Federal Sex Crimes

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Sex Crimes get in Federal Court

Introduction to Federal Sex Crimes Charges in Oklahoma

The Federal Sex Crimes Defense Attorneys at Cannon & Associates are FIERCE ADVOCATES for those charged with any and all federal crimes. We have successfully defending many clients in federal court across Oklahoma. 

We are led by John P. Cannon, a former Assistant District Attorney and Assistant Attorney General who prosecuted crimes in state court before becoming the experienced Edmond criminal defense attorney he is today. A successful defense can result in a case dismissal, dropped charges, or a not-guilty verdict at your federal criminal trial. 

If you or a loved one is under investigation or has been indicted, call us for a free confidential case evaluation. Edmond Federal Crimes Defense Attorney John Cannon is a FIERCE ADVOCATE and available to talk to you today. Call Cannon & Associates at (405) 657-2323 and prepare your defense. 

How do Sex Crimes get in Federal Court?

Typically sex crimes, crimes related to sexual acts or sexual behavior, are prosecuted in Oklahoma state courts; however, in severe cases or cases involving interstate activity, sex crimes are prosecuted in Oklahoma federal criminal courts.  These crimes are Federal Sex Crimes.

Federal sex crimes are some of the most serious offenses in state or federal courts in the United States. Therefore, the punishment for these offenses are severe. An accusation of a federal sex crime is very serious and should not be taken lightly.  Cannon & Associates specializes in criminal defense and have successfully defended many clients facing sex crimes charges. 

Both state and federal courts can try prosecute criminal defendants for sex crimes. As indicated above, allegations of an isolated incident of sexual assault, sexual abuse, rape, or other sexual assault charges will be prosecuted in Oklahoma criminal state courts. Sex crimes allegations that relate to allegations on a larger scale or events crossing state lines will typically be prosecuted in federal court as Federal Sex Crimes: 

In the case of a federal sex crime, the state can prosecute a criminal defendant for the state specific sex crime, while the federal prosecutor indicts for the federal sex crime. The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that a criminal defendant’s right to be free from double jeopardy is not violated when a defendant is prosecuted in state and federal court for the same sexual act.

Types of federal sex crimes

Federal sex crimes include a range of sexual conduct covered in Title 18 of the United States Code.  Most child sex crimes are prosecuted as federal sex crimes. 

Sex crimes related to minors include:

  1. Child sexual assault and rape;
  2. Sexual exploitation of a child, including: coercion, bribery or any act to entire a minor to engage in sexual conduct, i.e. child pornography, sexual depictions, sexual, etc.
  3. Sexual abuse of a minor or ward;
  4. Purchase or sale of a child for sexual purposes;
  5. Possession or distribution of child pornography, including: sharing actual or digital material, sexting (sexual text messages), and transmitting information about a minor.
  6. Aggravated sexual abuse, which includes using force, fear, or threats of bodily injury, kidnapping, death, or rendering the victim unconscious to coerce unwanted sexual acts
  7. Human trafficking: using force, fraud, or coercion to recruit, transport, harbor, provide, or obtaining a person for forced labor or commercial sex acts;
  8. Sexual abuse resulting in death;
  9. Sexual crimes crossing state lines: traveling out of state to engage in sex crime or buying illicit sexual material and crossing state lines; 
  10. Sexual crimes on federal land or territory, including national parks, military bases, reservations, etc. 

Punishment of Federal Sex Crimes

Federal sex crimes often carry mandatory minimum sentencing, meaning you will be required to serve at least a specified federal prison sentence, if convicted. The more severe the crime – the greater the punishment. If you are convicted of a federal sex crime, you will likely be required to abide by probation conditions upon release from prison, including meeting with your probation officer and attending sex offender education upon release. 

Penalty for Child Sex Crimes

The penalties for federal sex crimes involving children are very burdensome. Some federal child sex crimes laws mandate 15-year prison terms prior to being released upon conviction, i.e. Sexual Exploitation of Children. As is the case in most federal prosecutions, the sentence in federal sex crimes involving children are increased, if aggravated or committed after prior convictions. 

