Signs intended to raise awareness about human trafficking are expected to be displayed at rest areas, airports, emergency rooms and strip clubs starting Friday, as a law passed during the 2015 legislative session goes into effect with the new year.
The new law that takes effect this week is one of the last of 232 bills that came out of the 2015 session. The bulk went into effect July 1.
The law (HB 369) focused on raising awareness about human trafficking requires signs to be posted in a wide range of places, including rest areas, turnpike service plazas, weigh stations, welcome centers, airports and strip clubs.
The requirement was part of a series of proposals approved this year and signed by Gov. Rick Scott as Florida attempts to crack down on human trafficking for sex or forced labor. Attorney General Pam Bondi has made the issue one of her top priorities.
The law, requires the Florida Department of Transportation to display English- and Spanish-language signs that are at least 8.5 inches by 11 inches at every rest area, turnpike service plaza, weigh station, primary airport, passenger rail station and welcome center open to the public.
The signs, which include phone and text-message numbers to report trafficking, are also required to go up in hospital emergency rooms and to be “in a conspicuous location that is clearly visible” at strip clubs, adult entertainment establishments and massage parlors.
The law does not impose penalties for failure to comply with the law. However, the measure does give county commissions the ability to set noncriminal fines of up to $500 for strip clubs, adult entertainment establishments and massage parlors.
A trio of other trafficking-related measures from the 2015 session went into effect Oct. 1. They increased criminal penalties for people who solicit others to commit prostitution (HB 465) and created public-records exemptions to protect the identities of human-trafficking victims and to shield the location of safe houses for victims of sexual exploitation (HB 467 and HB 69).
Human trafficking is classified as a first-degree felony punishable by up to 30 years behind bars. When the crime involves a minor under the age of 18, the penalties are enhanced. Human trafficking cases usually involve a handful of other criminal charges like conspiracy, fraud, and coercion.
A Florida Sex Crimes Lawyer at Whittel & Melton can help you defeat charges associated with human trafficking. As former prosecutors, we have gained years of valuable experience from working with the State to prosecute sex crime cases. If you are facing any sex crime charges in Florida, we can provide you with an aggressive criminal defense. Call us today at 866-608-5529 or contact us online for a free consultation.
This firm was extremely helpful and courteous to deal with. I did not expect to need their services, but was fortunate to find such a great firm. Thank you for your services. Emily Stafford
Send us an email using the form below.
Boca Raton Consultation Location:Whittel & Melton, LLC
3700 Airport Rd., Suite 401
Boca Raton, FL 33432
Naples Consultation Location:Whittel & Melton, LLC
2390 Tamiami Trail North, Suite 102
Naples, FL 34103
Tampa/St. Petersburg Consultation Location:Whittel & Melton, LLC
200 Central Ave., Suite 400
Tampa, FL 33629
Spring Hill Consultation Location:Whittel & Melton, LLC
11020 Northcliffe Blvd
Spring Hill, FL 34608
Gainesville Consultation Location:Whittel & Melton, LLC
2441 NW 43rd Street
Gainesville, FL 32606
Toll Free Florida Statewide:Whittel & Melton, LLC
The information on this Florida Sex Crimes Attorneys & Lawyers / Law Firm website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this or associated pages, documents, comments, answers, emails, or other communications should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information on this website is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing of this information does not constitute an attorney-client relationship.