Being charged with a sex crime, or even just being accused of such a crime, can have a serious adverse impact on your personal and professional life, not to mention the harsh penalties you could face if you are convicted. A conviction for a sex crime in federal court can carry serious, life-altering consequences, such as a lengthy prison sentence, mandatory registration as a sex offender, and a criminal record that can follow you for years after you’ve served your sentence. If you are facing charges for a federal sex crime like sex trafficking or child pornography, the best way to protect your rights and understand the options available to you for your defense is to hire a knowledgeable criminal defense lawyer equipped to handle the challenges of a federal sex crime case. Daniel R. Perlman is a federal criminal defense lawyer with years of experience fighting for the rights of the wrongfully accused, and with the skill and expertise of the legal team at Federal Criminal Defense Pro on your side, you can significantly improve your chances of receiving a favorable outcome in your case.
Knowledgeable Federal Sex Crimes Lawyer
When facing criminal charges for a sex offense, especially at the federal level, you need a seasoned, aggressive federal criminal defense attorney representing you in court. Federal sex crimes are some of the most serious criminal offenses you can be charged with and hiring a federal criminal defense attorney at the beginning stages of your case is the best way to ensure that your defense strategy is as strong as possible, based on your specific circumstances. In fact, having a skilled attorney representing your defense in federal court could mean the difference between clearing your name and being required to register as a sex offender, a stigma that can follow you for the rest of your life. At Federal Criminal Defense Pro, our lawyers specialize in defending clients against federal criminal charges and we are intimately familiar with the inner workings of the federal court process.
If you have been accused of committing a sex crime in Los Angeles or anywhere else in Southern California or throughout the United States, Daniel Perlman and his team of reputable federal criminal defense lawyers can help. Our firm represents clients in sex offense cases in the California state court system and in federal courts nationwide, and we pride ourselves on our steadfast commitment to protecting the rights of our clients and representing their best interests. With his experience as a former prosecutor, Daniel Perlman knows what it takes to successfully challenge the prosecution’s evidence in a sex crime case and mount a winning defense on his clients’ behalf. He brings a unique perspective to criminal cases that past clients have found extremely valuable and he is prepared to put his knowledge and expertise to work for you. Federal Criminal Defense Pro offers prospective clients a free initial consultation and case evaluation; all you have to do is call.
What is a Sex Crime?
The term “sex crime” refers to any criminal offense that is sexual in nature, involves sexual assault or has a sexual motive. Most sex crimes are charged and prosecuted at the state level, but the federal government will step in if the crime crosses state lines, involves a minor, or otherwise violates federal law. Some examples of federal sex crimes include the following:
- Sex trafficking
- Internet sex crimes
- Child pornography
- Kidnapping in order to commit a sex offense
- Child sexual exploitation
- Transporting an individual for the purpose of illegal sexual activity
- Trafficking for prostitution
- Sex tourism
- Soliciting underage prostitution online
Internet sex crimes like producing or selling child pornography are almost always considered federal crimes because the internet is considered an “interstate commerce facility,” meaning it can be used in the exchange of commodities between residents of different states, across state lines.
Criminal Penalties for Federal Sex Offenses
Individuals charged with sex crimes in Los Angeles can be prosecuted in state or federal court, depending on the details of the alleged offense, and federal sex offenses are significantly more serious than those charged at the state level. Federal sex crimes typically carry a mandatory minimum sentence upon conviction and are sometimes prosecuted in connection with other federal criminal charges, such as drug trafficking or kidnapping, which can result in increased criminal penalties. As a federal offense, sex trafficking of a minor carries a mandatory minimum prison sentence of 10 years or 15 years, depending on the age of the victim and whether the crime was carried out by the use of fraud, force or coercion; the federal crime of traveling across state lines with the intent to have sex with a minor carries a minimum 30-year prison sentence; and the federal crime of producing child pornography carries a mandatory minimum prison sentence of 15 years.
Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act
One serious, long-lasting consequence of a federal sex crime conviction is mandatory registration with the national sex offender registry, a punishment that requires convicted sex offenders to register and regularly update their name, address and other personal information with law enforcement, to be made freely available to the public. Under the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA), established under Title I of the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act of 2006, all U.S. states are required to maintain a sex offender registration system for the purpose of monitoring and tracking convicted sex offenders following their release into the community. There are three “tiers” of federal sex offenses, categorized according to the age of the alleged victim, the length of the prison term required by law and the presence of any aggravating factors, and each tier imposes specific reporting requirements on the convicted offender:
- Tier III Offenses – Tier III sex offenders must register for life (or, in the case of a juvenile delinquent who maintains a clean record, for 25 years) and must appear every three months to have their photo taken and verify their registration information.
