Houston Federal Sex Crimes Attorney

Houston, Texas federal sex crimes attorneys

Experienced Federal Sex Crime Attorneys Near You

In the United States, sex crimes are serious offenses with severe legal consequences. While most sex crimes are prosecuted by the state, there are certain circumstances where these offenses become federal crimes. Federal sex crimes generally involve interstate or international elements, and they may be investigated and prosecuted by federal agencies such as the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) or the U.S. Attorney's Office. If you or someone you know is facing federal sex crime charges, it is important to work with a criminal defense attorney who has experience in these types of cases.

Types of Federal Sex Crimes

Sexual Exploitation of Children:

Offenses involving children are some of the most serious types of federal sex crimes. Accusations of producing, distributing, receiving, or possessing explicit material involving minors (child pornography) may lead to federal charges. Additionally, using a minor for prostitution, transporting a minor across state lines or international borders for the purpose of engaging in commercial sex acts (sex trafficking), or traveling internationally to engage in illegal sexual activities with minors may also result in federal prosecution.

Aggravated Sexual Abuse:

Any forced or non-consensual sexual acts committed against another person may result in sexual assault charges. Since children are considered to be too young to give consent to engage in sexual activity, adults may face criminal charges if they engage in any sex acts with minors. Federal charges for aggravated sexual abuse may apply if a person is accused of committing sexual assault against an adult or child while on government property or traveling across state lines to engage in sex acts with a child under the age of 12.

Penalties for Federal Sex Crime Charges

If you are facing allegations related to federal sex crimes in Houston, it is essential to understand the potential consequences you may face upon conviction. While the specific penalties can vary depending on the circumstances of each case, they may include:

  • Child Pornography: The possession, production, or distribution of child pornography generally carries a sentence of five to 20 years in prison, although those who had previously been convicted of state or federal sex crimes may be sentenced to between 15 and 40 years.
  • Sex Trafficking: Engaging in human trafficking for commercial sexual exploitation can result in a sentence of 15 years to life in prison if an offense involved fraud or coercion or if the alleged victim was a minor under the age of 14.
  • Aggravated Sexual Abuse: A conviction for engaging in non-consensual sex acts may result in a sentence of any amount of years, up to life in prison. In cases involving an alleged victim who was under the age of 12, the minimum sentence is 30 years.

Federal Investigations and Prosecution

If you become the target of a federal investigation into allegations regarding sex crimes in Houston, it is crucial to understand how the process works:

  • Investigation stage: A federal agency such as the FBI will conduct an extensive investigation into the suspected criminal activity surrounding the alleged sex crimes. This involves gathering evidence through interviews with witnesses, forensic analysis, surveillance operations, electronic data retrieval (such as emails), and more.
  • Grand jury indictment: If there is sufficient evidence supporting charges against you based on the results of an investigation, a grand jury could issue an indictment against you, officially charging you with one or multiple counts related to federal sex crimes.
  • Pre-trial proceedings: Once indicted, the prosecution and defense will begin preparing for a trial. During this stage, your attorney can file various motions and engage in negotiations with federal prosecutors. These may include plea bargain discussions or exploring potential defenses that may challenge the legality of evidence collected against you.
  • Trial: If a settlement cannot be reached during pre-trial proceedings, the case will proceed to trial. At trial, the prosecution bears the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. Your lawyer will mount a thorough defense to challenge the prosecution's arguments and present any evidence supporting your innocence.
  • Sentencing: If you are convicted at trial or after entering into a plea agreement, the judge will determine an appropriate sentence based on federal sentencing guidelines and other relevant factors, such as your prior criminal history.

Contact an Experienced Houston Federal Sex Crimes Lawyer

Allegations related to federal sex crimes are very serious, and these cases require attention from experienced legal professionals who are well-versed in handling federal charges. At Bennett & Bennett, our skilled attorneys have extensive experience defending individuals charged with federal offenses. We understand how overwhelming such charges can be, and we are dedicated to protecting your rights throughout every stage of the legal process. Contact us today at 713-224-1747 to schedule a confidential consultation so that we can begin building your defense strategy.

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