Child Pornography

Child Pornography Defense Attorney in Jacksonville

Individuals charged with child pornography face extremely serious societal and criminal ramifications. These ramifications can exist even when the facts or the law don’t support a conviction. There are many circumstances where a person can be wrongfully charged, either by accidentally downloading incriminating documents, or being blamed for someone else’s wrongdoing.

It is important to understand for anyone accused of possession of child pornography that the charges can be life-changing. It is of the upmost importance that an experienced and professional Jacksonville criminal defense attorney addresses the case to ensure the best possible outcome. How the case is best addressed begins with the specific charges.

Types of Child Pornography Charges in Florida

Florida Law

Florida law criminalizes possession of visual material if it features a minor engaging in sexual conduct. These terms are defined in Florida Statutes § 847.001. A minor is a person who is under the age of 18 when the material is produced. Sexual conduct is any “actual or simulated sexual intercourse, deviate sexual intercourse, sexual bestiality, masturbation, or sadomasochistic abuse; actual lewd exhibition of the genitals; actual physical contact with a person’s clothed or unclothed genitals, pubic area, buttocks, or, if such person is a female, breast with the intent to arouse or gratify the sexual desire of either party; or any act or conduct which constitutes sexual battery or simulates that sexual battery is being or will be committed.”

These definitions are a little complicated, and to make things worse, there are multiple charges that can arise:

Possession of Computer Pornography

Florida Statutes § 847.0135(2)
“Computer Pornography” under this crime includes “any notice, statement, or advertisement of any minor’s name, telephone number, place of residence, physical characteristics, or other descriptive or identifying information for purposes of facilitating, encouraging, offering, or soliciting sexual conduct of or with any minor, or the visual depiction of such conduct.”

A criminal violation actually occurs if a person:

  • “Knowingly compiles, enters into, or transmits by use of computer,
  • Makes, prints, publishes, or reproduces by other computerized means,
  • Knowingly causes or allows to be entered into or transmitted by use of computer; or,
  • Buys, sells, receives, exchanges, or disseminates”

One of the above.

This crime is a third-degree felony.

Sexual Performance by a Child

Florida Statutes § 827.071
This can be charged in one of two ways:

  • As a third degree felony if a person:
    • “knowingly possess, control, or intentionally view a photograph, motion picture, exhibition, show, representation, image, data, computer depiction, or other presentation which, in whole or in part, he or she knows to include any sexual conduct by a child.” Each child and each file can be charged as a separate offense.
  • As a second-degree felony if a person:
    • “Employs, authorizes, or induces a child less than 18 years of age to engage in a sexual performance or, being a parent, legal guardian, or custodian of such child, consents to the participation by such child in a sexual performance.” 827.071(2)
    • “produces, directs, or promotes any performance which includes sexual conduct by a child less than 18 years of age. § 827.071(3)
    • “possess[es] with the intent to promote any photograph, motion picture, exhibition, show, representation, or other presentation which, in whole or in part, includes any sexual conduct by a child.” Three or more images presumptively lays the basis of proof that there was intent to distribute. § 827.071(4)

Transmission of Material Harmful to Minors to a Minor by Electronic Device or Equipment Prohibited

Florida Statutes § 847.0138
This can be charged when a person “knew or believed that he or she was transmitting an image, information, or data that is harmful to minors, as defined in s. 847.001, to a specific individual known by the defendant to be a minor.” This is essentially transmitting pornographic material to a minor knowingly. This is a third degree felony.

Florida Penalties for Child Pornography

Child pornography possession and related charges are charged as either second- or third-degree felonies. While penalties can vary based on individual circumstances and criminal history, the standard penalties are:

  • Second-Degree: 15 years of prison and a fine of up to $10,000.
  • Third-Degree: 5 years of prison and a fine of up to $5,000.

A conviction of any of the above charges will almost universally include probation, parole, treatment, registration requirements, or a combination. If you have been charged with a Florida child porn charge, speak to a member of our legal team today.

Federal Law and Penalties for Child Pornography

Federal law is generally limited to activities which cross state lines. Unfortunately the courts have ruled that electronic transfers trigger that requirement, and child pornography is one of the few crimes that is frequently charged at the federal level.

Sexual Exploitation of Children

Title 18 U.S. Code § 2251
This charge relates to the production of child pornography or any other sexual exploitation of children. This carries a minimum of 15 years in prison and up to a life sentence for a third or subsequent offense.

Knowingly Transports, Receives, Distributes, or Possesses with Intent to Distribute or Sell Child Pornography

Title 18 U.S. Code §§ 2252, 2252A
The charge itself is pretty well outlined in the name. What is not clear is the possible penalties, it can carry from 10 to 40 years in prison based on the age of the child and the number of priors.

Knowingly Produces, Distributes, Receives, or Possesses with Intent to Distribute Obscene Visual Representations of the Sexual Abuse of Children

Title 18 U.S. Code § 1466A(a)
Distribution of child pornography with representations of sexual abuse carries from 20 to 40 years of prison based on the number of offenses if charged at the Federal level.

Defenses to a Child Pornography Charge

  • Factual Challenges
    • Another individual had access to the device in question and actually was accessing the material.
    • The individual was over the age of 18
    • A virus or some other party downloaded the material on purpose to create the charges
    • Accident
  • Legal Challenge – These will usually take the form of challenges to the search and seizure of the computer. Police frequently mess up warrant searches and a qualified criminal defense attorney may be able to convince the court to dismiss all illegal material for admissibility.

Criminal Defense Lawyer in Jacksonville, FL

Lee Lockett and the members of the legal team at Lockett law serve Jacksonville and the areas surrounding Duval County. The team can address any Florida or Federal criminal case. Lee Lockett personally has decades of experience as a, as a prosecutor, public defender, and a private criminal defense attorney. The firm is dedicated to only litigation work, and never gets distracted with other types of cases. Lee Lockett and the defense team at Lockett law have the dedication and spirit to fight for the best possible resolution of your case. Call an experienced criminal defense attorney in Jacksonville today at (904) 858-9818 or connect with our team in the chat window on the bottom right of your screen to have an open and free consultation.