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Mann Act

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Mann Act Defense Lawyer

The Mann Act is a federal law that was enacted in 1910 in order to address the issue of white women being forced into prostitution. A specific law designed to address a specific issue during a specific period of history, many commentators argue that the Mann Act has now run its course.

However, prosecutors continue to rely on the Mann Act to bring federal prostitution charges in a wide variety of types of cases. Especially in the context of Internet sex trafficking – which lawmakers certainly did not predict in 1910 – the Mann Act has become a potent tool for prosecutors to seeking to obtain convictions for sex related cybercrimes. At Oberheiden, P.C., we provide vigorous, experienced legal representation for individuals accused of Mann Act violations, online prostitution, sex trafficking, and other related offenses.

Online Prostitution Crimes Explained

Most people do not think of prostitution as a crime that occurs on the Internet. However, in this day and age, the online world provides opportunities for engaging in and promoting prostitution just like drug trafficking and any other number of federal offenses. From running prostitution rings online to posting advertisements on web sites such as Craigslist, Backpage, and, there are any number of online activities that can result in criminal prosecution.

When the Mann Act was signed into law in 1910, it was a specific response to the discovery of an international crime syndicate that was kidnapping young girls in Europe and forcing them to work in the sex trade in the United States. Rightly viewed as a form of slavery, the Mann Act made this activity illegal while also prohibiting the transportation of women between state lines for “immoral purposes.”

Defending Against Online Prostitution Crime Charges

Oberheiden, P.C. is led by attorney Dr. Nick Oberheiden, who has helped numerous clients avoid conviction when faced with serious federal charges. A graduate of UCLA School of Law and the University of Heidelberg School of Law in Germany, he has also received training in mediation and negotiation strategies from Harvard Law School. Dr. Oberheiden draws on his vast experience to provide strategic, aggressive, and effective representation for clients facing Mann Act charges and other federal criminal allegations.

Lynette Byrd is a former federal prosecutor who has substantial experience successfully representing clients against federal charges and allegations. She has extensive trial experience on both sides of the courtroom, and she uses her inside knowledge of the federal prosecutor’s office to help clients avoid conviction and minimize the consequences of their arrests.

Our attorneys comprise one of the most dedicated, most effective criminal defense groups in the United States.

Penalties for Online Prostitution Crimes

Today, the Mann Act, “prohibits transporting any individual in interstate or foreign commerce for the purpose of engaging in prostitution or other sexual activity for which any person can be charged with a criminal offense, and related crimes.” Its scope is extremely broad, and prosecutors use its broad language to obtain convictions for activities such as:

  • Transportation of women across state lines for commercial purposes
  • Transportation of women across state lines for non-commercial sexual activity (though guidance from the Department of Justice suggests that those involved in non-commercial sexual activities are less likely to face prosecution)
  • Transporting men or women across state lines for purposes of prostitution or other sexual activity barred by state law
  • Operations involving pandering, prostitution houses, and call girls
  • Commercial and non-commercial sexual exploitation of children

When these activities involve the Internet and online communications, alleged offenders can face cybercrime charges as well.

Mann Act violations carry life-changing criminal penalties. A conviction for transporting a person across state lines for prostitution or other illegal sexual activity can result in large fines and a prison term of up to 10 years. In cases involving coercion or inducement of a person to travel across state lines for illegal sexual activity, conviction can lead to a prison term of up to twenty years.

At the state level, punishment for crimes involving prostitution varies widely. In some states, a person convicted of prostitution can be sentenced up to 180 days in jail and a $2,000 fine for a first offense, and up to two years in jail and $10,000 in fines for a third or subsequent conviction. Prostitution customers, pimps, and owners of brothels can also face up to two years in jail and $10,000 in fines depending on circumstances.

Speak with One of Our Experienced Attorneys Today

If you have been accused of violating the Mann Act or are facing charges for any other prostitution related offenses, Oberheiden, P.C.’s attorneys are here to help. To schedule a free, confidential consultation, contact us online or call our law offices at (888) 727-5154 today.

Orange County 714-294-2000
Los Angeles 310-873-8140
Detroit 313-888-8807
Nationwide 888-452-2503