravated sexual assault
- Prostitution-related offences
- Organized crime related offences
Human trafficking charges have serious consequences and can result in significant jail time. These are also complex cases to understand and defend and require legal representation by knowledgeable criminal lawyers with significant experience in both human trafficking and all related matters.
If you are facing human trafficking or associated charges, it is crucial to consult with a criminal lawyer as soon as possible. The lawyers at Hicks Adams LLP regularly defend clients in challenging human trafficking and related cases. We are intimately familiar with the unique characteristics of these matters and understand how best to provide a vigorous defence.
Contact Us for a Free Human Trafficking Defence Consultation
Our experienced Toronto criminal defence lawyers are prepared to defend you against human trafficking and any related charges. Our lawyers will travel anywhere in Ontario to support our clients and ensure they have someone at their side to protect their rights. Call us at 416-975-1700 or contact us online for a free consultation.