South Carolina Sex Trafficking Lawyer

Being accused of harboring, transporting, or acquiring another person for the purposes of engaging in unlawful sexual activity with them is one of the most serious offenses codified under South Carolina state law. No matter your prior record, a conviction for a sex trafficking offense could leave you facing a lengthy sentence in prison, or potentially even life inside a federal penitentiary.

Retaining a skilled criminal defense attorney to help you form your defense could make all the difference in your chances of a positive case resolution. By working with a seasoned and tenacious South Carolina sex trafficking lawyer, you could better understand all your options and more effectively protect your rights and future prospects.

Sex Trafficking as a Criminal Offense in South Carolina

South Carolina Code of Laws §16-3-2010(7) defines sex trafficking as the act of harboring, transporting, recruiting, providing, or obtaining an adult through coercion, force, or fraud—or a minor child via any means in exchange for something of value and with the purpose of engaging in any of the following criminal acts:

  • Sexual performance or conduct
  • Sexual battery
  • Criminal sexual conduct of any degree
  • Engaging a child for sexual performance
  • Promoting or producing sexual performance by a child

According to S.C. Code §16-3-2020, sex trafficking is considered a form of human trafficking, meaning that the range of possible sanctions following a sex trafficking conviction would be similar to those associated with a human trafficking conviction. Sex trafficking that involves someone being trafficked across state or international borders may result in prosecution at the federal level under 18 U.S.C. §1590 or 18 U.S.C. §1591, depending on the age of the allegedly trafficked party. A seasoned South Carolina sex trafficking attorney could work with someone charged under either federal or state law to construct a strong defense strategy and enforce their legal rights during their case.

Potential Consequences for a Conviction

A conviction under S.C. Code §16-3-2020 for sex trafficking of an adult may result in a maximum of 15 years in prison upon conviction for a first offense, with a second offense being punishable by up to 30 years of imprisonment and subsequent convictions allowing for a maximum sentence of 45 years. If someone is convicted of trafficking a minor for the purposes of sexual performance or battery, a first offense is punishable upon conviction by a 30-year prison sentence at most, and second and subsequent convictions allow for a 45-year maximum sentence.

At the federal level, sex trafficking of an adult through coercion, fraud, or force could result in a maximum federal prison sentence of 20 years in length. Sex trafficking of a minor under the age of 14 under any circumstances or under the age of 18 using coercion, force, or fraud has a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years applicable upon conviction, up to a maximum of life imprisonment. A sex trafficking lawyer in South Carolina could clarify potential sanctions and defense strategies in further detail during a private consultation.

Discuss Legal Options with a South Carolina Sex Trafficking Attorney

Over the past couple of decades, both federal and state legislators have taken dramatic steps to combat sex trafficking in South Carolina, particularly that of children. Despite how severe this type of charge is, though, you still have legal rights that should be enforced at every stage of the proceedings against you.

A dedicated South Carolina sex trafficking lawyer could be a critically important ally to have by your side from start to finish of your case. Call today to schedule a consultation.