Can I Be Charged With a Sex Crime by the State and the Federal Government?

Although sex crimes are often a state-level crime, you might be concerned that you could be facing charges on both a state and federal level. Understanding the difference between state and federal charges is important, especially when it comes to finding the right legal team to defend you. 

In this brief article, a federal criminal defense attorney in Tampa with our team at The Rickman Law Firm shares some insight into the circumstances when you may be charged at both the federal and state level, and what that might mean for your sentencing if you are found guilty.   

What’s the Difference Between State and Federal Sex Crimes?

There are some crimes that may include federal charges in addition to state charges. For example, any crime that involves minors or children, sex crimes that included the movement between states, or sex crimes that are more aggravated in nature may come with federal charges in addition to state charges. Additionally, child pornography charges are always federal charges.

Can I Be Charged with State and Federal Sex Crimes at the Same Time?

As previously mentioned, you can be charged on both the state and federal level for the same crime. Additionally, you may face separate trials – one for state court and one for federal. 

You might be thinking that you are protected from multiple trials for the same crime through the rule of double jeopardy, but that does not apply to federal sex crimes. The United States Supreme Court has ruled that facing criminal conviction for state and federal charges is not in violation of a person’s freedom from double jeopardy.

Are Sentences for Federal and State Crimes Served Together?

Depending on the charges and convictions, you will be required to register as a sex offender on both the national and state level. Additionally, you may be required to serve an incarceration sentence from a federal prison rather than a state facility. However, these sentences will be served concurrently (meaning, if you are sentenced for 15 years at the state level and 10 years at federal, you won’t be serving 25 total). 

When state and federal charges are being lodged against you at the same time, it’s crucial that you hire the best federal criminal defense lawyer in Tampa with The Rickman Law Firm. These cases are highly complex and you will need a highly skilled attorney to help you understand your rights and defend you at both the state and federal levels. Don’t trust your fate to a public defender, contact The Rickman Law Firm today. 

For a free consultation with the best federal criminal defense lawyer in Tampa, contact The Rickman Law Firm today

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.


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