J. Patrick Quillian, P.C.

J. Patrick Quillian Attorney At Law

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Not to Scare You, but Here Are All the Ways You Can Be Punished for Federal Sex Crimes

The American justice system doesn't take allegations of sex crimes lightly, especially at the federal level. If you're convicted of a federal sex offense, you face more than just jail time or fines. Below, we catalogue some of the myriad ways these allegations, whether accurate or not, can affect your future.

Federal Sex Crime Sentencing


The term "sex offender" refers to anyone who commits a crime that involves the sexual victimization of an adult or minor. Examples of federal sex crimes are possession or distribution of child pornography, failure to register as a sex offender if convicted of a sex crime, contact offenses, and promotion of illegal sex acts of any kind.

The federal government sets minimum standards for sentencing in these types of crimes. Punishments are generally commensurate with the gravity of the offense. This is what you could be facing at a minimum for sex offenses:

Sex trafficking of a minor: 10-15 years, depending on the minor's age

Intent to have sex with minor under the age of 12: 30 years

Buying, selling, or producing child pornography: 30 years

Using the mail to pay for sex acts: 10-15 years

Secondary offenses of sex acts involving minors: mandatory lifetime imprisonment

It's important to remember that these sentences can be compounded to equal more jail time. You may be charged with multiple counts of one of these crimes, or you may be subject to several of these sentences at once. For example, if you're charged with 1 count of sexual trafficking of a minor and 1 count of intent to have sex with a minor, you face a minimum of 45 years in federal prison.

Compounding State and Federal Offenses


Your sex crime sentencing doesn't stop at the federal level. Although sex crimes are largely classified as federal offenses, the state courts are permitted to file additional charges against you. These sentences will be added on to your federal sentence. Each state has its own rules for sentencing sex crimes. Prosecutors are committed to putting away violent sexual offenders for good.

Your best defense is to never be in the position to face these types of charges. Even after you've served jail time, your position on a sex offender registry can prevent you from finding a job or a home. These crimes carry serious consequences, and being placed on a sex offender registry can feel like a life sentence.

Our experienced and compassionate criminal defense attorneys can help you understand your rights if you've been charged with a sexual crime and provide effective and fair legal representation. Call us for a confidential case evaluation.   

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