*2024 Results: Approx. 99% of Mark Zinck's clients avoided a criminal record (conviction) for charges of theft, fraud, assault, mischief and threats.

Trafficking in Persons charges under Section 279.01 of the Criminal Code of Canada

Pimping and other human trafficking related charges carry a mandatory minimum 4 year prison sentence in Canada.

All forms of human trafficking charges in Canada are mandatory minimum indictable offences. Punishments upon a finding of guilt range from a mandatory minimum sentence of 4 years to life in prison (with parole eligibility). In cases involving victims under the age of 18, the mandatory minimum sentence increases to 5 years in prison. A discharge is not an available disposition for this offence. All offenders will receive a permanent criminal record upon being released from prison.

Human trafficking cases in Ontario usually involve charges laid in prostitution related matters. It is relatively easy to be accused by the police of being a pimp and charged with trafficking in persons. Allegations can involve just one alleged victim or many. Police often arrest multiple people at once in a sting operation (project) leading to multiple co-accused being arrested simultaneously.

Ontario Crown Attorneys prosecute human trafficking cases vigorously as a matter of policy. Previously offenders were charged under provisions related to “living on the avails” of prostitution, which have since been repealed and replaced with the new, harsher offence of trafficking in persons.

Human trafficking is codified in Section 279.01 of the Criminal Code, which reads:

Trafficking in persons

279.01 (1) Every person who recruits, transports, transfers, receives, holds, conceals or harbours a person, or exercises control, direction or influence over the movements of a person, for the purpose of exploiting them or facilitating their exploitation is guilty of an indictable offence and liable

(a) to imprisonment for life and to a minimum punishment of imprisonment for a term of five years if they kidnap, commit an aggravated assault or aggravated sexual assault against, or cause death to, the victim during the commission of the offence; or

(b) to imprisonment for a term of not more than 14 years and to a minimum punishment of imprisonment for a term of four years in any other case.

Many accused will also face additional charges for sexual assault, kidnapping, etc. Other involved parties may be charged with receiving a “material benefit” under s. 279.02 (1). Material benefit charges are less serious than human trafficking as there is no mandatory minimum and they can be prosecuted via summary conviction.

Consent is not a valid defence to human trafficking charges.

Some complainants may give a statement to the police thinking that no charges will be laid because they consented to the behaviour. They may also mistakenly believe that they were operating either legally or quasi legally and therefore immune from prosecution.

The Criminal Code declares consent is not a defence for human trafficking charges in Section 279.01 (2), which reads:


279.01 (2) No consent to the activity that forms the subject-matter of a charge under subsection (1) is valid.

Defending human trafficking charges: innocent people are sometimes accused and charged.

Just because someone is accused of something does not mean they are guilty. An innocent person can be accused of human trafficking as all it takes is one witness to make the allegation against them for charges to be laid.

Some alleged victims of sex trafficking may feel pressured by the police, their family, or other third parties to state they were sold or forced into prostitution. In other cases the relationship between the accused and the complainant may be domestic in nature. Domestic cases (between spouses, exes, boyfriend/girlfriend) are notoriously complex with heightened emotions mixed with anger, jealousy, resentment, etc. All of these things can sometimes lead to false allegations.

False allegations in co-accused matters

Since charges are often laid against multiple people at once, someone may end up getting charged because their friend or business partner was involved in the sex trade without their knowledge. The police and Crown may allege that someone is involved, participating, or aiding and abetting who really isn’t involved. Connections, intent and knowledge may be inferred or assumed incorrectly.

False statements made to the police

Sometimes false allegations are made in an attempt to cooperate with the police in a deal to avoid criminal prosecution or for a reduced sentence. Complainants may feel they have no other choice but to talk in order to avoid going to jail themselves. The relationship between the accused human trafficker and the complainant is often complex and some alleged victims may be motivated to lie, exaggerate, or embellish what happened.

False allegations are also sometimes motivated by a desire for revenge or to advance their own legal self interests (criminal or civil/family law related). The complainant may be unaware that making a statement will result in serious criminal human trafficking charges against their partner.

While the burden is always on the Crown to prove each element of the offence, the defendant's lawyer must carefully examine the case disclosure, prior witness statements, previous testimony and other case factors to uncover inconsistencies, missing pieces and alternative explanations that cast doubt on the Crown's theory of the case.

If you or someone you know has been accused of a human trafficking related offence, give us a call now at 647-228-5969 for assistance.

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You don't have to jeopardize your future or waste thousands of dollars on excessive legal fees. We provide effective and affordable lawyer representation for those charged with criminal human trafficking related offences throughout Ontario, Canada.

Have a skilled criminal lawyer who focuses on criminal law protect you and your future from the stigma and consequences of a criminal record and conviction.

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Your case will be defended by a fully licensed Practicing Lawyer of the Law Society of Ontario. For more information about our lawyer, click here.

We provide our clients with:
  • Flat fee pricing
  • 99%+ non-conviction success rate
  • U.S. travel advice and information
  • Help with related immigration/IRCC issues
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* Please note:

If you are not a paying client, we cannot answer questions and provide assistance about avoiding jail and/or a criminal record, employment background checks, IRCC/immigration applications and status, or travel to the U.S. in the future. This includes those who have already retained other counsel and those whose cases have already been completed.

We only can respond to calls and emails relating to current Ontario criminal cases. Please see our FAQ for a listing of the courthouses we service.

Are you a lawyer? If you are defending a criminal case and are looking for expert advice regarding possible defences, case strategies, and information release management call us at: 647-228-5969.

Please note: We do not accept legal aid certificate cases. All clients are handled on a private retainer only.

*2024 Results: the percentage of 99% of clients avoiding a criminal record (conviction) stated on this page is based solely on Lawyer Mark Zinck's personal representation of approximately 2000 criminal defence case clients as of the year 2024. Past results are not necessarily an indication of future results.


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   Criminal Information:

   We provide:
  • Flat fee pricing
  • 99%+ non-conviction success rate
  • U.S. travel advice and information
  • Help with related immigration/IRCC issues
  • Employment background check advice and services
  • Fingerprints and records destruction services
  • A clear goal of getting the charges dropped without a trial
  • Vulnerable Sector records suppression help
  • Timely resolutions
  • Lawyer/client privilege
  • Experienced, focused counsel