Understanding the Charges Against You

When charged with a federal sex crime, gathering the strength to fight through allegations can be extremely difficult. The anxiety from realizing that some may not understand that a charge does not equate to a conviction can be crippling. We understand that sometimes things are out of your control. For example, individuals who unintentionally downloads obscene material upon receipt of an infected e-mail may find themselves facing federal charges if the e-mail traveled across state borders. Give our professionals the opportunity to help alleviate these symptoms through providing the representation and legal support you or a loved one deserve.

The United States (U.S.) permits each state to determine their "age of consent" which means that a person is legally deemed to possess the capability to consent to sexual intercourse. Although each state has the authority to set their own "age of consent" crimes sexual in nature, committed against protected members of the population may fall under jurisdiction of the federal courts.

These charges develop from alleged conduct involving parties who cannot consent because they are a minor, or their ability to consent is impaired due to a mental or medical condition. It is common for such acts to result in a racking up of charges.


What the Prosecution Considers in Federal Sex Crime Cases

Like all charges, federal sex crimes are analyzed by the facts of the case. Specifically, a federal prosecutor will look at the state of mind and age of the victim, in addition to where the crime took place.

Several examples of sex crimes which can be tried at the federal level include but are not limited to:

1. Crossing state lines for the purpose of engaging in sexual activity with an individual who has not attained the age of 12, acts of recording, or other acts may be separate offenses.

2. Aggravated sexual abuse where one uses force or threat of force to make a person engage in sexual activity against their will, occurring on federal property or within a U.S. territorial jurisdiction

3. Sexual abuse of a minor or ward under an individual's trusted custody


Federal Sex Crime Penalties

Federal sex crime convictions carry penalties in the form of mandatory registration under sex offender status, fines and lengthy prison sentences.

Registration requires the individual to adhere to both state and federal requirements and database programs.

Prison sentences vary for each sex crime. For example, sexual abuse of a minor could result in a life term. Penalties for sexual conduct through the use of force or threat of force depend on the circumstances surrounding the offense and may carry a prison term between three and 10 years. A conviction for female genital mutilation on a person under the age of 18 may result in a prison sentence of up to five years and a fine.

Generally, an entry of information or indictment must occur within five years of the alleged offense to satisfy the statute of limitations requirements under the federal rules. However, an offense involving a minor may extend the statutory period to between seven and 10 years or more.


Defending Federal Sex Crime Charges

A proactive approach is key to a strong defense. When formulating a powerful defense strategy, it is important to know what information the prosecution already knows. How did they get that information? Is it reliable and are their witnesses credible? Was the evidence they plan to use against you obtained legally?

In addition, facts which point to the conclusion a mistake was made may be overlooked. It is crucial to have an active advocate.

Allow our experienced professionals to fight fearlessly to protect your livelihood, reputation, and future. For more information on how our firm can help preserve and defend your rights, please contact us at 407-228-3838.

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