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Despite there being harsh penalties, human trafficking remains to be an attractive activity for traffickers due to the significant financial returns that can be made. In the UK, trafficking often leads to forced labour, sexual slavery and domestic servitude.
Investigations into human trafficking can be very stressful and upsetting. As soon as you hear that you’re being accused of this crime, it’s essential that you seek sound legal counsel as quickly as possible.
Taking early action can make all the difference with regards to the outcome of your case. A sharp lawyer with experience in this field of law may even be able to get your case dismissed before it progresses to the court stage.
To help you to understand what the outcome might be as a result of being convicted of human trafficking, we’ve detailed the sentencing guidelines below. Please note that a competent and experienced solicitor may be able to get any prison sentence reduced or even avoid it entirely.
Read more information about the offence of Human trafficking
Although London is the heart of human trafficking in the UK, there is also many migrants who have been trafficked into Scotland. The migrants will often be taken there by a member of the human trafficking organisation. There are now 77 different nationalities in Glasgow, many of them thought to have arrived through a human trafficking route.
If you or somebody close to you has been charged or arrested in connection to human trafficking, you are likely to be feeling stressed, anxious, confused and very worried about what’s going to happen.
In some cases, there may even have been a confusion with regards to what happened and who is involved. It’s possible that you weren’t even involved in the situation and should not have been suspected of playing a role.
We have put together some of the typical questions that our human trafficking clients have with answers to provide you with guidance and support. We aim to make this as easy and stress-free for you as possible.
Despite the UK taking action against human trafficking offenders, the UK continues to be an attractive country. Migrant workers are often forced into working in the construction, agriculture, food processing, domestic servitude and food service industries.
Amongst others, source countries include Russia, Thailand, China, Ghana, Nigeria, United Arab Emirates and Albania.
Here are some other examples of actions that are considered to be human trafficking.
Prostitution – this involves either prostitution or other forms of sexual exploitation. The young ladies and girls can be lured to countries by the promise of wealth and a good life.
Slavery or similar practices – in some cases, the slaves may be moved from place to place or drugged as a means of controlling them. In others, the slaves are told to call their family to send more money to them to free them; this money is then confiscated by criminals.
Forced labour, labour exploitation, or forced services – this may be tied to debt and typically involves work in the construction, service, agriculture or entertainment services.
Servitude – for example, when people are made to provide domestic work either through force or coercion.
Human trafficking is the third biggest crime in the world, with thousands of people involved every year. You may be unwittingly involved in it, but our human trafficking solicitors can help with a strong defence. They may even be able to get your case dismissed before it reaches the court stage.
Businesses who supply any goods or services in the UK are now required to issue a statement on their website about human trafficking. The requirement is based on the Modern Slavery Act 2015. Businesses are expected to make checks to ensure that their employees can work legally in the UK.
The sentence that you are given will depend upon what you are charged with. In addition to facilitating illegal immigration, there is also human trafficking, which involves the movement, payment, control and exploitation of the person amongst others.
The maximum prison sentence for human trafficking is 14 years and you may be asked to pay a large fine.
The information that judges are given with regards to sentencing are only guidelines, and each case will be looked at individually. One of the factors judges consider in every case of this nature is the defendant’s level of genuine remorse.
When sentencing for human trafficking, your case will be investigated thoroughly by the police and other regulatory agents.
It will be looked at for whether you have taken part in a group activity or to see if you were forced into it. If you’ve used a false identity, or you have used the identity of others to access more funds, this will be considered to decide your sentence.
Certain aspects of a case are known as the mitigating aspects which can influence the sentence that a judge gives. One of the factors judges consider in every case of this nature is the defendant’s level of genuine remorse.
The following are some of the other factors considered when the court decides which sentence to give. They will look at:
In recent years, a number of changes have been made to the sentencing system in the UK to save the court time and cost and to protect witnesses from the stress of needlessly going through a trial. For offenders aged 18 and over, pleading guilty early on in a case can reduce a sentence by as much as one third (maximum). The later the plea is entered, the smaller the reduction.
A court can also make ancillary orders on a defendant if they are found guilty and convicted of a human trafficking offence. These are extra elements of punishment that can be added to a sentence and include additional restrictions or requirements that can affect a dependent’s finances, your property or business or financial activity.
Ancillary orders that are typically added to the penalty for those who are found to be guilty of human trafficking offences include:
As part of your investigation, you may also have your assets frozen with the possibility of having cash or other assets seized.
In addition, the court may demand payment of the following if the accused is convicted:
Payment of costs applied for by the prosecutors
Although the police meet some of the costs involved in the prosecution, the costs of investigation are typically sought from the convicted. These may include the costs of:
The term victims’ surcharges can be explained as paying compensation to a fund for victims and can range between £20 to £170 depending on what sentence you were given at conviction.
There are several national databases that hold information about individuals and any allegations made about them, their criminal and court records. These include the DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) which was previously known as the CRB (Criminal Record Bureau) and the Police National Computer (PNC). Depending on what happened, whether the accused is convicted and what sentence was issued, the accused may be added to one or all these databases. Their purpose is to provide information to potential employers and to regulate the ability to take part in certain activities.
