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18 U.S.C. 2423 – Transportation of Minors

Attorneys Representing North Carolina Residents Accused of Federal Sex Crimes

There are many acts that escalate from a violation of state law to a federal offense when they involve traveling over state lines. For example, traveling over state lines for the purpose of engaging in illicit sexual activity with a minor is unlawful and can result in significant penalties, up to life in prison. If you are charged with transportation of minors or any other federal sex offense, you should consult a lawyer regarding your options. The Charlotte and Concord federal sex crime lawyers at the Olsinski Law Firm possess the skills and resources needed to prepare compelling arguments in your defense, and we will work diligently to help you seek a fair outcome under the facts surrounding your case.

Transportation of Minors in Violation of Federal Law

18 U.S. Code section 2423 explicitly states that it is illegal to travel for the purpose of engaging in illicit sexual conduct. Specifically, 18 U.S. Code section 2423(a) prohibits a person from knowingly taking a minor child out of the state or country, with the intent that the child engage in illegal sexual activity, such as prostitution.

Section 2423(b) is broader in scope, criminalizing travel over state lines or into the U.S. for the purpose of partaking in illegal sexual conduct with another individual. Under section 2423(b), it is also illegal for a U.S. citizen or permanent resident to travel to another country for the aim of engaging in unlawful sex acts. Similarly, under section 2423(c), it is illegal for a U.S. citizen or permanent resident to engage in illegal sexual conduct while in another country.

Finally, under section 2423(d), it is illegal for a person, in exchange for money or commercial advantage, to help or induce another person to travel out of the state or country if the first person knows that the second person has the intent to engage in illicit sex acts.

Section 2423(f) specifically indicates that the illicit sexual conduct prohibited under section 2423 includes any sexual activity with a minor that is illegal, a commercial sex act with a minor, or the production of child pornography.

Penalties and Defenses

A conviction for transportation of minors under section 2423(a) carries a minimum penalty of 10 years in prison and a maximum penalty of life in prison, whereas a person convicted of violating section 2423(b), section 2423(c), or section 2423(d) can be sentenced to up to 30 years in prison. Additionally, people can be charged with attempt and conspiracy crimes under any section, which are punishable to the same extent as if the crime had been committed.

Section 2423(g) states that it is a defense to a charge alleging that the defendant engaged in a commercial sex act, such as prostitution, with a minor if the defendant believed that the minor was at least 18 years old. A defendant must prove that his or her belief was reasonable through clear and convincing evidence. Non-statutory defenses may be available to a person charged with a violation of section 2423 as well. For example, if a defendant is interrogated by law enforcement officials prior to being advised of his or her right against self-incrimination, any statements implying the defendant’s guilt that could potentially be used to convict the defendant may be inadmissible.

Discuss Your Charges With a Dedicated Sex Crime Attorney in Concord or Charlotte

An accusation that you committed a sex offense against a child can permanently harm your reputation, and any federal sex crime charges should be aggressively contested. If you are charged with transportation of minors, the dedicated criminal defense attorneys at the Olsinski Law Firm can zealously argue in your defense to help you seek the best outcome available in your case. We regularly represent people charged with federal sex crimes in Concord and Charlotte and throughout Cabarrus and Mecklenburg Counties, including in Huntersville, Mint Hill, Matthews, Cornelius, Davidson, Midland, Pineville, Harrisburg, Kannapolis, and Mount Pleasant. You can contact us through our online form or at our Charlotte office by calling 704-405-2580 or at our Concord office by calling 704-918-4747.

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