Human Trafficking in Florida | The Zero-Tolerance State for Human Trafficking

New Florida Legislation | 16.56, F.S. | 787, F.S.

New Florida legislation strengthens existing laws against human trafficking and curtails a 32-billion dollar industry that exploits men, women, and children.

Attorney General Pam Bondi has worked to make Florida a zero-tolerance state for human trafficking. During the 2012 legislative session, she joined Senator Flores and Representative Snyder to advocate legislation that cracks down on human trafficking.

“Human trafficking robs people of their dignity and deprives them of their most basic human rights,” – stated Attorney General Pam Bondi

The new laws that went into effect on July 1, 2012 accomplish the following:

  • Combine Florida’s three existing human trafficking statutes into one statute making it more user-friendly for law enforcement;
  • There is created in the Department of Legal Affairs an Office of Statewide Prosecution.
  • Increase penalties for crime of human smuggling from a first-degree misdemeanor to a third degree felony;
  • Provide that those convicted of human sex trafficking may be designated as sex offenders and sex predators;
  • Provide that any property used for human trafficking is subject to forfeiture;
  • Require massage establishments/employees to present valid photo identification upon request; and
  • Give jurisdiction for human trafficking to the Statewide Prosecutor and the Statewide Grand Jury.

The Florida Department of Legal Affairs, Office of Statewide Prosecution

The office may:

(a) Investigate and prosecute the offenses of:

  1. Bribery, burglary, criminal usury, extortion, gambling, kidnapping, larceny, murder, prostitution, perjury, robbery, carjacking, and home-invasion robbery;
  2. Any crime involving narcotic or other dangerous drugs;
  3. Any violation of the provisions of the Florida RICO (Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization) Act, including  any offense listed in the definition of racketeering activity in 58 s. 895.02(1)(a), providing such listed offense is investigated 59 in connection with a violation of s. 895.03 and is charged in a 60 separate count of an information or indictment containing a count charging a violation of s. 895.03, the prosecution of which listed offense may continue independently if the prosecution of the violation of s. 895.03 is terminated for any  reason;
  4. Any violation of the provisions of the Florida Anti- 66 Fencing Act;
  5. Any violation of the provisions of the Florida 68 Antitrust Act of 1980, as amended;
  6. Any crime involving, or resulting in, fraud or deceit upon any person;
  7. Any violation of s. 847.0135, relating to computer pornography and child exploitation prevention, or any offense related to a violation of s. 847.0135 or any violation of  chapter 827 where the crime is facilitated by or connected to the use of the Internet or any device capable of electronic data storage or transmission;
  8. Any violation of the provisions of chapter 815;
  9. Any criminal violation of part I of chapter 499;
  10. Any violation of the provisions of the Florida Motor Tax Relief Act of 2004;
  11. Any criminal violation of s. 409.920 or s. 409.9201;
  12. Any crime involving voter registration, voting, or candidate or issue petition activities;
  13. Any criminal violation of the Florida Money Laundering Act;
  14. Any criminal violation of the Florida Securities and 87 Investor Protection Act; or
  15. Any violation of the provisions of chapter 787, as well as any and all offenses related to a violation of the provisions of chapter 787;
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