In the current age of technology, sex crimes charges can stem from an individual’s online activity. Because of the ambiguity of how certain crimes are charged when they are perpetrated online, they can often be tried in federal court. For someone facing these types of charges, it is incredibly important to seek out and retain a DC federal sex crimes lawyer for guidance. Such an attorney will be able to provide some much-needed insight and advice on how to handle the case.
With some sex crimes allegations, there are violations of specific federal statutes by definition that make them federal crimes. Some can be prosecuted at the state level under different statutes. For example, in a child enticement charge, if the activity is conducted online it is therefore under federal jurisdiction and will typically be brought to federal court.
As an experienced attorney could explain, the most common offenses of federal sex crimes in DC are possession or distribution of child pornography or traveling with the intent to have illicit sexual activity with a minor. Those are the most prevalent, although there are other sex crimes that can be prosecuted such as distribution of child pornography, production of child pornography but those are charged a little bit less frequently, for example, traveling out of the country to have sex with a minor is something that is prosecuted, but it is not very common.
The possession and receipt of child pornography is in violation of statutes that prohibit someone from having in their possession, whether digitally or in print, images of a child who is under the age of 18 engaged in a sexual act. There are a number of similar yet distinct offenses that a DC federal sex crimes lawyer can help defend against, should the need arise.
Child enticement, on the other hand, refers to a different statute. A child enticement charge in DC arises when someone allegedly attempts to persuade or coerce or corruptly influence someone under the age of 18 to engage in a sexual act.
Human trafficking is another related charge that could be brought under federal statutes. It involves the transportation of people for the purpose of prostitution.
Sex tourism charges are allegations of someone traveling to a foreign country to engage in illegal sexual acts.
Recently, federally charged sex crimes have benefited from an extended investigation process both before and after a formal arrest. Investigations specifically relate to the receipt or possession of child pornography, online enticement, and traveling for the purposes of an illegal sexual act. These charges are prosecuted extensively in federal court and DC law enforcement officials know that finding as much evidence as they can early on will lead to a stronger case.
If someone is arrested, charged, and convicted of a federal sex crime in DC there is always the possibility that they will be required to register as a sex offender. However, there is no federal or national sex offender registry. Rather, they exist at the state level.
If a person gets convicted and moves to a different jurisdiction, there can be a requirement that they register with the particular jurisdiction where they moved. If the state has a sex offender registry, someone convicted of a crime living within that state is required to register.
Sex crime charges are very serious, regardless of jurisdiction. These can also be complicated cases because of the prevalence of the internet and its use as a tool in some sex crime charges. It is imperative that the attorney you choose has relevant experience and understands the issues that arise in these types of cases. There are cutting edge issues in these types of cases that are related to technology, trends in the law, and cases in different federal circuits. It is very important that the attorney understands and has the relevant experience, in order to effectively handle these cases.
Contacting a DC federal sex crimes lawyer means choosing a dedicated and knowledgeable advocate to fight on your side. Your lawyer will walk you through the process and be present every step of the way. One of the biggest mistakes someone can make in a case like this is to wait until they are formally charged. Speaking with and retaining a DC federal sex crimes lawyer even before an arrest means getting a jump start on the defense, increasing the odds of a desirable outcome.