Federal Sexual Exploitation of Children
Being arrested and charged with a crime can be a stressful, potentially life altering situation. Even innocent people who have been charged with a crime face the stigma of a criminal record and the trauma of being accused of a crime or arrested. However, the vast majority of criminal arrests and even convictions do not result in any incarceration or jail time and can usually be resolved amicably. Some criminal cases, however, are much more serious than others, prosecuted zealously by State and Federal prosecutors who seek serious punishments. Among the crimes that are prosecuted and punished harshly are crimes involving child victims.
Obviously, crimes with child victims are a special concern for the criminal justice system. Police, prosecutors, and judges treat such offenses much more seriously than those with adult victims or no victims at all (like drug possession or driving with a suspended license). Children are special to those in the criminal justice system, especially on the side of the prosecution because they are the ideal witnesses and victims. They rarely have any ingrained biases, they do not have motives to lie, and they are innocent. They are truly victims and very rarely have much agency over their own circumstance. Because crimes involving children can be treated so seriously, if you find yourself charged with such a crime, you should not hesitate to contact a dedicated St. Petersburg criminal lawyer to find out how they can help defend your case.
Federal criminal charges add another twist to the equation. Crimes that are committed solely within the borders of the State of Florida will be prosecuted by the State Attorneys office headquartered in the county where the crime occurred. Crimes that cross county lines are often prosecuted by the Attorney General’s Office of the Statewide Prosecutor. When the criminal offense crosses state lines or otherwise implicates Federal Law however, charges can be brought and prosecuted by the Federal government through the United States Attorneys Office. Federal criminal charges bring their own unique challenges, necessitating the hiring of an experienced lawyer who can overcome them.Sexual Exploitation of Children
One serious crime punished by the Federal criminal justice system is Sexual Exploitation of Children under 18 U.S. Code Section 2251. Under the statute, it is a criminal offense to persuade, entice, employ or coerce a child to engage in sexually explicit conduct in order to produce or create child pornography. The Statute is meant first and foremost to punish those who are involved in the interstate trafficking of children for the purposes of producing child pornography, so one can imagine that prosecutors and judges do not treat such offenses lightly. Anyone charged under this sections should immediately reach out to an experienced St. Petersburg criminal lawyer for aid.
The Statute also punishes those who are merely complicit in the trafficking and sexual exploitation of children even if they are not directly involved with the crime. Under one of the law’s subsections, any parent or legal guardian of a child, who knowingly permits a minor under their protection to participate in the production of child pornography is guilty of the offense and punishable as if they themselves committed the offense. And the punishments are severe. A first time offender convicted under this statute will face a minimum prison sentence of fifteen years, with a maximum penalty of thirty years. And if the defendant has a prior conviction for certain sex based offenses, the minimum penalty is increased to twenty five years with a fifty year maximum.Speak to a Lawyer Today
The attorneys at Hanlon Law have years of experience defending clients for a range of Federal and State sexual criminal offenses. If you are under investigation or have been charged with such a crime, you should reach out to us today for a consultation at 727-897-5413.