Human Trafficking Lawyer in Tampa


Effective Defense from an AV Preeminent* Rated Former Prosecutor with more than 25 Years of Experience

Human Trafficking Lawyer in Tampa


Effective Defense from an AV Preeminent* Rated Former Prosecutor with more than 25 Years of Experience

Mike G Law Tampa

Why You Should Hire Mike G Law to Defend Your Human Trafficking Charges 

There’s no doubt about it – Mike G is your top choice for a Tampa human trafficking defense lawyer. With more than 25 years of experience working on both sides of the law, he has litigated thousands of cases and understands how to craft the best defense for each scenario presented to him. 

Even if your human trafficking case involves other crimes, like sex or drug crimes, Mike G can help. He’s seen it all in his career and has a reputation for getting favorable outcomes for his clients. 

As a former prosecutor who served several years as an Assistant State Attorney, Mike G knows when the prosecution has a weak case and how to turn those weaknesses into wins for defendants. His deep connections within the judicial system, from judges and prosecutors to law enforcement, can attest to his skills as a criminal defense attorney. When they see Mike G in court, they know he means business. 

You can schedule a free consultation with our law firm to speak with Mike G about your case and learn about the next steps. We serve the greater Clearwater-St. Petersburg-Tampa Bay region and the following Florida counties: 

What Is Human Trafficking? 

Under federal law, human trafficking is when one person compels or coerces another person to provide labor or services or to engage in commercial sex acts. The coercion can be: 

  • Obvert or subtle 
  • Physical or psychological 

The law always considers the exploitation of a minor for commercial sexual activity as human trafficking, even if the trafficker did not use coercion, fraud, or force. 

There are usually three types of human trafficking victims. They are: 

  • Adults over 18 persuaded into commercial sex acts through coercion, fraud, or force 
  • Minors under 18 persuaded into commercial sex acts 
  • Anyone persuaded to perform labor or services through coercion, fraud, or force 

What Are Florida Laws Around Human Trafficking? 

Florida Statute 787.06 details the definition of human trafficking under state law and punishments for various human trafficking offenses, such as criminal charges and human trafficking jail time sentences. 

This law defines human trafficking as the “transporting, soliciting, recruiting, harboring, providing, enticing, maintaining, or obtaining another person for the purpose of exploitation of that person.” 

Law enforcement, lawmakers, and prosecutors consider human trafficking a form of slave trade. Therefore, trafficking penalties are very severe. All human trafficking crimes are felonies. 

This includes the related crime of human smuggling, which used to be a first-degree misdemeanor but is now a third-degree felony, punishable by up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000. 

While most human trafficking offenses are first-degree felonies, if the crime involves the sex trafficking of a minor under 18 or any person who is mentally defective or incapacitated, the crime is a life felony. 

What Are Common Defenses Against Human Trafficking Charges? 

If you want to know how to get out of a human trafficking charge, the first step is to hire a skilled criminal defense lawyer. The state prosecutor must prove beyond a reasonable doubt you are guilty, so it’s crucial to have a Tampa criminal defense attorney who understands how to craft a defense that will reduce or eliminate the charges against you based on the circumstances of the case and the evidence available. 

Although not applicable to all cases, a human trafficking lawyer may use one of these defenses: 

  • Accusations against you are false 
  • Case of mistaken identity 
  • Gaps in evidence 
  • Law enforcement engaged in misconduct or violated your civil rights during the criminal investigation 
  • Law enforcement performed an unreasonable search and seizure 
  • The conduct in question didn’t deny the alleged trafficking victim of their liberty 

Is Human Trafficking a Federal Crime? 

Yes, under the 2000 federal law, The Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA), human trafficking is a federal crime. The law includes language that aims to prevent human trafficking, protect trafficking victims, and prosecute traffickers. 

If you are ever facing charges for federal crimes, you need to hire an experienced federal criminal defense lawyer. Mike G has ample experience litigating federal crimes and is one of the best lawyers to have on your side when in federal court. 

Federal charges often carry more severe penalties than state charges, so having legal representation is imperative in these cases. 

Our Process: What to Expect When Working With Mike G Law 

Our law firm is happy to offer you legal advice during an initial confidential consultation. To begin, schedule your appointment with Mike G, a highly sought-after Tampa human trafficking defense lawyer. 

After both parties agree to move forward and continue the attorney-client relationship, we will enter the pre-filing stage if the state has yet to file formal charges. 

Hiring an attorney before the state files formal charges helps obtain a more favorable outcome. A lawyer can potentially prevent prosecution. However, if the state has already filed charges against you, we will begin working on a defense immediately. 

Mike G is a no-nonsense lawyer. He will fight for justice and be honest about what you can expect from your case every step of the way, but he is not your friend. He is there to defend you to the best of his ability and protect your civil rights. 

FAQs About Human Trafficking Lawyers in Tampa 

Human trafficking is often a taboo topic of discussion, even though the U.S. Department of State estimates there are nearly 28 million global human trafficking victims at any given time. Below, we answer some common questions about human trafficking to help understand the crime in more detail. 

