Children are among the most vulnerable population in the United States, and child pornography laws seek to protect these vulnerable children from exploitation. The state of Florida has criminalized promotion, sales or production of child pornography, and will prosecute those who view, control or possess child pornography, even if they do so in their own home. A minor, in the state of Florida is a child under the age of 18, and the prohibition under state statutes is against exploitation, in visual materials, which depicts sexual conduct of a minor.
A person who possesses 3 or more copies of a sexual performance which involve a child could additionally be charged with intent to distribute or sell the materials to others. If you have been charged with the crime of Child Pornography, it is necessary for the prosecutor to show you knowingly and voluntarily engaged in activities prohibited under the Child Pornography statute.
Possession and Transmission of Child Pornography
Under Florida Statutes, Section 827.071(5), it is a criminal offense to knowingly control, possess, or intentionally view a photograph (including a computer depiction, an image, data, a show, a movie, or an exhibition) which depicts any type of sexual conduct by a child. Each photograph (or other type of graphic stated above) constitutes a separate charge. As an example, if you were found in possession of 235 photographs of child pornography, you would be charged with 235 counts of the offense. Further, if there is more than one child engaging in sexual conduct in the photograph, then you will be charged with separate offenses for each child. Under Florida Statute, Section 847.0137, it is a criminal offense to transmit child pornography to another person, so long as you knew—or reasonably should have known—you were transmitting child pornography.
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Penalties Associated with Child Pornography
Possession of child pornography is a third-degree felony. If you are convicted of the offense of possession of child pornography, you could face up to five years in prison, and a fine as large as $5,000. Therefore, if you are charged with twenty counts of possession of child pornography (you either have twenty photographs depicting child pornography in your possession, or ten photographs which depict two children in a sexual act) you could face up to 100 years in prison. Transmission of child pornography is also a third-degree felony, with the same penalties as a conviction for possession of child pornography. If you are convicted of possessing child pornography with the intent to promote (which includes selling, manufacturing, giving and distributing) or creating child pornography, you will face a second-degree felony charge and could be sentenced up to 15 years in prison.
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Defenses to the Crime of Child Pornography
If you are convicted of any type of sex offense in the state of Florida, you will suffer grave consequences, not only regarding criminal penalties, but you will likely have to register as a sex offender for the remainder of your life. You could additionally find it difficult to find employment, rent a home, obtain a professional license, or go to college on a governmental student loan. Because of these very serious consequences, your Florida criminal defense attorney will carefully build a defense on your behalf, based on your specific circumstances. Some of the more common defenses used to combat charges of Child Pornography include the following:
- You were not the person who downloaded the images to your computer—either another person who uses your computer downloaded the images, or they were contained in a virus which was transmitted via the Internet; or
- You were a victim of entrapment when law enforcement created a situation which influenced your participation in a criminal act.
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Getting the Help You Need from a Criminal Defense Attorney
The Sarasota criminal defense attorneys from The Law Place offer comprehensive support to our clients who have been charged with Child Pornography. We understand how intimidating it can be to be charged with such serious charges, and we will work hard to have your charges reduced or dismissed, or, if there is a conviction, we will work on your behalf to have the penalties significantly reduced. We understand that you could be completely innocent of the charges of Child Pornography, or perhaps you simply made a serious error in judgment. Contact the reputable firm of The Law Place—we will develop a customized criminal defense strategy for you, as we tirelessly advocate for your rights and your future. Contact a criminal defense attorney from The Law Place today by calling 941-444-4444.
Child Pornography Attorneys in Florida
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