request
X

FREE CONSULTATION

Thank you for your interest in The Law Offices of Andrew M. Weisberg. Please fill out the form below and we will be in touch soon
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

*Indicates Required Fields

bbb-rating

Call Today for a FREE CONSULTATION

SE HABLA ESPAÑOL

(773) 908-9811

AVAILABLE 24 HOURS/7 DAYS

menu

X

request

(773) 908-9811

AVAILABLE 24 HOURS/7 DAYS

FOLLOW US:

Aggressive. Experienced.

Chicago Criminal Defense Attorney
Former Cook County Felony Prosecutor

blog_homeBlog Home

Sex Trafficking Laws in Illinois: What You Should Know

Sex trafficking is a growing problem nationwide, and Illinois has some of the highest sex trafficking rates in the country. Accordingly, sex trafficking is a major priority for law enforcement, and sex trafficking charges are increasing.

In fact, the enhanced efforts to eliminate sex trafficking may even lead to overzealous policing, and result in innocent people being charged.

Those working in positions — legal and otherwise — that could possibly be affected by Illinois state sex trafficking laws would do well to understand how Illinois defines sex trafficking, the penalties associated with a conviction.

Most importantly, you’re going to want to know how to fight back if you’re facing sex trafficking charges.

Illinois Sex Trafficking Defined

Illinois sex trafficking is defined as intentionally enticing, harboring, providing transport, recruiting or obtaining through any other means a person for sexual servitude. Any attempts to commit these acts are also considered sex trafficking.

Importantly, the victim does not actually need to be transported for the offense to constitute sex trafficking.

Even if the victim stays in the same location, any means of subjecting the victim to sexual servitude are still considered sex trafficking.

Illinois Sex Trafficking Sentencing and Penalties

In Illinois, sex trafficking is considered a Class 1 felony, which is punishable by up to 15 years in prison. However, the presence of aggravating factors can elevate this charge to a Class X felony, the most serious felony charge other than first-degree murder.

Common Aggravating Factors

Aggravating factors for sex trafficking include:

  • Kidnapping or attempted kidnapping of the victim
  • Aggravated sexual assault, or an attempt to commit this offense
  • First-degree murder attempt

A Class X felony doubles your maximum jail sentence to 30 years, with potential sentencing enhancements to life imprisonment.

Less-Severe Aggravating Factors

Other less-severe aggravating factors, such as inflicting bodily injury on the victim, may also enhance sentencing. Additionally, prosecutors will consider how long the victim has been held.

When the defendant holds the victim for longer than 180 days, the judge may tack additional time onto the sentence.

Enhancement for Multiple Victims

Further, when a case involves more than 10 victims, the penalties for sex trafficking increase significantly. In this situation, defendants are also likely to face multiple counts of sex trafficking.

Additional Civil Penalties

In addition to the criminal penalties one faces upon conviction, sex trafficking is also punishable by severe civil penalties. If convicted, you will be forced to pay the following:

  • Restitution for the victim’s labor in accordance with minimum wage and overtime laws, or the income for the victim’s services, whichever is greater.
  • A fine payable to the Specialized Services of Human Trafficking Fund. The amount is left to the discretion of the courts, and generally reflects the severity of the offense.

Under Illinois law, the courts also have the right to seize the defendant’s assets in order to pay any outstanding fines and restitution.

Defending Yourself against Illinois Sex Trafficking Charges

Clearly, the consequences of a sex trafficking conviction are severe. However, if you’re charged with sex trafficking, there are a number of defense strategies that could win you an acquittal at trial, or even get your case dismissed.

Every scenario is different, and a Chicago criminal defense attorney will evaluate the specifics of your case to develop the best possible defense. Common sex trafficking defenses include:

  • Lack of knowledge
  • Lack of intent
  • Mistaken identity
  • Mental incapacitation
  • Non-sufficient evidence
  • Entrapment
  • Illegal search and seizure or police misconduct
  • Coercion or duress

, Sex Trafficking Laws in Illinois: What You Should Know

Ultimately, while sex trafficking is a major priority for Illinois lawmakers, overzealous policing isn’t an excuse for wrongful prosecution.

If you get caught up, your best chance at a positive outcome is to understand the laws surrounding sex trafficking so you can fight back.

 

About the Author:

 

Andrew M. Weisberg is a former felony prosecutor who now serves as a defense attorney in the greater Chicago area. He has extensive experience in handling all types of criminal cases, from sex offenses and domestic violence to retail theft-related crimes, murder, and drug crimes.

Our Blog

What Everyone Should Know about Illinois Domestic Violence Charges

Domestic Battery | Domestic Violence

In our state, there are some crimes that, when committed against a household or family member, are considered a crime of domestic violence. These charges can result in some significant penalties if you are convicted, so it’s important to understand what actions qualify and what can happen if you are found guilty.

Here’s what you need to know about domestic violence laws in Illinois and how a conviction can impact your life.

What Is a Domestic Violence Offense in Illinois?
[...]

Fighting With Your Roommate? It Can Lead to IL Domestic Battery

Domestic Battery | Domestic Violence

When police are called to the scene of two people fighting, there are several possible scenarios that can occur after that point. If the two people live in the same household, there is a chance that the crime of domestic battery can be charged.

When most people think of domestic battery charges, they imagine it’s something that a person can be charged with if they fight with the spouse or significant other – not simply a person that’s your roommate.

[...]
Law Offices of Andrew Weisberg