Where Does Tampa Rank in Human Trafficking? 

Tampa, Florida, is the 12th worst U.S. city for human trafficking, and the state of Florida holds the 3rd position for the number of reported cases of human trafficking. 

Much illicit human labor trade occurs in Tampa Bay because it’s one of Florida’s largest metropolitan areas. Further, with so much tourism and easily accessible international ports, it has an extensive adult entertainment industry, making sexual exploitation rife. 

With Florida’s immense agricultural economy and sizeable immigrant population, traffickers see an opportunity to prey on those looking for work who may also have limited English-speaking skills or live in the U.S. illegally (undocumented immigrants). These conditions increase the potential for forced labor to proliferate. 

How Long Do You Go to Jail for Human Trafficking in Florida? 

As mentioned, under Florida law, a human trafficking charge is a first-degree felony, punishable by a prison sentence of up to 30 years and a maximum fine of $10,000. There is a mandatory minimum sentence of 21 months. 

However, suppose the defendant is facing a life felony because the crime involved the sex trafficking of a minor under 18 or any person who is mentally defective or incapacitated. In that case, the penalty is a life prison sentence without the possibility of parole and a maximum fine of $15,000. There is a mandatory minimum sentence of 66 months for this crime. 

Importantly, these are only sentences for human trafficking. If law enforcement catches someone committing multiple crimes besides human trafficking, such as sex offenses or drug possession, the penalties can increase significantly. 

For example, sex crime or drug trafficking charges in conjunction with human trafficking charges can result in multiple first-degree felony convictions. The defendant would likely need to consecutively serve the sentences for each conviction, as double jeopardy would not apply. 

What Are Indicators of Human Trafficking? 

While society understands that traffickers prey on the most vulnerable people, like migrant workers and those who live in poverty, there are no defining characteristics of human trafficking victims. 

Traffickers give victims false promises of love, stable employment, and a better life to lure them in and trap them. Anyone, even your loved ones, can become a victim. 

Unfortunately, although we often think traffickers hide their victims away, these people are often in plain sight within society. But that means you can identify victims of human trafficking. 

According to the U.S. Department of State, some of the fundamental indicators of a potential human trafficking situation include the following: 

  • Appears to give scripted or rehearsed responses 
  • Deprivation of food, water, sleep, or medical care 
  • Inability to speak to others alone 
  • Living with their employer 
  • Locks on the doors and windows to prevent people from leaving 
  • Multiple people living in a very small or cramped space 
  • Poor living conditions 
  • Prostituting under the age of 18 
  • Signs of physical abuse 
  • The potential victim is submissive or fearful 
  • The employer is holding the identity documents, such as the passport 
  • Threats of serious harm to the victim’s family 
  • Unpaid or paid very little 

Additionally, substance use disorder (SUD) is common among victims of sex trafficking, especially the use of alcohol, marijuana, and tobacco, but also controlled substances like cocaine, opioids, and methamphetamine. Traffickers often exploit SUDs to keep trafficking victims from exiting, and victims often continue to use substances to cope with the trauma. 

Let Mike G Help Protect Your Rights

The decisions you make after you have been arrested can determine the outcome of your case — and possibly your life. Call Mike G Law at 813-221-4303, or contact me online.

Contact Mike G Now

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I would do more than 5 stars if it was available. Mr. Gonzalez was outstanding. Told everything how it was, very responsive to call and email. Fought very hard to get my husband the outcome he received. If We were to ever need a attorney in Florida again, We would use him as many times as We needed. We highly recommend to anyone looking for an awesome attorney to go with Mike G Law!!! He gets to the point!!!

Ashley F.

I cannot recommend Mr Gonzalez enough. He is extremely professional as is his entire firm. Mr Gonzalez has been very knowledgeable and forthcoming throughout the entire legal process. I highly recommend him and a definite five star!

Bonnie B.

Mike G. is a great attorney. Very professional, very punctual, easy to talk to. Thanks to him my case was dismissed charges dropped.

Eric G.

I was able to text or call Mike anytime I needed to. He worked with me, on a real level and communicated realistic expectations for my situation. Thanks again guys.

Nicole S.

I wish I could give Mr. González 10 stars out of 5. He is a stellar and highly competent criminal justice attorney. Mr. González has effectively given me a second chance at life thanks to his deep and professional knowledge of criminal law. I was facing a very serious crime that carried a considerable period of imprisonment. But thanks to his incredible talent, sheer strength of intelligence, and a strong heart to fight for an individual’s values, I can now rest easy knowing that I will not have to suffer through the penal system. If you ever have a problem with the criminal justice system, I highly recommend that you hire this remarkable gentleman to fight for you in your case. I owe you a tremendous debt for your services. He gave me back my life and I will always be grateful. Thank you Mr. Gonzalez!

Shaler B.

Mike took care of my legal and civil case and was very helpful and Professional. He was responsive to all my questions and gave me updates as I asked for them. He helped get me in a position to see my son again which I am extremely grateful for. Thank you and God bless!

William W.