Sex Offender Registration

Upon being convicted of a federal sex crime and possibly being sentenced to federal prison, receiving harsh fines, and difficult probation supervision upon release; federal courts mandate compliance with the National Sex Offender Registration. Additionally, Oklahoma has Sex Offender Registration requirements that must be followed as well.  

In 2006, Congress enacted the Sex Offender Registration and Notification ACT (“SONRA”) to track and monitor sex offenders throughout the county, including every state, the District of Columbia, and tribal land. Before SONRA, state Sex Offender Registrations (“SORA”) were kept by the state and information was not shared properly.  SONRA created the National Sex Offender Registration and Notification System. Now, every sex offender convicted of a federal sex offense must register and have the following information maintained: residence, proximity to school(s), employment date, and other personal information. Additionally, you may be prohibited from living or going near schools or parks. 

Sex Offender Tiers

Federal sex crimes are categorized into three (3) Tiers in an effort to differentiate between levels or seriousness of federal sex crime offenses/offenders. The Tiers not only identify the seriousness of a federal sex offender’s sex crime, it also determines the length of registration required:

  • Tier I sex offenders must register for 15 years;
  • Tier II sex offenders must register for 25 years;
  • Tier III sex offenders must register for life. 

Federal Sex Crimes Defenses

All is not lost, if you have been accused of or indicted for a federal sex crime. You have options, including defenses that you can explore in maintaining your innocence or building a strong defense to avoid a felony conviction for a federal sex offense. 

Your Oklahoma federal defense lawyer must be experienced with federal criminal defense and preferably have experience with federal sex crimes defense. Your chosen federal sex crimes defense lawyer should consider the range of defenses available in your case, which may include the following: 

  1. Actual Innocence. The justice system is not perfect; however, there is no greater defense than actual innocence. An experienced federal criminal defense attorney can assist you in presenting a compelling story of innocence, including circumstantial evidence and your testimony. 
  2. Reasonable Doubt. Federal prosecutors are required to prove your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt to a unanimous jury before you can be convicted of any federal crime, including sex crimes. You do not have to prove your innocence in criminal cases; the prosecution has to prove your guilt. Your chosen federal criminal defense lawyer may be able to attack the prosecution’s case and leave the jury with a reasonable doubt. 
  3. Consent. Again, dependent on the federal sex crime charge(s) against you; you may be able to raise consent as a defense in your case. This defense is not available in crimes against children, as they do not have the legal ability to give consent to sexual acts.  
  4. Entrapment. Entrapment is a defense when another party, i.e. the “victim” or law enforcement, tricked or forcibly persuaded you into committing a crime.  Entrapment may be an available defense in your federal sex crimes case, such as transmission of data concerning minors.  
  5. Mental Capacity. Your federal defense attorney can explore issues related to your mental capacity to make a sound decision at the time of the criminal act. 

Being accused of any sex crime is a very serious allegation; however, it is even more serious, if the allegation has or may lead to a federal court Indictment. The details, defenses, and process you face in federal sex crimes prosecution should not be taken lightly. When your freedom and future are on the line you need a FIERCE ADVOCATE on your side. 

Federal Criminal Defense Lawyers serving Accused in Oklahoma

At Cannon & Associates, we provide experienced federal criminal defense for those accused of state and federal crimes in Edmond, Oklahoma City, and beyond in Oklahoma. We understand the federal detention hearing process, federal criminal jury trial, and the sentencing guidelines governing federal criminal proceedings and sentencing for federal crimes.

We offer free confidential case evaluations and can advise you on the steps to seek pre-trial release and defending your federal criminal case as a whole. 


Experience matters when you are facing federal indictment in Oklahoma or the potential loss of your freedom. It is important to know the Oklahoma federal criminal defense lawyer you hire is dedicated to your cause and versed in all aspects of federal criminal defense and federal sentencing guidelines. John Cannon, owner of Cannon & Associates is a former prosecutor and very experienced in the law and issues associated with fighting federal criminal charges and criminal jury trial. He has been recognized as a Super Lawyer and Top 40 under 40 in criminal defense. Contact Cannon & Associates to protect your rights and Fight your case. Complete the CONTACT FORM ON THIS PAGE NOW or CALL at 1(405) 657-2323 for a free confidential case evaluation.

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