2009 FEDERAL SENTENCING GUIDELINES MANUAL
CHAPTER 2 - PART H - OFFENSES INVOLVING INDIVIDUAL RIGHTS
4. PEONAGE, INVOLUNTARY SERVITUDE, SLAVE TRADE, AND CHILD SOLDIERS
Historical Note: Effective November 1, 1987. Amended effective November 1, 2009 (see Appendix C, amendment 733).
§2H4.1. Peonage, Involuntary Servitude, Slave Trade, and Child Soldiers
(a) Base Offense Level:
(1) 22; or
(2) 18, if (A) the defendant was convicted of an offense under 18 U.S.C. § 1592, or (B) the defendant was convicted of an offense under 18 U.S.C. § 1593A based on an act in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1592.
(b) Specific Offense Characteristics
(1) (A) If any victim sustained permanent or life-threatening bodily injury, increase by 4 levels; or (B) if any victim sustained serious bodily injury, increase by 2 levels.
(2) If (A) a dangerous weapon was used, increase by 4 levels; or (B) a dangerous weapon was brandished, or the use of a dangerous weapon was threatened, increase by 2 levels.
(3) If any victim was held in a condition of peonage or involuntary servitude for (A) more than one year, increase by 3 levels; (B) between 180 days and one year, increase by 2 levels; or (C) more than 30 days but less than 180 days, increase by 1 level.
(4) If any other felony offense was committed during the commission of, or in connection with, the peonage or involuntary servitude offense, increase to the greater of:
(A) 2 plus the offense level as determined above, or
(B) 2 plus the offense level from the offense guideline applicable to that other offense, but in no event greater than level 43.
Statutory Provisions: 18 U.S.C. §§ 241, 1581-1590, 1592, 1593A, 2442.
1. For purposes of this guideline—
"A dangerous weapon was used" means that a firearm was discharged, or that a firearm or other dangerous weapon was otherwise used. "The use of a dangerous weapon was threatened" means that the use of a dangerous weapon was threatened regardless of whether a dangerous weapon was present.
Definitions of "firearm," "dangerous weapon," "otherwise used," "serious bodily injury," and "permanent or life-threatening bodily injury" are found in the Commentary to §1B1.1 (Application Instructions).
"Peonage or involuntary servitude" includes forced labor, slavery, and recruitment or use of a child soldier.
2. Under subsection (b)(4), "any other felony offense" means any conduct that constitutes a felony offense under federal, state, or local law (other than an offense that is itself covered by this subpart). When there is more than one such other offense, the most serious such offense (or group of closely related offenses in the case of offenses that would be grouped together under §3D1.2(d)) is to be used. See Application Note 3 of §1B1.5 (Interpretation of References to other Offense Guidelines).
3. If the offense involved the holding of more than ten victims in a condition of peonage or involuntary servitude, an upward departure may be warranted.
4. In a case in which the defendant was convicted under 18 U.S.C. §§ 1589(b) or 1593A, a downward departure may be warranted if the defendant benefitted from participating in a venture described in those sections without knowing that (i.e., in reckless disregard of the fact that) the venture had engaged in the criminal activity described in those sections.
Historical Note: Effective November 1, 1987. Amended effective November 1, 1995 (see Appendix C, amendment 521); May 1, 1997 (see Appendix C, amendment 542); November 1, 1997 (see Appendix C, amendment 559); May 1, 2001 (see Appendix C, amendment 612); November 1, 2001 (see Appendix C, amendment 627); November 1, 2009 (see Appendix C, amendments 730 and 733).