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An overview of federal sex crimes

Most people know that a criminal defendant can oftentimes face charges in either state or federal court., for a crime to be charged in federal court, there are usually issues involving jurisdiction. Moreover, sometimes federal prosecutors pick and choose how to use their resources. For instance, when a crime involves an act that transcends state borders, federal prosecution may be the best option for government officials, since otherwise two different state courts might be involved.

Like large-scale drug or theft operations, there are federal sex crimes that could land a New Jersey resident in front of a federal judge. One type of federal sex crime that many of our readers are probably most familiar with is the transport of an individual - usually an underage female - across state lines with the intent to have the underage female engage in a sexual act with another person. This is commonly becoming termed a "human trafficking."

However, as most New Jersey criminal defense attorneys would probably be able to tell our readers, there are other circumstances that could lead to federal sex crimes charges. Another frequently occurring circumstance is a sexual assault that occurs in a federal prison.

As a federal facility, almost any illegal act that occurs within a federal prison will likely be subject to prosecution in federal court. This type of criminal case can be unique, as it will likely involve individuals who will testify for both the prosecution and the defense who have all been convicted of federal crimes. The criminal defense approach in this type of federal sex crimes case can be difficult to craft.

Source:, "Federal Sex Offense Laws," Accessed July 18, 2015

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