All criminal charges should be taken seriously, and federal criminal charges are no different. For instance, federal sex offenses are punishable by harsh prison sentences – especially for subsequent offenses. If you were charged with a federal sex crime, it is imperative that you speak with an Omaha federal sex crimes lawyer as soon as possible. A well-versed federal criminal defense attorney could investigate the charges brought against you and advise you on potential strategies to fight your charges.
State vs Federal Sex Offenses
Sex offenses are typically charged at the state level and adjudicated by a state court. However, certain circumstances may elevate sex charges to a federal offense, or in some cases, an alleged sex crime can be charged at both the state and federal level. Any alleged sexual offense which takes place across state lines or on federal property can be charged at the federal level.
Additionally, accusations involving the possession and/or distribution of child pornography would be investigated by federal prosecutors. Under federal law, a person can be charged with sexually exploiting a child if they solicit, utilize, compel, or take a minor across state lines to participate in sexual activities with the design of producing a visual recording of these acts.
Types of Federal Sex Crimes in Omaha
18 United States Code §2241 defines the crime of aggravated sexual abuse as intentionally compelling another person to take part in sexual activities by coercing them or making them afraid that grave bodily harm, abduction, or death will occur otherwise. Other sex offenses defined under federal law include:
- Sexual abuse of a minor
- Rape of a minor child
- Selling a child to engage in sexual activities
- Human trafficking
- Failure to register as a sex offender
A state sex crime can also be elevated to a federal offense if a death occurred while the alleged crime was taking place. An Omaha attorney can examine your federal sex crime charges and provide you with a defense strategy.
Penalties for Federal Sex Crime Convictions
The penalties for a federal sex crime conviction can be severe. Certain factors can also enhance the sentence attached to a conviction. For example, if the alleged sex crime was perpetrated against a minor, the penalties that would otherwise apply at the state level may be doubled. The potential jail time depends on the exact charge but can range anywhere from 10 years to life in prison. Fines and other penalties include the requirement to register on the national sex offender registry.
Many federal sex crimes also have mandatory minimum prison terms upon conviction. Depending on the circumstances of the case, an aggravated sexual abuse charge could be punishable by any period of incarceration determined by the judge up to life.
Individuals who have been convicted at the state or federal level previously for a sex crime may face additional jail time for any subsequent sex-related offense. An individual convicted of a federal sex crime perpetrated against a minor after a previous conviction for the same offense could face life in prison. Given the extremely harsh penalties associated with federal sex offenses, anyone facing these charges should consult with a local lawyer as soon as possible.
Speak with an Omaha Federal Sex Crimes Attorney
An Omaha federal sex crimes lawyer at Berry Law can analyze the charges you are facing and help you build a compelling defense. We can also give you more information about your legal rights and explain the potential penalties that may apply to the charges you are facing. Call Berry Law today to book a confidential consultation with an attorney.