If your case progresses to court and you are convicted of human trafficking, your conviction will be noted on your CRB / police record. The period of the endorsement will depend on the nature and length of your sentence.
Below are details on how long you will be listed as holding a criminal record if convicted. This is something very serious to consider when it comes to future employment. The term ‘spent’ refers to when your name can be removed from the databases.
(the time it takes for the sentence to become ‘spent’)
|Sentence||Adult (aged 18+) at time of conviction||Young person (aged under 18) at time of conviction|
|Prison sentences of more than 4 years||Sentence is never spent||Sentence is never spent|
|Prison sentences of more than 2.5 years (30 months) but less than 4 years||Sentence length 7 years||Sentence length 3.5 years|
|Prison sentences of more than 6 months but less than 2.5 years (30 months)||Sentence length +4 years||Sentence length +2 years|
|Prison sentences of less than 6 months||Sentence length + 2 years||Sentence length +18 months|
|Conditional Discharge||Length of order||Length of order|
|Conditional Caution||3 months||3 months|
|Simple Caution / Youth Caution||None – immediately ‘spent’||None – immediately ‘spent’|
|Other Including Compensation Order, Supervision Order, Bind Over, Hospital Order||Length of the order / once compensation is paid||Length of the order / once compensation is paid|
We will work alongside you to understand the factual circumstances surrounding the allegations. We will move quickly to secure any useful defence evidence which materialises from your explanation of events. Applying a comprehensive eye, our Criminal Defence Solicitors will analyse the prosecution evidence very carefully.
We will not only identify the strengths and weaknesses of the prosecution’s case, but we will also be looking for illegally obtained evidence, we will also be contesting the admissibility of evidence and the reliability of witnesses (who may have a personal gain and have received promises of visas by the British authorities).
Mobile phone downloads, computer evidence and other material seized during searches will be relied upon by the prosecution. Our Criminal Defence Solicitors have substantial experience of analysing telephone and observation evidence which often is the mainstay of the trial. There may also be evidence of the client’s and other parties’ financial records which require detailed analysis to weigh up its evidential impact.
We will instruct forensic analysts, mobile phone experts, computer interrogators and any other experts who can provide positive testimony in your case. Not only this, we will not settle for anyone other than the best Barristers or QC’s who will work with us to defend you. We believe that several legal minds working together on a case are better than then one and your team will collaborate to devise the best strategy and optimise your chances of success.
Most importantly, our Criminal Defence Solicitors fight robustly to achieve all the disclosure the client is entitled to under the law and we are never afraid of bringing proceedings in Court for incomplete disclosure. Prosecutors sometimes don’t sharethe information which can help the defence to win the case or a vital argument, but we have uncovered hidden evidence on countless occasions, which has then led to the success of the case.
Whether the alleged ‘exploitation’ is sexual, involves Slavery or Forced Labour; our Criminal Defence Solicitors have the skills to explore transcultural and transnational issues to provide the real perspective of the case. We instruct well-regarded interpreters and translators in assisting our understanding of the cases and clients.
Time is often of the essence in Human Trafficking cases, and we strongly encourage you to seek early advice and assistance. Please Contact Us and ask to speak to our Criminal Defence Solicitors to arrange a meeting, whether face to face, online or by telephone. If you prefer, you can WhatsApp us from the link you will find at the bottom banner if you open this page on your mobile phone device.
The police are trained to gain convictions. If you are arrested by the police or asked to attend the police station for a ‘chat’ about your involvement in human trafficking, it’s imperative that you take a legal professional with you.
The skills of the police when it comes to interviewing techniques are exceptional. They will often put a person into a position where they incriminate themselves.
Taking a legal professional with you will provide you with a number of benefits. For example, the police often withhold evidence as part of their strategy in getting you to incriminate yourself. If you take a competent human trafficking lawyer with you, they will ask what other evidence the police have and will be shown it.
Other advantages that you’ll gain from taking a legal professional to the police station with you include being guided in what to say and what not to say. The lawyer can also ask to see all evidence so that he or she can begin to create a strong defence strategy.
In summary, we recommend that you do not attend any police interview or take part in any communication with the police without being accompanied by a competent human trafficking lawyer. To do so may put you in deeper trouble that even a lawyer may find it hard to extricate you from.
We have extensive experience and expertise in human trafficking cases and have defended a significant number of people who have been accused. Many of our clients did not have to attend the court stage as our lawyers were able to get them dismissed before the case reached that stage.
If you’d like to have a no-obligation chat with us before you instruct us to take your case, then call us today.
In addition to giving you a free consultation, we can also represent you at the police station if you’ve been arrested. We can look at securing your legal aid.
Please Contact Us and ask to speak to our human trafficking lawyer solicitors to arrange a meeting in person, online or by telephone. If you prefer, you can WhatsApp us from the link you will find at the bottom banner if you open this page on your mobile phone device.
Get in touch with us now for human trafficking legal help.