Human trafficking cases leading to new law, penalties for convictions?

Individuals accused of high-profile crimes know that all of the reports can make it difficult for them to receive a fair trial. Potential jurors may hear information about the case, and come to a conclusion about an individual's guilt or innocence before any testimony is ever delivered in court.

One particular issue that has received a lot of media attention recently within Maryland is the number of human trafficking cases that are occurring statewide. Officials are concerned with these matters because they are often connected to sex crimes such as prostitution, and usually involve underage girls or women from outside the country.

Arrests show the challenges facing law enforcement investigating these crimes. Once one ring is cracked, several others take their place. Police have started to aggressively target those suspected of these crimes in order to catch offenders who may be participating in human trafficking.

Maryland currently has a task force made up of several law enforcement agencies committed to reducing the amount of these crimes taking place within the state. This had led to several individuals being convicted for sex crimes and receiving long prison sentences. However, the number of cases has continued to rise, and is forcing officials to take a closer look at the issue.

These cases have led Maryland legislators to consider new penalties for those convicted of these crimes. A bill has been introduced in this session that would allow the court to seize certain assets if they were used in crimes connected to human trafficking. If the owner of these assets is convicted, he or she could see buildings, motor vehicles or money acquired subject to seizure. The bill has passed the house, and is currently awaiting review by the state senate.

If you have been charged with a sex crime, it is important that you understand the seriousness of these allegations. A sex-crimes conviction carries consequences that are much more severe than other crimes. You will have to register as a sex offender, and comply will all of the requirements that the state has in place.

Speak to an experienced criminal defense attorney to learn how you can prepare a strong defense that allows you to protect your rights. You may be questioned by investigators prior to being arrested or charged with any crimes, and you should not talk with these individuals unless your attorney is present. Police and prosecutors are hopeful that you will give them the information they need to build a case, and they will use your words against you.