Child pornography is any image depicting a minor under the age of 18 engaged in sexual conduct. No actual contact with a child has to occur. Mere possession of a photo that presents a child engaging in sexual conduct can result in criminal charges against you. If convicted, you could be required to register as a sex offender for life. Distribution of child pornography can carry much harsher penalties.
There are a number of ways to get caught with child pornography. For example, every computer has what is called an Internet Protocol (IP) address. This IP address can be traced and used to identify whether your computer has accessed any child pornography. IP addresses sometimes lead investigators to households with multiple people and even, potentially, the wrong person. Also, sometimes IP addresses can be hacked leading the government to target a neighbor with the unsecured wireless network instead of the actual offender. If computer needs to be repaired and the repairman finds child pornography, they have to report you to the authorities. Someone can even be charged with possession of child pornography on a cellular phone. Even teenagers are facing child pornography charges for “sexting” and sending nude pictures to each another.
Generally, law enforcement presumes that, if you have child pornography on your computer, you intentionally accessed it. However, at Haas Law, we fight to protect the presumption of innocence and require that the prosecutor work to prove that you intentionally and knowingly received the images. With the assistance of computer forensics examiner, it is possible to determine whether someone else had access to your computer or you received spam mail containing a link to the pornographic images.
Child Pornography Possible Penalties
In the State of Florida, transmitting or sending child pornography is a felony in the third degree. (Florida Statute § 827.071(5)(a)). Third degree felonies are punishable by a term of imprisonment of up to 5 years and the statute of limitations to bring a charge is up to three years. Possession of each individual child pornography image is a separate crime. This means that a person caught with 10 images of child pornography can face a maximum of 50 years in prison.
A person who either possesses or distributes child pornography could also face federal charges. Federal charges carry more severe penalties, including mandatory minimum sentences of 5 years. Individuals convicted of child pornography offenses may also be required to register as a sex offender for the rest of their life.
Child Pornography Defenses
Sometimes, people unwillingly receive photos that constitute child pornography. This can happen when child pornography is distributed through email or text message and the recipient had no idea these types of photos were coming to them. It is also possible that you may have innocently clicked on a link that brought you to websites displaying child pornography. There may also be instances where someone is caught with child pornography on their computer, but they did not personally download or receive the images; it was someone else using their computer. In order to avoid being falsely accused of possessing child pornography it is important to monitor who is accessing your computer and your cell phone.
Defending child pornography charges oftentimes requires contracting with experienced computer forensic examiners. This is especially true when there are file sharing applications used to distribute child pornography.
If agents have executed a search warrant on your house and seized your computers, or if you or a loved one has been charged with a child pornography offense, quickly seek the counsel of a child pornography defense attorney!
Contact An Orlando Child Pornography Defense Attorney
If you or someone you know has been caught in possession of or is being investigated for distributing child pornography in Orlando, Winter Park, Maitland, Altamonte Springs, Oviedo, Kissimmee, Windermere or any other city in Central Florida contact Haas Law in Orlando, Florida immediately. Haas Law can also represent you on federal child pornography charges nationwide. We are available 7 days a week. Call us at (407) 755-7675 or fill out the online form provided on our website.
Your privacy is valued and respected. We will keep any information strictly confidential. We will do anything we can do to get the best result on our clients’ behalf.