Child pornography is illegal under Florida law and federal law. A person could be arrested and might be found guilty of a sex crime in Florida if they authorize or induce a child to engage in a sexual performance; direct or promote any performance in which sexual conduct is performed by a person under 18; or possess, control, or view a photograph, computer depiction, show, or other presentation involving sexual conduct by a minor.
These types of charges are extremely serious. For example, in Florida, the crime of possession of child pornography is a third degree felony and is punishable by up to five years in prison, five years of probation, and a $5,000 fine.
Even accidents or mistakes, like a mistaken download or false accusation, can lead to life-altering and devastating charges. If you have been contacted by a law enforcement agency, consider scheduling a time to talk with an attorney to help you navigate Florida's judicial system.
What if I accidentally download child pornography or receive unsolicited child pornography via email?
First of all, federal law requires you to destroy, or to make a good faith effort to destroy, any child pornography in your possession and to contact law enforcement officials. If you do not, you can be prosecuted for possessing or receiving child pornography. If you have accidentally been exposed to child pornography, it might also be helpful to you to speak with an attorney about the law and about your rights.
Secondly, regardless of your motivations, you can be arrested if you download child pornography from the internet or send child pornography. In previous criminal cases, people who have claimed they were reporters or researchers have been convicted for maintaining child pornography.
Are people actually being arrested in Florida for child pornography charges?
Law enforcement officers are very serious about enforcing laws aganist child pornography. In fact, the Bureau of Justice Statistics found that between 2004 and 2014, the number of people prosecuted for the sexual exploitation of children, including child pornograpy charges, nearly doubled.
As recently as June 19, 2019, one man near Orlando was arrested on two counts of child pornography charges by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement's Cybercrime Task Force.
The accused individual was arrested after police officers came to know that he possessed images depicting child pornography on his digital devices. During the investigation, the man accused told investigators that he did have access to the photographs, but that he “felt guilty and deleted everything.”
Should I contact an attorney if I have been accused of a child pornography crime?
Allegations or charges relating to child pornography can have lasting effects. An attorney can help you through the judicial process and can help you move forward after a criminal charge.
The lawyers and staff at the OA Law Firm have experience representing people who have been charged with child pornography offense and other sex cirmes. Having a skilled lawyer on your side can make a difference in the outcome of your case. Contact us today.