Florida has one of the highest rates of arrests for human trafficking charges. Unfortunately, many of those arrested are victims who are forced into breaking the law. One Florida sheriff notes that the “ vast majority” of people arrested for selling sex are victims of pimps or sex traffickers. Some non-citizens are smuggled into the United States for forced labor.
In addressing the situation, the Florida legislature called human trafficking “a form of modern day slavery” and enacted laws to protect victims. “Victims of human trafficking are subjected to force, fraud, or coercion for the purpose of sexual exploitation or forced labor,” according to Florida Statute 787.06. “While many victims of human trafficking are forced to work in prostitution or the sexual entertainment industry, trafficking also occurs in forms of labor exploitation, such as domestic servitude, restaurant work, janitorial work, sweatshop factory work, and migrant agricultural work.”
While handing out harsh punishments for human traffickers, Florida law tries to encourage relief and recovery for victims as well. Along with providing social services, the law allows human trafficking victims to clear their arrest records so they can get on with their lives.
If you are looking for the best way of expunging or sealing arrest records in Florida, contact the Orlando criminal defense attorneys at the Rivas Law Firm. Call (407) 349-4211 for a free consultation.
Sealing and Expunging Florida Arrest Records
A criminal record can make it hard to find a job and a place to live. A record can prevent you from getting a loan or government benefits. It’s especially troubling to those who were forced into a life of crime and just want to live a normal life. The state recognizes that victims of human trafficking may be especially deserving of a second chance. Florida Statute 943.0583, Human trafficking victim expunction, allows victims of human trafficking to clear their criminal history record under certain conditions.
However, the process can be long and hard. And experts say that many prosecutors and judges aren’t familiar with the criminal record expunction laws specific to human trafficking victims. Victims of human trafficking seeking to expunge their arrest record sometimes have difficulty recounting their ordeals. The trauma of being coerced into committing illicit and illegal acts can be an added burden to the already challenging burden of navigating courtroom bureaucracy. Requesting records, filling out forms, and meeting deadlines can be overwhelming.
That’s why it’s best to work with an experienced, dedicated, and caring arrest record expungement attorney. A compassionate attorney who has a working relationship with a prosecutor and knows the courtroom players can make all the difference. Call (407) 349-4211 for a free consultation with an Orlando Criminal Record Sealing and Expungement Attorney at the Rivas Law Firm. If you believe you are a victim of Human Trafficking or suspect an adult is a victim of human trafficking, please visit the National Human Trafficking Hotline, or call them at 1-888-3737-888. If you suspect a child is a victim, please call the Florida Abuse Hotline at 1-800-96-ABUSE.