Facing criminal charges is a daunting prospect for anyone, including Baton Rouge residents. Often, we forget that the accused is innocent until proven guilty-the media usually paints a person under investigation as someone who has already been convicted and public opinion is quick to turn against that person. When the federal charges include those of exploiting children, as mentioned in last week's post, people are even more likely to form opinions before the verdict is out.
This blog recently discussed what sex offender registries are and what the requirements under a sex offender registry are. Five men were recently arrested in Louisiana, including two from the Baton Rouge area, on 300 counts of exploiting children. The five men were charged with sexual exploitation of children in the alleged cyber crime sweep. The Louisiana Attorney General announced the arrests following them.
Though it is a term you have likely heard of before, you may wonder what a sex offender registry is. Sex offender registries are essentially a database that contains information about convicted sex offenders and is maintained by law enforcement to monitor and track sex offenders. In addition, some of the information is made public. Registration requirements, what information is made available to the public and other considerations are dictated by state laws.
Federal criminal charges can be particularly serious because of the extensive resources of the federal government to prosecute them. Accusations of white collar crimes and federal charges require a serious and informed criminal defense response. The potential penalties and consequences of federal charges can be both significant and harsh which is why it is important to understand the criminal defense options of individuals, corporations and organizations facing them.
Sex offender registries are discussed in common parlance but you may wonder what they are and what the reporting requirements are for sex offenders. Because sex offense crimes vary by state, the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act categorizes sex offenses into tiers based on the length of prison term under the law, the age of the victim, any aggravating circumstances and other factors. There are 3 tiers and each of the tiers imposes certain reporting requirements on the sex offender. The Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act is part of comprehensive federal law and requires states to maintain a system to track and monitor sex offenders following their release back into the community.
It is a serious offense to possess, distribute, sell or produce materials that portray or exploit a minor in a manner that is considered pornographic. Such possession or distribution of online child pornography is a federal crime that carries significant potential penalties if convicted.
A Louisianan who has been charged with a crime may be in shock. It is quite possible that he or she had no idea that prosecutors were even conducting an investigation. Prosecutors may have compiled extensive evidence and be prepared to move quickly while, at the same time, an individual is reeling from the discovery that he or she is now under investigation as an alleged criminal.
The federal criminal process involves numerous steps from beginning to end. Before a Louisianan is charged with a federal crime, an investigation will be conducted. Following an investigation, should prosecutors believe there is sufficient evidence to pursue federal charges, an individual will be charged with a crime.
A Louisianan accused of a crime involving a child may be facing a difficult uphill battle. Alleged crimes that involve exploiting children certainly carry a stigma that no Louisianan wants to bear. Whether it is the prostitution of children or sex trafficking of minors, these are serious crimes.
Larceny is a relatively simple crime. Under federal law, the crime of larceny encompasses the taking, withholding or obtaining of an item of personal property, something else of value or money from either the person who owns the money or item or from another person. Larceny can happen by any means under federal law.