The Internet Age has brought with it unprecedented access to information. With a few keystrokes and the click of a button, we look at encyclopedias, maps, games, on-line shopping sites, and more. Of course, the Internet also caters to people's prurient interests, with estimates that between 4% and 30% of web traffic is to pornography websites. Regardless of the exact statistic, Internet users need to understand that the line between viewing lawful pornography and illegally watching child pornography is one that can be easily — and sometimes unknowingly —crossed. With the click of a button, you could find yourself on the wrong side of the law.
Florida Child Pornography Laws
Florida defines child pornography as any image depicting a minor engaged in sexual conduct.
A minor is any person under the age of 18.
Florida defines sexual conduct as "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. A mother's breastfeeding of her baby does not under any circumstance constitute 'sexual conduct.'"
To show that someone violated state laws, the prosecutor must prove that the defendant viewed more than a "single image" over a period of time.
A person may be charged with a child pornography offense for viewing photos, computer images or videos, films, or other materials that show children performing sexual acts. To be convicted, the prosecutor must show that the defendant knowingly and voluntarily engaged in the prohibited activities. It is not a defense to claim that the person did not not know the material contained images of a minor.
Punishments for a Child Pornography Conviction
In Florida, it is illegal to possess, distribute, transmit, or promote, child pornography. Any of these are a felony of the third degree, punishable by up to 5 years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000.
Producing child pornography is a felony of the second degree, punishable by up to 15 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.
Most convictions for charges of child pornography require the offender to register as a sex offender with the State of Florida.
Child pornography charges are a type of sex crime. In addition to the fear of conviction, being charged with a sex crime often carries an added social stigma. It is important that you have an experienced Florida criminal defense attorney on your side who will stand up for your rights.
Facing Child Pornography Charges? Contact an Experienced Child Pornography Defense Lawyer Today
Child pornography charges are serious. You need an experienced central-Florida criminal defense lawyer on your side to give you the best chance of minimizing the penalty or having the case thrown out altogether. If you are facing child pornography charges, contact The Law Office of Jody L. Fisher today. Based in Leesbug, Florida, criminal defense attorney Jody L. Fisher represents people people in "The Villages" and throughout central-Florida. Call (352) 503-4111 or complete our online information form.