Federal crimes are always complex cases and they have the potential for harsher sentences than comparable state crimes. This is especially true in terms of federal sex crimes. Federal sex crimes rank among some of the most reviled crimes by society and are accordingly some of the most harshly punished crimes in the U.S. Even if you are innocent of these accusations, you face a hard uphill battle against such charges, especially if the case attracts media attention. You need to hire an experienced Ohio federal sex crimes lawyer to aggressively defend you.
When Does a Sex Crime Fall Under Federal Jurisdiction?
Most sex crimes are crimes under Ohio state law, not federal law. The main time that a sex crime will be turned over to federal jurisdiction is if the activities crossed state lines, such as by transporting someone via interstate highways or the illegal sale of child pornography in multiple states. For this reason large operations involving sex crimes are usually considered federal crimes, while isolated offenses generally are not. In addition, particularly heinous crimes can be charged as federal crimes.
Sometimes the location where the crime took place will change nature of the prosecution. For example, federal sex crimes are sometimes deemed as such simply because the alleged incident took place in federal territory, such as a national park or in a prison. Other times, these crimes involve online activities. Generally, internet sex crimes are considered federal crimes, because the internet is considered a interstate commerce facility. Internet-based federal sex crimes often will be investigated as a part of a larger sting by federal law enforcement.
Common Federal Sex Crimes
While it is rarer for a sex crime to be charged at the federal level rather than the state level, there are some offenses that are commonly prosecuted in federal courts.
The following offenses are some of the most common federal sex crimes we see go to trial:
- Human Sex Trafficking: Buying or selling individuals for the purposes of sexual slavery is one of the most harshly punished sex crimes.
- Child Sex Trafficking: The penalty for human trafficking is even harsher if the individuals involved are children.
- Transporting an Individual for the Purposes of Illegal Sexual Activity: Any involvement in a human trafficking ring is made illegal, in part by laws making transportation of people for illegal sex act illegal. In addition, transporting a person across state lines for prostitution, sexual abuse, or rape is illegal under these statutes.
- Viewing, Downloading, or Purchasing Online Child Pornography: It is illegal to watch pornography involving a minor. The severity of these charges relate to the amount and type of child pornography viewed.
- Producing or Participating in Child Pornography: It is illegal to be involved in the production of child pornography, including participating in sexual abuse of a minor, allowing your child to be abused, filming such acts, and otherwise producing or selling such pornography.
- Illegal Sex Tourism: Interstate or foreign travel with intent to engage in a sexual act with a minor can be prosecuted under this act, even if no illegal activity involving a minor occurred within U.S. territories.
- Soliciting Underage Prostitution Online: Soliciting a prostitute is generally prosecuted under state laws, but the internet is considered a part of interstate commerce, putting it under federal jurisdiction.
- Enticing a Minor Under the Age of 16 to Commit Sexual Acts Using Interstate Facilities: Generally, these offenses involve predatory online activities, such as contacting minors through chat rooms or social media.
Consequences of a Federal Sexual Offense Conviction
Federal sex crimes carry some of the harshest punishments available. This is especially true if the crimes involved minors or particularly sadistic or violent sexual abuse. Some federal sex crimes can be punished with life in prison or in the case that the victim dies, the death penalty. In addition, those convicted of federal felonies can owe hefty fines, lose access to government benefits, and face a lifelong stigma as a convicted sex offender.
Even worse, a conviction for a federal sex crime means that you will be required to register on federal, state, and even local sex offender registries in what amounts to an additional penalty. Your name, picture, and a description of your offense will be made public for anyone to discover. This status will limit your interaction with children, even if your crime did not involve a child. Many housing and career options will be made permanently unavailable to you, and you will require to register your address on a public registry. You can even have your passport revoked or your ability to travel abroad or between states limited. Needless to say, being a convicted federal sex offender carries consequences long after you have served your time.
How an Ohio Federal Sex Crimes Lawyer Can Help
If you’ve been arrested for a federal sex crime, you are not without hope. With the help of an experienced Ohio federal sex crimes lawyer, you can mount a strong defense in order to get the best possible outcome for your case. Your sex crimes attorney will be able to pinpoint weaknesses in the prosecution’s case and ensure your rights are upheld throughout the entire process. If you’re facing federal sex crimes charges, call the experienced Ohio federal attorneys at Luftman, Heck, and Associates today at (614) 500-3836 for a free consultation on your case to find out how we may be able to help.
Facing federal criminal charges? Contact us.
If you have been charged with a federal crime, you’re probably wondering what your options are. The Ohio federal criminal defense lawyers at Luftman, Heck & Associates have years of experience handling these types of cases and winning optimal outcomes for our clients. Call an Ohio federal crime lawyer today for a free consultation. To contact a criminal defense attorney, call us at (614) 500-3836 or email us via [email protected].