Sex crimes are often charged on a state level, however, there are a few common federal sex crimes that are prosecuted in Florida as well. Federal sex crimes cover a wide range of circumstances, and often involve minors.
In this brief article, the best federal defense attorney in St. Petersburg with our team at The Rickman Law Firm shared the top three most common federal sex crimes in Florida, and what to do if you have been charged with a federal sex crime.
Florida is one of the top places in the world for human trafficking and is third in the country for human trafficking. In fact, the cities of Tampa, Orlando, and Miami are in the top areas of Florida where human trafficking is most prevalent.
Human trafficking occurs any time a person is trafficked by another person for either servitude or sexual reasons. Although this crime often involves several levels of people and involvement, 18 U.S.C. 1584 outlines penalties for up to 20 years in prison for a defendant who is convicted of holding someone or selling them in involuntary servitude. If serious bodily injury or death occurs, or the crime involved kidnapping or sexual abuse, the defendant could be sentenced to life in a federal prison.
In Florida, over 34,000 children were abused in Florida in 2019, 35 perent of which also suffered sexual abuse. Sexual assault is prosecuted at the state level, but just as it is federally illegal to participate in, consume, or distribute child pornography, it’s also federally illegal to sexually assault a minor. This charge is sometimes called aggravated sexual abuse.
Except in limited circumstances, federal laws typically do not apply to child sexual abuse matters that takes place wholly inside a single state and are typically handled by the state. However, if the sexual abuse of a child occurred on federal lands, the offense may be prosecuted under federal law. Federal lands include areas such as military bases, Indian territories, and other government-owned lands or properties.
As defined by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, child pornography is “any image depicting a minor engaged in sexual conduct,” including photographs, videos, and computer files, among other forms of content involving a person under the age of 18 engaged in any form of sexual conduct. This is a federal and state crime. You may come into contact with these materials through no fault of your own, but you may still stand accused and charged regardless of intent.
If you’re facing federal sex crime charges, you’ll need a federal defense attorney in St. Petersburg from The Rickman Law Firm. These charges can negatively impact your life for years to come, and defending yourself aggressively is crucial.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.