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What are the potential penalties for human trafficking?

On Behalf of | Jan 18, 2024 | Criminal Defense |

In Michigan, individuals found guilty of human trafficking face severe penalties under the law.

The penalties vary based on factors such as the age of the victim and the nature of the trafficking. If the situation involves force, fraud or coercion that also can impact the punishment.


The most common punishment for a person with a human trafficking conviction is incarceration. The potential prison sentence for this crime starts at 10 years and can go up to life. For situations involving sex trafficking, the sentences may start at up to 20 years.

Because such crimes often involve multiple charges, courts can order a person to serve multiple sentences consecutively. This means the person must serve each sentence in full. For example, if an individual receives a sentence for 10 years and then a sentence for 20 years, they will have to serve a total of 30 years.

Fines and restitution

Beyond imprisonment, those convicted of human trafficking offenses may also face significant fines they must pay to the state. They may also have to pay restitution to anyone who suffered harm due to their actions and have to pay costs, such as attorney fees, lost income, housing and child care, those individuals incurred participating in the legal process.

Sex offender registration

In some cases involving minors or sexual offenses, a conviction will also require the person to adhere to requirements for a sexual-based crime. This includes a requirement for sex offender registration and potential restrictions on being around minors.

Michigan has taken significant steps to address human trafficking. The penalties reflect the state’s commitment to holding individuals accountable and seeking justice.