In the United States, most sex crimes are handled by state prosecutors. However, in cases where illegal sex acts cross state lines – either in person or electronically – federal authorities will take jurisdiction. Being accused of a federal sex crime is extremely serious and your freedom could be in jeopardy.
If you have been accused of committing a federal sex crime, it is imperative that you contact a seasoned defense attorney who is experienced in handling federal sex cases immediately. Our Fort Worth federal sex crime lawyers have years of experience handling these types of cases and understand the gravity and complexity of the charges. When the stakes are high, you cannot leave anything to chance. You must retain the best legal defense possible.
What Are Common Types of Federal Sex Crimes?
Federal sex crimes cover a variety of illegal acts and many involve children. They include but are not limited to:
- Sexual Exploitation of Children – Child Pornography
- Buying or Selling a Minor
- Sex Trafficking
- Aggravated Sexual Abuse
Sexual Exploitation of Children
Sexual exploitation of children refers to the production, distribution or receipt of child pornography. Federal authorities take these cases extremely seriously and the punishment can be severe. For example, a conviction for production of child pornography starts at 15 years behind bars.
Selling or Buying a Minor
Under 18 U.S.C. § 2251A, selling or buying a child to engage in sexually explicit conduct is a grave charge that carries a maximum punishment of life in prison.
Under 18 U.S.C. §1591, using force, fraud or coercion to compel a person under 18 to engage in commercial sex acts constitutes sex trafficking. A defendant convicted of sex trafficking can face up to life in prison.
Human trafficking is closely related to sex trafficking but is not the same offense. Human trafficking uses force, fraud or coercion to compel a person to perform labor (not sex)This crime is considered modern day slavery and carries a punishment range from 20 years to life depending on the facts and circumstances.
Aggravated Sexual Abuse
When an individual crosses the state line with the intent to engage in a sex act with a child between ages 12 and 16, they can be charged with federal aggravated sexual abuse and can face up to life in prison. Defendants can also be charged with this federal offense for a variety of other illegal acts, including using force, threats or kidnapping against a victim.
Penalties for Federal Sex Crimes
Federal crimes typically carry tougher penalties than state crimes. In the federal system, defendants are often sentenced in accordance Federal Sentencing Guidelines. The more severe the crime, the more severely it will be punished. The amount of exposure goes up depending on whether it was premeditated, violent or sadistic.
If you have been accused of a federal sex crime, our attorneys can help you understand the potential consequences of the charge you are facing. We can also explain what factors can increase or decrease your potential punishment if convicted. There are ways to lessen your exposure.
In addition to jail time, convicted sex offenders are also required to register with the national sex offender registry. This means providing personal information, including where they live to the public. The type of sex crime and length of sentence determines the length of time a defendant must register on the national sex offender registry. This can last as little as 15 years or a lifetime.
Learn more about our federal criminal defense practice.
Speak with a Fort Worth Federal Sex Crimes Attorney Today
Don’t leave anything to chance. Federal sex crime allegations should be handled by an experienced defense attorney with broad knowledge of the federal system. Many defendants are arrested after the result of a long and comprehensive investigation by a specialized agency. By working with a Fort Worth federal sex crimes lawyer well-versed in the federal system, you will increase your chances of a favorable outcome. Call us today so for a free consultation. Time is of the essence.