Illinois Cracks Down on Involuntary Servitude
Most people in Chicago think that slavery in the USA ended when the Civil War did. But while legalized slavery was abolished about a century and a half ago, illegal involuntary servitude is still a big problem facing modern-day society, both in our country and the rest of the world.
What exactly is it? Involuntary servitude commonly referred to as “human trafficking,” occurs when someone is forced to work for someone else through coercion. And it’s happening today at a frightening rate.
In response to this epidemic, both federal and state agencies are cracking down on involuntary servitude. In 2005, Illinois passed the Trafficking of Persons and Involuntary Servitude Act of Illinois (720 ILCS 5/10-9)—one of the country’s strictest laws on trafficking. The law imposes severe penalties on those accused of this crime and tends to err on the side of protecting alleged victims.
Needless to say, if you are charged with involuntary servitude or human trafficking in Chicago, you are facing some serious consequences. Most types of involuntary servitude convictions result in lengthy prison sentences, not to mention a societal stigma that could have a substantial impact on your future career, lifestyle, and relationships.
Facing an involuntary servitude or human trafficking charge in Illinois? It’s understandable that you may be feeling confused, upset, and frightened, but you can’t allow yourself to give up – and you don’t have to go through it alone. Seek out professional help. An attorney with experience defending this type of crime can help you understand the charges against you and determine what strategies to take to ensure the best possible outcome for your case.
Andrew M. Weisberg is a seasoned Illinois criminal defense attorney who has handled a number of involuntary servitude cases just like yours. He can work alongside you with understanding and empathy while fighting aggressively on your behalf. With him in your corner, you’ll have the best chance at getting a positive outcome, and may be able to have the charges against you reduced or dropped.
Involuntary Servitude: The Facts
Involuntary servitude and human trafficking have become an international epidemic and it is one of the world’s most rapidly growing crimes. Today, the USA is the second highest destination in the world for trafficked women and sees more than 17,000 people trafficked into its borders each year. It is estimated that more than 100,000 American children become sex trafficking victims annually.
It often surprises Illinois residents to learn that Chicago is considered to be a national hub for human trafficking. According to research from the US Department of Education and the state Department of Human Services, Illinois is the fifth-highest state for this type of crime, closely trailing Texas, California, Florida, and New York. Chicago’s access to major airports and interstates provides entry points for traffickers, while the city’s status as a tourist destination makes demand high.
While involuntary servitude may be more common in Illinois, it isn’t tolerated any less strictly. In fact, our state boasts some of the strictest anti-human-servitude laws in the nation and slams offenders with some of the harshest sentences.
Without a top lawyer on your side, this type of crime can be very difficult to defend. Illinois involuntary servitude and trafficking laws are comprehensive and complex, and only a seasoned lawyer knows how to navigate them to the best of your advantage.
Don’t risk your freedom and future happiness by attempting to fight an involuntary servitude charge alone. Andrew Weisberg has more than 20 years of experience defending tough criminal cases and has a proven track record of success. With his experience, knowledge, and tenacious personality, Mr. Weisberg will protect your rights and ensure the best possible outcome for your case.
What Can Constitute Involuntary Servitude in Illinois?
While many associate involuntary servitude with slavery, shackles, and chains, it doesn’t necessarily require the complete lack of personal freedom that comes with slavery. There are many different ways you can be charged with involuntary servitude in our state. According to Illinois law, human trafficking charges may fall in three different categories:
Involuntary servitude. This occurs when someone forces another person to perform labor or services through physical harm, threats, and other forms of abuse. This type of crime is considered a Class X felony, the most grave classification in state law.
Involuntary sexual servitude of a minor. This type of charge occurs when someone encourages or forces a minor into commercial sexual activity.
Trafficking in persons for forced labor or services. This type of crime occurs when someone knowingly participates or benefits from a business venture that involves any kind of involuntary servitude.
These broad categories can encompass a wide array of behaviors and activities—many of which you may not have assumed would constitute involuntary servitude or human trafficking. Here are some of the more common examples:
- Forcing someone to work to pay off their debt
- Exploiting an employee who was made vulnerable by poverty, crime, or political conflict
- Coercing, forcing, or deceiving someone into having sex with you
- Coercing a domestic worker, such as a maid, to engage in sexual activity either physically or through threats
- Forcing a non-related child to perform work that benefits someone outside of their family
- Involving minors in commercial sexual activity
- Being involved or making money off of a trafficking crime
When it comes to trafficking crimes, it’s your word against the victims. Even if you were unjustly accused or the situation was blown out of proportion, an involuntary servitude charge can be a hard thing to fight in Chicago. That’s why it’s so important to get an attorney on your side who understands the laws and can argue effectively and aggressively in your favor.
Regardless of the type of involuntary servitude or human trafficking charge you’re facing,
Andrew Weisberg will work to defend your rights without backing down. Using the tools and knowledge he’s cultivated over the years, Mr. Weisberg will do everything in his power to try to have the charges against you reduced or dropped altogether.
A Serious Crime Requires a Serious Defense
The most effective criminal lawyers know how to persuade a judge or jury that the case against their client is weak. Using cross examinations, eyewitnesses, and other strategies specific to the case at hand, an expert lawyer can pick apart a case until a not-guilty verdict becomes the only righteous result.
As a former felony prosecutor, Andrew Weisberg is uniquely familiar with every aspect of the criminal justice system in Illinois. He uses his experience to defend his clients with skill and finesse in a way that few other attorneys can, and you’ll need nothing less when facing an involuntary servitude charge.
If you have been charged with an involuntary servitude or trafficking crime in Chicago, don’t gamble with your future—call Andrew Weisberg today! To start planning your winning defense today, contact Andrew M. Weisberg for a free consultation by calling his cell phone 24/7 at 773.908.9811 or by filling out this case review form.