Federal Sex Crimes: What You Need to Know

American flag, Bible, and gavel depicting federal sex crimes.

Did you know there was a difference between state and federal sex crimes?

Any time someone is charged with a sex crime, it’s among the worst moment of their lives. The shame of having done something illegal, having gotten caught, having hurt someone else, or all of the above plays into the fear of this moment.

How could you have gotten to this point in your life, you might wonder? Then, there is the fear of the penalty you may have to pay, including time spent in prison, and the repercussions a conviction could have on the rest of your life.

What if those sex crime charges turn out to be federal charges, not the result of a local police investigation? Or what if you find yourself facing both state and federal sex crime charges? ‘

Being investigated by the FBI sounds a whole lot scarier than being examined by your local police – for good reason. Federal penalties can be quite a bit harsher.

What Are Federal Sex Crimes?

Many, if not most, sex crimes are covered by state law. However, some sex crimes violate federal law as well. The bad news is that federal law tends to deal with the most serious types of sex crimes.

There are several situations where a crime is more likely to be prosecuted by a federal agency:

Aggravated Sexual Assault

Also known as rape, these types of crimes are covered by state laws as well as Title 18 of United States law. Aggravated assault includes threats, force, and sexual activity with those who can’t choose to participate due to intoxication or other reasons. Also, sex with someone under the age of 16 is a federal crime and considered rape.

Sex Crimes Against Children & Minors

The fact is that internet child pornography, and child trafficking is becoming more widespread. While sexual contact with a minor is considered a federal crime, sex crimes against children and minors are some of the most heavily investigated areas of crime in our country today.

Here are some of the crimes that may get you into a federal investigation:

  • Having anything to do with child pornography or nudity – possessing it, receiving it, distributing it, producing it, or advertising it.
  • Transmitting child pornography over the internet, or during any kind of interstate transaction.
  • Soliciting a minor for sex across state or federal lines.
  • Bringing or attempting to bring a minor across state or federal lines for sex.
  • Kidnapping, trafficking, selling, or buying of a minor or a child for sex.
  • Sex Abuse Involving Death
  • Human Trafficking
  • Repeat Sex Offender Crimes

Federal Criminal Investigations Are Different

When you or a loved one are being charged in a federal case, you need a lawyer who has experience with federal investigations, not just state investigations.

Federal agents use different investigative tactics and follow different rules from state authorities, and the federal court system is different.

Moreover, federal penalties are different for various crimes, but they tend to be harsher than state penalties. If you are sentenced to jail time for a federal crime, you will serve your time in a federal prison, which may be further away from friends and loved ones.

Many convicted sex offenders will be subject to a mandated Sex Offender Treatment or Management Program as well, which is a comprehensive psychiatric evaluation and re-education program.

In addition to all this, the federal government takes registration as a sex offender very seriously. Violation of sex offender registry laws can result in federal charges and significant prison time.

Since the passage of the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA) of 2006, federal regulations have significantly restricted the freedom of registered sex offenders.

If convicted, you may lose your passport or be subject to reporting requirements with the secretary of state.

Federal Sex Crimes Attorney in Michigan

If all of this sounds serious, that’s because it is. But just because a federal agency believes they can make a case against you for the worst possible sounding crimes doesn’t mean you can’t fight back and get your side of the story heard in court.

If you are facing a federal sex crime charge, you need a knowledgeable federal sex crimes attorney on your side today. Don’t wait, call my office for your free initial consultation.

Let’s get started!