Child pornography charges can lead to significant criminal penalties and irrevocably damage your reputation. You don't deserve to suffer these life-altering consequences if you have a valid legal defense. Fort Lauderdale criminal defense lawyer Robert David Malove will thoroughly review the case against you and leave no stone unturned in your defense. Here, our experienced legal team invites you to learn about the potential charges and sentences you face so that you can be prepared for what comes next in this type of sex crime case.
What Is Child Pornography in Florida?
Child pornography involves sexual conduct and may include activities such as:
- Sexual intercourse or simulated sexual intercourse
- Lewd exposure of genitals
- Sexual battery
- Any physical contact with genitals, whether clothed or unclothed
Florida child pornography law prohibits various activities involving sexual conduct. These activities include:
- Possessing any form of media (such as photographs or videos) featuring a minor's sexual performance with the intent to promote it
- Downloading or uploading explicit images
- Sharing explicit images online
- Storing explicit images on a computer or mobile device
- Sending explicit image files through email or text messages (commonly known as "sexting")
- Encouraging a minor to participate in the production of child pornography
- Engaging, permitting, or inducing a minor to take part in a sexual performance
- Promoting a child's sexual performance
- Possessing any form of media that showcases a minor's sexual performance with the intent to view it
Additionally, you could face federal child pornography charges. Child pornography becomes a federal offense when it involves illegal activities that cross state lines, whether conducted via the internet or through mail. Federal law explicitly outlaws the production, distribution, possession, or receipt of child pornography. Charges can be filed under both federal and state laws, leading to joint investigations and prosecutions by federal and state prosecutors. In any case, a conviction for a federal offense may result in hefty fines and prison sentences ranging from 15 to 30 years.
Penalties for Child Pornography in Florida
Criminal sentences vary depending on the severity of the offense. Some potential penalties include:
- Selling or transferring custody of a minor for the purpose of promoting or producing child pornography is classified as a first-degree felony, punishable by up to 30 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.
- Possession with the intent to promote child pornography is categorized as a second-degree felony, with penalties of up to 15 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.
- Possessing, distributing, or transmitting child pornography is considered a third-degree felony, with potential sentences of up to 5 years in prison, five years probation, and a fine of up to $5,000.
For offenses related to viewing, controlling, or possessing child pornography, separate felony charges can be filed for each image. Enhanced sentencing may apply to defendants with prior felony convictions.
Additionally, you may be required to register as a sex offender.
Possible Defenses to Child Pornography Charges in Florida
Every criminal case is unique. The legal team at the Law Offices of Robert David Malove has the experience to sort through all of the evidence in your case to develop a comprehensive defense strategy. Mr. Malove may consider one or more of the following defenses, depending on the specific facts of your case.
The Content Is Not Pornography
Pornography is defined by law. Erotica is not pornography. If the pictures or videos in question are not pornography, the charges against you should be dismissed.
You Didn't Know Your Device Contained Child Pornography
Other people may have access to your phone, computer, tablet, or device that contained the alleged child pornography. If you did not know it existed, your lawyer may be able to raise that as a defense in your case.
The People in the Pictures or Videos Were Not Minors
If you can prove that the people depicted in the pictures or videos were 18 or older, the child pornography charges against you may be dropped.
Your Constitutional or Legal Rights Were Violated
Any evidence that the police or prosecutors obtained in violation of your rights may not be used in court. Without this evidence, the state may not have a strong case against you.