Federal Sexual Exploitation of Children
When talking heads in the media label people as “criminals” they are truly doing a disservice to their audience. Criminal conduct is not something that is determined by any actual morality. Many criminal offenses are simply based on bending to the demands of special interest groups or based solely on generating revenue for the state. Offenses like driving with a suspended license, possession of cannabis and other recreational drugs, and prostitution are all offenses that are labelled crimes by the government but clearly have no basis in morality.
That is not to say that all crimes are simply creations of the state for the purpose of making money or bending to the will of lobbyists. Some criminal offenses truly are put in place in order to prohibit and punish morally repugnant and socially harmful behavior. And among this category of criminal offenses, some are treated much more serious than others. Violent crimes and sexually based crimes on their own are treated very seriously by the criminal justice system, but when the victims of those offenses are children, the stakes are significantly increased. If you or a loved one has been charged with a crime involving a child victim, you should not hesitate to contact a dedicated Sarasota criminal defense lawyer to aid in your defense.
Crimes can differ based on the entity bringing the criminal charges as well. Criminal offenses can be brought by a local jurisdiction and will be prosecuted by a local state attorney’s office. The state attorneys office will enforce the laws of the State of Florida. Offenses that occur across state borders, implicate interstate commerce, or those that are otherwise prohibited by Federal law are prosecuted by the United States Attorneys office in Federal Court. Federal criminal offenses can be treated much differently than similar state offenses. Minimum and maximum penalties are typically significantly greater, and federal evidentiary laws make defending such offenses more difficult.Sexual Exploitation of Children
One of the Federal offenses that is treated very seriously is the sexual exploitation of children which is punishable under United States Code Chapter 18 section 2251. Under the statute, anyone who employs forces, employs or otherwise entices a minor to engage in sexually explicit conduct for the purpose of producing a photo, video or other visual depiction of the conduct is guilty of the offense of sexual exploitation of a minor. Due to the serious nature of the offense, it is critical that you contact a skilled Sarasota criminal defense lawyer if you have been charged with sexual exploitation of children.
Along with committing the offense, the defendant in the federal offense of sexual exploitation must also implicate “interstate commerce,” or otherwise fall under Federal jurisdiction in order to be prosecuted in Federal Court. In order to qualify to be prosecuted in this manner, the prosecution must prove that in the process of creating the visual depiction of sexual conduct, children were transported across state lines or that the offense was committed in a territory or possession of the United States like a National Park or other Federally controlled jurisdiction. If the product of the crime, namely child pornography, are distributed across state lines or over the internet, the crime can likely be prosecuted as a federal offense.
A violation of this statute carries incredibly harsh penalties. If convicted under this section, a defendant faces a minimum mandatory prison sentence of 15 years and a maximum sentence of 30 years. If a defendant has previously been convicted of certain sexually based offenses, the offense is enhanced and a minimum penalty of 25 years in prison will be imposed with a maximum penalty of 50 years. The intense penalties accompanying this offense demand that anyone charged should consult with a dedicated Sarasota criminal defense lawyer.Speak to Our Lawyers Today
The attorneys at Hanlon Law have years of experience defending clients in all manner of state and federal sex based offenses. For a consultation, call us today at 727-897-5413.