Facing jail time or a hefty fine could seriously alter the lives of the accused as well as their loved ones. Being charged with a severe crime could be a damaged reputation, even if they are not convicted. This is why it is crucial that defendants develop a strong defense against criminal charges against them.
Baton Rouge police said they arrested two people and accused them of prostituting a 16-year-old girl. They have been charged with trafficking of children for sexual purposes and were being held in lieu of bonds of $115,000 or more.
Police said the two people contacted clients through a website and invited them to a hotel. Hotel management contacted the police after noticing men visiting a hotel room at all hours of the day, according to police. Police said they entered the hotel room and found the 16-year-old girl, who told them what was going on.
Police said these arrests were just the latest in a series of allegations of people trafficking underage girls into prostitution in the Baton Rouge area over the past few months. Other recent cases involved allegations of trafficking girls aged 14 and 12. Police said reports of exploiting children through sex trafficking have been rising over the past decade, and these cases often involve women who are allegedly involved in the prostitution rings.
Sex trafficking is a serious charge, especially when it involves the exploitation of children. The accused in such cases will likely be charged with felonies.
Technically, the main difference between a felony charge and a misdemeanor charge is the length of the sentence that comes with a conviction. A misdemeanor is punishable by a prison sentence of up to a year, while a felony is punishable by a prison sentence of a year or more. However, that one day of difference can lead to long-term consequences, as a person who has been convicted of a felony must carry that burden around for the rest of his or her life.
Even after serving any time behind bars, status as a convicted felon can interfere with one's ability to secure employment for decades to come. For many sex crimes, those who are convicted must register as sex offenders, which can greatly limit their ability to secure a place to live.
Because the consequences of a conviction are so severe, it's incredibly important that Baton Rouge residents who are charged with felonies get the best criminal defense they can. They should seek guidance and gain advice so the accused could craft an effective defense strategy.
Source: WWL-TV, "Kentwood police chief pleads guilty to felony, resigns," Jan. 14, 2014