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Arizona Laws Against Human Trafficking

Posted on December 6, 2023 in Sex Crimes

Human trafficking is a serious problem in Arizona, as the state’s proximity to Mexico, Las Vegas and California makes it a preferred area for this type of criminal activity. For this reason, Arizona has harsh laws against human trafficking and severe penalties for those convicted of this crime.

What Is Human Trafficking?

Human trafficking is often described as modern-day slavery. It means to take away someone’s freedom – through the use of fraud, force or coercion – for labor or commercial sexual activity for the purpose of making a profit. It refers to recruiting, transferring, transporting or harboring humans with intent to force or deceive them into providing various acts or services for money. It is an exploitative act that is against the law in all 50 states.

What Laws in Arizona Prohibit Human Trafficking?

Human trafficking is prohibited by multiple state laws in Arizona. In 2014, Arizona established the Task Force on Human Trafficking to assess existing laws and find opportunities to strengthen them. Since then, the Task Force has amended laws to strengthen penalties against convicted traffickers and improve awareness of this crime.

The state laws against human trafficking in Arizona are as follows:

  • Arizona Revised Statute (ARS) § 13-1307: it is unlawful for a person to knowingly traffic a victim who is 18 years of age or older with intent to cause the victim to engage in or with knowledge that the victim will engage in any prostitution or sexually explicit performance by deception, force or coercion.
  • ARS § 13-1308: it is unlawful for a person to knowingly traffic another person with intent to or knowledge that the victim will be subject to forced labor or services. It is also unlawful to knowingly benefit, financially or by receiving anything of value, from participating in a venture that involves human trafficking or forced labor.
  • ARS § 13-1309: financial restitution will be made available to victims for any violation of Arizona’s human trafficking laws. The court shall order restitution for certain violations that meets the greater of either the gross income or value to the defendant of the victim’s labor or services or the value of the victim’s labor as guaranteed by minimum wage and overtime laws.
  • ARS § 13-3212: it is unlawful to knowingly traffic a victim who is under the age of 18 for sexual purposes, meaning to procure, transport, recruit, entice, harbor, or otherwise obtain or make available a minor victim for the purpose of prostitution or any sexually explicit performance. This includes receiving any benefit for procuring or placing a minor with another person for the purpose of prostitution.

Note that under federal law, any individual under the age of 18 who is forced or coerced to perform a commercial sex act is viewed as a human trafficking victim. Human trafficking and child sex trafficking are class 2 felonies in Arizona. These crimes are penalized severely, with consequences such as lengthy prison sentences and a fine of up to $150,000.

Accused of Human Trafficking in Arizona? Get Help

If you have been accused of human trafficking in any regard in Arizona, contact the criminal defense attorneys at AZ Defenders immediately for a free consultation. Our highly experienced sex crime defense lawyers understand how to address human trafficking charges and build the strongest possible defenses according to each client’s unique situation. We are ready to fight for your rights with aggressive legal strategies. Call (480) 568-4473 for a free and confidential case review.