Possession of Child Pornography
In Florida, viewing or possessing child pornography is illegal. If you have been charged with possession of child pornography, you could face lifelong consequences if convicted, including mandatory registration as a sexual offender. At Ellis and Bryant, we understand that the criminal allegations against you may not be the whole story in a child pornography case. Our Jacksonville child pornography lawyers listen respectfully and without judgment so that we can formulate a strategy to fight the charges. We can provide guidance and answer any questions about possession of child pornography offenses.Possession of Child Pornography
Florida statutes that concern child pornography crimes are very detailed, covering many different activities to provide minors with as much protection as possible. In Florida, the offense of child pornography means possessing or viewing any image reflecting a minor person under the age of 18 engaged in conduct that is sexual in nature. The legal definition of sexual conduct includes actual or simulated sexual intercourse, masturbation, lewd exhibition of genitals, physical contact with another person’s covered or uncovered genitals or breasts, any act that constitutes sexual battery or simulated sexual battery, and other activities.
In Florida, it is illegal for a person to knowingly possess, control, or intentionally view a photograph, image, movie, show, exhibition, representation, computer depiction, or other presentation that, in part or in whole, the person knows includes any type of sexual conduct by a child. Possession of child pornography is a felony of the third degree in Florida. It is punishable by up to five years in prison, sex offender probation, and/or a maximum $5,000 fine for each offense. A conviction also means registration as a sexual offender in Florida. It is important to note that each image of child pornography that is possessed, controlled, or intentionally viewed is a separate offense each punishable by up to five years in prison. If an image includes sexual conduct by more than one child, then each child is considered a separate offense as well. As a result, several counts of possession of child pornography arising from a single download could lead to substantial prison time. A child pornography lawyer serving Jacksonville can help evaluate the potential severity of the penalties in your case.
An individual could face a more serious charge of possession with intent to promote if the allegations involve multiple copies of child pornography. In Florida, it is unlawful to possess 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. Possession of three or more copies of a photograph, movie, or other piece of child pornography is sufficient evidence of an intent to promote. The offense is a second-degree felony in Florida.Defending Against the Charges
The potential defenses to possession of child pornography depend on the details and circumstances of each case. In most situations, law enforcement officers need a warrant or consent to search your home, computer, or hard drive for evidence of a crime. A search that is conducted without proper consent, exigent circumstances, or a valid warrant, or a search that goes beyond the scope of the warrant is generally unconstitutional. If evidence in your child pornography case was obtained from an illegal police search, the court may rule that it is not admissible at trial. Lacking evidence, the prosecution may offer a favorable plea agreement, or the charges against you may be reduced or dismissed. A Jacksonville child pornography attorney can help you raise defenses of this nature.
Lack of intent or knowledge that the material contained child pornography may also be a defense. For example, a computer virus could have downloaded the images or spam email you viewed without knowledge of its contents. Another defense may be that the material does not meet the legal definition of child pornography. Pornographic images of adults, even if described as minors, are not illegal. A sex crime attorney can provide more information about these and other defenses that may be available.Contact a Child Pornography Lawyer Serving Jacksonville Defendants
At Ellis and Bryant, our Jacksonville attorneys are dedicated to protecting the rights of individuals accused of child pornography possession, sex crimes, and other criminal offenses. We can represent people in Orange Park, Jacksonville Beach, Middleburg, and areas throughout Duval and Clay Counties. Call (904) 551-4120 or contact us online and request an appointment with one of our skilled defense attorneys.