DC Federal Sex Crimes Investigations

Typically, federal sex crimes cases are handled by experienced federal prosecutors who have access to a number of extensive resources. These resources include a number of state and federal law enforcement agents who are tasked with investigating these types of crimes through a variety of methods including uncover investigations or large sting operations.Through these investigations a variety of evidence may be collected including DNA evidence and testimony from complaining witnesses, making it imperative those accused have an experienced DC federal sex crimes lawyer available. An experienced attorney can assist by ensuring none of the legal rights of the accused are violated, and by helping the individual avoid doing anything that could make their situation worse.

Pre and Post-Arrest Investigations

During the pre-arrest of a federal sex crimes investigation, the federal government will be trying to determine whether a crime was actually committed and whether there is evidence that establishes the guilt of one or more specific individuals. In order to do this, State and federal law enforcement agencies will likely gather evidence through witness interviews, identification procedures (lineups, photo arrays), subpoenas and search warrants.

During the post-arrest stage of an investigation, the same evidence-gathering techniques will be used, but they will additionally include the interviewing of the arrested individual. However in this instance, the arrestee has the option to invoke their rights to silence and legal counsel.

Evidence in a Federal Sex Crimes Investigation

Some of the evidence federal agents are looking for include DNA evidence, testimony from complaining witness, eyewitness identification, and/or a confession.

In addition, due to the growing use of technology, many agencies are turning to the internet to gather evidence – generally through law enforcement agents posing as minors on online chatting services. Anything that is written online by a client is likely to be recorded and used against him/her in trial.

Investigative Agencies

Federal sex crimes may be investigated by one or more of the following agencies:

  • The Federal Bureau of Investigation
  • U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement
  • Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention
  • United States Secret Service
  • and the United States Postal Service

Each of these agencies has a dedicated number of personnel within the agency who are tasked with the investigation of federal sex crimes and is given federal money to allow it to conduct thorough investigations. Some agencies will also have forensic and technical support. Given all the investigative resources available to the prosecution, a defendant in a DC federal sex crimes investigation should consult a DC federal sex crimes lawyer to assist in their defense against these charges.

Constitutional Issues in Sex Crimes Cases

Agents are required to have warrants supported by probable cause when performing investigative searches. Additionally, agents are not able to conduct custodial interrogations of arrested individuals unless they have waived their Miranda rights, and specifically have not invoked their rights to silence or counsel. If any of these constitutional limitations are violated, it is cause for any evidence gathered stemming from the search or interrogation to be excluded at trial. A DC federal sex crimes lawyer can help determine if the prosecutorial investigation has violated any of the defendant’s constitutional rights.

DC Federal Sex Crimes Lawyer