The Important Differences Between Sex Trafficking and Prostitution



Combating human trafficking and other sex-related crimes is an ongoing battle in Florida. It is essential to understand the critical differences between prostitution, which is considered voluntary, and the force, coercion, or entrapment of involuntary sex workers involved in human trafficking. In the United States, prostitution and human trafficking are both illegal. Still, these two crimes are not the same, as forcing and coercing adults or children into involuntary sex work is a severe crime with considerable penalties.

If you are facing the challenges of being arrested for a sex crime, our Orlando criminal defense attorney at Fighter Law Firm may review your case and represent you in a courtroom to defend you against the prosecution’s claims.

Understanding Key Differences in Florida’s Sex Trafficking and Prostitution Laws

It is not uncommon for people to mix up the definitions of prostitution and human trafficking. The key difference between these two crimes comes down to coercion and consent. In prostitution, the individual has committed a crime by partaking in sexual acts with consenting individuals for the exchange of money.

However, in human trafficking, which Florida identifies as modern-day slavery, a child or adult is involuntarily coerced into performing labor and services, typically involving sexual exploitation. While in some cases, individuals voluntarily partake in prostitution and sex acts for monetary gain, many are coerced, forced, or entrapped into these crimes through pimping and pandering.

All sex crimes may be punishable with varying monetary fines and jail time. Still, child prostitution and human trafficking cases almost always result in severe penalties when one is convicted of a felony. The circumstances and level of involvement of any individual facing these charges can significantly influence the outcome of a case.

How Is Coercion Defined According to Florida Law?

Prostitution and sex trafficking charges differ regarding the consent or coercion involved in a case. At times, individuals may be trafficked and forced into a lifestyle of prostitution. When navigating through this category of criminal offenses, it is important to understand Florida’s definition of coercion.

According to Florida statute 787.06, coercion is defined as:

  • Using or threatening the use of physical force against a person.
  • Threatening to or restraining a person against their will and without legal right.
  • Establishing debit or credit with an individual to entrap them into labor to pay off the money owed.
  • Destroying, confiscating, removing, or withholding travel documents such as a visa or passport from an individual.
  • Causing or threatening to harm an individual financially.
  • Enticement of a person through fraud or deceit.
  • Using controlled substances to exploit an individual.

Any crimes involving fraud, coercion, and force are serious crimes and can give the prosecution room to prove criminal intent. With an attorney that understands the law and every aspect of your rights, you may have the opportunity to have charges dropped or penalties lessened. Understanding the differences ni human trafficking and prostitution, as well as the pivotal element of coercion in any sex crimes case, can help build an irrefutable defense.

What Defenses Do I Have for Sex-Related Crimes?

Being charged with a sex crime is very serious and life-altering, as the effects of this category of crime may affect your everyday life. The law is stringent, and law enforcement is very adamant about upholding the consequences of prostitution and human trafficking, especially when children are involved. Though these crimes do occur, there are times when an individual may be wrongfully convicted, or the prosecution exaggerates refutable evidence to reach a guilty verdict.

Types of defenses you may have against a sex-related crime:

  • False accusations by the accuser
  • A false accusation by a teenager or young child
  • Consensual sex cover-ups
  • Financial circumstances or extortion
  • False accusations due to custody and divorce disputes
  • Lack of evidence or mistaken identity
  • Illegally obtained evidence or information

Depending on the circumstances surrounding the crime and your alleged involvement, these cases may become complex and troublesome to handle independently. You may have been wrongfully accused, have evidence pinned against you, or be dealing with the actual consequences of your crimes. Despite a case’s complexity, a specialized attorney that has the experience and is knowledgeable of Florida’s prostitution and sex trafficking laws may analyze every aspect of your case and build you a strong defense.

How an Attorney May Provide Vital Legal Help in a Criminal Case

If you are up against severe penalties in a criminal case, you may be wondering why hiring a criminal defense attorney may be your best bet in trying to improve the outcome of your case. Many times, sex crime convictions result in monetary fines, jail time, felony convictions, and registering as a sex offender. A skilled attorney has the resources and professional legal team to review every detail in the case, analyze evidence such as DNA, question witnesses or testimonies, and provide expert witness statements that may help change the trajectory of a verdict.

Choose Orlando Criminal Defense Attorney Thomas Fighter to Defend You in a Sex Crimes Case

Criminal cases may be complex or challenging to navigate on your own, especially in a severe sex crime such as sex trafficking. Even if you are involucrated in a series of crimes, our seasoned criminal defense attorney, Thomas Feiter, is a Board-Certified attorney that may represent you and help your case. Our legal team is honest and dedicated to helping our clients’ future. To try and put your best foot forward with a strategic defense for a sex crimes case, complete a contact form or call Fighter Law Firm at (407) 344-4837 to schedule your free consultation.

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