Federal Sexual Abuse
There are few categories of criminal charges that are more serious or more dangerous to face than sexual offenses. Unlike many other cases, even violent offenses, sex offenses are treated with special attention by the powers that be in the criminal justice system. As time has passed, we have learned more and more about the physical, emotional, and psychological trauma that sexual assault victims suffer as a result of their abuse. And as society has rallied against alleged sexual offenders and predators, public demand for greater prosecution and stiffer penalties for those convicted of sex offenders has put pressure on prosecutor’s offices to go hard on those convicted. If you or a loved one has been charged with a criminal sex offense should not hesitate to consult with a dedicated St. Petersburg criminal lawyer.
Sex offenses are one of the categories of criminal offenses that can be charged in either State court or Federal court. Federal charges are generally significantly more serious than similar state law charges. Most defense lawyers consider State criminal charges far simpler to deal with than Federal charges. In Florida, defendants charged with State law offenses are entitled to a broad range of discovery. Judges will often give leeway to prepare and litigate cases. And overwhelmed local prosecutors will be more willing to make favorable deals. Federal prosecutors are typically far more prepared and have many more resources at their disposal.Federal Sexual Abuse Elements
Under Federal law, sexual abuse is prohibited and punished under United States Code Chapter 28 section 2242. A person is guilty of the offense of sexual abuse under Federal law if the defendant causes another to engage in a sexual act by threatening the victim or by causing fear to the victim. A person is also guilty of the offense if the offender engages in a sexual act with another if that person is incapable of understanding the nature of the sexual conduct or a person who is incapable of communicating unwillingness to engage in a sexual act. The offense of Federal sexual abuse is a serious one, and if you are charged under this statute, you should contact a dedicated St. Petersburg criminal lawyer to represent you right away.
One question that is often asked by people charged with Federal offenses is “why am I charged in Federal court instead of State Court.” The answer to this question depends on the specific facts of your individual case. Most often, Federal courts assert jurisdiction over cases involving crimes that cross state lines. For example, international drug or human trafficking will fall under Federal jurisdiction because state and international lines were crossed. However, when dealing with offenses like sexual abuse it is difficult to imagine how such a crime could cross state or international lines. In the case of a sexual abuse charge, Federal courts can assert jurisdiction in cases where the offense is committed within a Federal jurisdiction. The maritime waters of the United States, the territorial jurisdiction of the nation, a Federal prison or Federal building all constitute Federal territorial jurisdictions. National parks also constitute Federal jurisdictions.
The penalties for Federal offenses are significantly more serious than one might face for similar state charges. Federal courts are bound by complex and lengthy sentencing laws and computations. An experienced St. Petersburg criminal defense lawyer can help explain these sentencing computations and ensure that if you are convicted, you receive the lowest possible sentence for your case.Speak to Our Lawyers Today
The attorneys at Hanlon Law have years of experience defending our clients from all manner of State and Federal prosecutions. We take pride in the excellent results that we are able to achieve for our clients and hope to help you achieve the best resolution possible for your individual case. For a consultation, don’t hesitate to call us today at 727.289.0222.