According to a press report, Congress is considering a bill that would expunge the criminal records of trafficking victims for crimes that resulted from their trafficking. The bill has bipartisan support, although there is no indication of its impending passage. In the meantime, trafficking victims may have other relief under existing expungement laws. If a criminal record is holding you back or may do so in the future, retain expungement attorney Joseph D. Lento and the Lento Law Firm for your representation now.
Trafficking Victims Deserve Relief
Congress would be taking appropriate action if it provided trafficking victims with expungement relief. The above press report quotes senators from both parties saying that trafficking victims, for all their vulnerability and oppression, deserve whatever relief the law can provide them. And that's surely the case. As the press report indicates, trafficking affects residents and immigrants, rich and poor, and black, brown, and white alike. Trafficking can destroy mental and physical health while creating a thicket of other obstacles to the victim's recovery. Trafficking is everyone's concern, especially in the U.S., where trafficking affects thousands of victims.
Trafficking Can Lead to Criminal Convictions
While Congress's bill would make other services available to trafficking victims, the bill's focus on expungements makes good sense. Trafficking can lead to criminal convictions, not just for the traffickers but for the victims, too. Trafficking comes in several forms. Some trafficking involves slave labor, while other trafficking involves prostitution and child pornography. Prostitution is, of course, a crime. But trafficking victims whose traffickers force them into prostitution sometimes suffer prostitution convictions when they had no choice but to commit the crime. Trafficking victims can also run afoul of money laundering, drug, stolen goods, and other similar crimes into which their traffickers force them.
Expungement to the Rescue
The expungement provisions of Congress's bill would provide relief for trafficking victims who have a criminal record of those forced crimes. But the bill hasn't passed Congress yet. In the meantime, laws already on the books in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, and other states already provide expungement relief for certain crimes under certain circumstances. Those laws have some ins and outs to them. Expungement laws can be complex as to who qualifies for expungement and who does not qualify. Expungement typically requires obtaining certifying records, completing court forms, and scheduling and appearing for hearings. Judges also differ in their interpretation and application of those expungement laws. They may also have some degree of discretion in applying those laws. Obtaining an expungement is seldom easy.
Retain Skilled Expungement Representation
Preparing and presenting a sound or even compelling case for expungement often requires skilled and experienced attorney representation. Expungement attorney Joseph D. Lento and the Lento Law Firm are available for your representation now. Attorney Lento has helped hundreds of clients expunge their Pennsylvania criminal record. Call 888-535-3686 or go online for skilled and experienced expungement representation.