The Federal Sex Crimes are child pornography cases. Another situation would be if a United States citizen goes specifically to a foreign country or another state to have sex with either a minor. Rarely do they have the general rape cases unless it occurs on federal property.
Do Sex Crime Cases Typically Involve People that Know Each Other or Is It More Common to See Strangers?
The majority of people know each other. With children, for instance, relatives or sometimes acquaintances. There aren’t many forcible rapes where they snatch people off the street or throw them into their car. That’s a lower percentage. Usually, the person knows the person accused of committing a sex offense against them. Whether they just met them or have known them for a while.
Are Sex Crime Cases able to Post Bail?
In Pennsylvania, you have the right to bail in sex crime cases. The amount of bail in sex crimes cases is up to the magistrate. I’ve had unsecured bail and I’ve seen half a million dollars set for sex crime cases.
What’s the First Thing Someone Should Do After Being Arrested for a Sex Crime?
The very first thing is you don’t say a word. We’ve had cases involving consensual sex; for example, a college kid has sex with the woman, then all-of-a-sudden they’re starting to investigate him for a rape and he goes, “I didn’t do anything wrong. Yes, I had sex with her.” Right there, Boom! He just admitted to having sex, she’s calling rape and they’re going to charge him. Be quiet; the police are not your friend, they’re not bored and needing to talk to random people for no reason.
How Public Are These Arrests Typically?
Sometimes they can be very public, especially if you’re in a higher position in society. Sex offense cases are almost always put in the newspaper and TV.
What Common Mistakes Do You See Clients Make in Sex Crime Cases?
Trying to tell witnesses not to talk or otherwise doing things to cover up their actions. People do things that make themselves look guilty. Avoid talking to your friends who might talk to police; you shouldn’t talk to anyone about it. The second is talking to police, especially if you are innocent.
How are people charged with sex crimes in Federal Court and in Pennsylvania State Court?
In a federal system, there are two ways they do it. They either straight up either arrest you, or, if they’re investigating you, they send you a target letter that says you’re a target of an investigation, come and talk to us. If you get a target letter from the federal government, you should be quiet and go seek an attorney right away. With the federal government, the punishments are very harsh and they have a lot of resources. You don’t want to be charged at all for any one of these crimes, but if the Feds are on your tail, money isn’t an issue with them.
In Pennsylvania State Courts the police generally file a criminal complaint and then arrest you for sex crimes.
What Sort of Stigma Accompanies Sex Crime Charges?
There are two types of crimes that have taint involved with them even if you’re found not guilty: DUI and sex offense crimes.
What Would You Advise Someone Traumatized by Being Charged with a Sex Crime?
No case is over until it’s been investigated thoroughly. On the defense side, there is no set thing I say to them. Some of my clients have done it and confessed and we’re working to try to keep them out of jail for decades, while some of them are innocent and we’re working to beat their case in court or avoid charges all together. There’s no set discussion I have with them. I tell all of my clients that it’s not over until it’s done.
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