Federal Sex Crimes: Selling or Buying of Children
There are levels to criminal offenses, and those charged or convicted of crimes should not and cannot be lumped into one pile of offenders. As much as many people in our society want to label anyone with a record a “criminal,” the reality is that some criminal offenses are simply far more morally wrong than others. We live in a society where people still go to jail, and sometimes prison, for possession or selling marijuana. People are unjustly arrested every day for nebulous crimes like trespass or resisting an officer. People charged with crimes like those should not be lumped in with those charged with offenses like sexual battery or murder.
When you put things in perspective, and see that people are still harshly punished for minor, nonviolent, and victimless criminal offenses, one can only imagine the type of penalties associated with criminal charges that are violent, or that do involve victims. And among the victims of crimes, there is a class that is treated even more carefully than all others: children. Crimes against children in both the State and Federal system are treated especially seriously by judges, prosecutors, and law enforcement. And when the offense is a sexually based crime, the seriousness is taken to another level. If you or a loved one has been charged with a federal offense with a child victim, you should not hesitate to reach out to a zealous St. Petersburg criminal lawyer to learn what your options are.
Crimes can be prosecuted by either local State or Federal authorities depending on the factual allegations and the crime alleged. Most commonly, criminal charges that occur within the geographical boundaries of a single state are prosecuted by the State Attorneys office of that State. When crimes cross over different counties within the same state, they are typically prosecuted by the Attorney General’s statewide prosecutor’s office. And when crimes cross the boundaries of one state into another, the Federal government through the United States Attorneys office will bring the charges. Federal prosecutors often act as if they are more powerful and simply better than State level prosecutors. Hire a skilled St. Petersburg criminal defense lawyer to take on these overconfident prosecutors.Selling or Buying of Children
One of the most serious Federal criminal charges that a person can face is the selling or buying of children under 18 U.S. Code Section 2251A. Under the statute, any parent, legal guardian, or another person who exercises custody of a minor who sells, offers to sell, or otherwise transfers the custody of a minor knowing that the minor will be used in the depiction of child pornography is guilty of the offense of selling or buying children. A parent or guardian can also be convicted under this law if the minor only assists another person in sexually explicit conduct for the purposes of producing child pornography.
Conversely, the other side of such a transaction is also punished by this statute. Any person who purchases or obtains custody of a minor for the purpose of producing child pornography is also guilty of the offense under Federal Law. As long as the Federal prosecutors can prove that the transaction utilized means of interstate commerce or that a transactions crossed state boundaries, they can bring the case in Federal court and prosecute with Federal penalties. If convicted under this section, a defendant will face a mandatory minimum prison sentence of thirty years and a maximum sentence of life. These penalties are no joke, and if you have been charged under this section, you should retain a serious St. Petersburg criminal defense attorney.Speak to Our Lawyers Today
The attorneys at Hanlon Law have the confidence and the game plan to put you in the best possible situation, regardless of the criminal charges you might be facing. Call us today for a consultation at 727.289.0222.