- Tier II Offenses – Tier II sex offenders must register for 25 years and must appear every six months to have their photo taken and verify their registration information.
- Tier I Offenses – Tier I sex offenders must register for 15 years (or, with a clean record, 10 years) and must appear every year to have their photo taken and verify their registration information.
Being forced to register as a convicted sex offender can have an adverse impact on your ability to find housing or secure employment, and could even restrict your freedom to see certain people or visit or live near certain public areas, such as parks and schools.
Federal Sex Crimes Defense
Federal sex offenses carry some of the harshest criminal penalties upon conviction, especially those that involve minors or particularly violent sexual abuse. Unfortunately, even if you are innocent of the charges, defending your rights and fighting for your freedom in a federal sex crime case will be an uphill battle, but that doesn’t mean your case is hopeless. The prosecutor in any federal sex crime case bears the burden of proving the crime beyond a reasonable doubt, and that means establishing each individual element of the crime you are accused of committing. For instance, if you are facing charges for the federal crime of sex trafficking (18 U.S.C. Chapter 117 § 2421-2429), the prosecution must prove the following in order to get a conviction:
- You committed at least one act against another person, such as recruiting, transporting, transferring or receiving that person;
- Using fraud, violence, threat of violence, deception, abduction, coercion, or abuse of power or position of vulnerability;
- For the purpose of sexual exploitation or sexual slavery.
Defense Strategies for Federal Sex Crimes
Federal criminal cases tend to be more complicated than state cases and they can also be extremely difficult to defend, largely because the crimes that are tried in federal court are generally more serious in nature than those tried in state court, and also federal prosecutors will typically only pursue cases they believe they have a good chance of winning. That makes raising a convincing defense against sex crime charges in federal court extremely complicated, a task requiring more intensive research and a more aggressive approach by a trained federal criminal defense attorney. The following are some possible defense strategies your lawyer may be able to use in your defense, depending on the nature of the sex crime at issue:
- You have been falsely accused of the sex crime
- The prosecution doesn’t have enough evidence to prove the crime beyond a reasonable doubt
- You were unable to comprehend the wrongfulness of the crime as a result of severe mental disease or defect (insanity)
- You are the victim of entrapment
- You are the victim of vindictive prosecution
- You committed the crime under duress
- You were intoxicated at the time you committed the crime
- You completely and voluntarily withdrew from the crime prior to its completion
- You did not commit the crime knowingly, willfully or maliciously
- You are the victim of mistaken identity
Why Hire a Criminal Defense Attorney?
Federal sex crimes tend to be complex cases and the potential consequences of a federal conviction are far more harsh than those for a state crime. If you are found guilty of a federal sex crime like sex trafficking, not only will you bear the label of a convicted felon, you will have to deal with the lifelong stigma that accompanies sex offender status, which can be much more difficult to overcome. Unfortunately, people are wrongfully accused and convicted of sex crimes all the time. If you want to protect yourself from a sex crime conviction, it is imperative that you do everything in your power to set yourself up for a positive outcome in your case, and that includes hiring a reputable criminal defense attorney with extensive experience in sex crimes defense. In fact, the most important step in presenting a compelling defense in your federal sex crime case is choosing the right legal representation.
Our attorneys at Federal Criminal Defense Pro understand how crippling a sex crime conviction would be for you and your loved ones and we will use every resource at our disposal to help you beat the charges you are facing. When you retain our firm, we will immediately get to work carefully reviewing every detail of your case so we can explore every legal option available to you and develop a compelling defense strategy that maximizes your chances of success. If you want to avoid the life-altering criminal penalties that typically accompany a federal sex crime conviction, you need the guidance of a defense attorney who specializes in federal sex crime defense. Equipped with the knowledge and expertise of our top-rated criminal defense lawyers at Federal Criminal Defense Pro, you may be able to get your sex offense charges dropped or your sentenced reduced.
Contact Our Federal Sex Crimes Defense Lawyers Today
The consequences of a federal sex crimes conviction can follow you for the rest of your life, long after you have served your time in prison, and if you have been accused of committing a sex crime in California, you are probably wondering how you can beat the charges. The truth is that all federal sex crime cases are different, and there is, unfortunately, no one standard defense approach that will help you disprove the prosecution’s case and secure your freedom. Hiring a skilled federal criminal defense attorney to aggressively fight the charges against you, however, is a step in the right direction. If you or someone you love has been charged with a sex crime, or if you are under investigation for a federal sex offense like child pornography or child sexual exploitation, contact Federal Criminal Defense Pro today to schedule a free initial consultation. At Federal Criminal Defense Pro, our defense attorneys believe that every individual accused of a sex crime deserves the chance to prove his or her innocence, and we will do everything in our power to help you do just that.