Recently, federal law enforcement arrested a 26 year old man for possession of child pornography. He was arrested after officials discovered a video which contained images of children being exploited on his laptop. Police allege in reports that the video showed the exploitation of two young girls between the ages of 6 and 10. Law enforcement learned about the accused as part of an undercover federal investigation of computers advertising child pornography. Officials allege that a computer using the accused IP address was identified as advertising 86 child pornography files between May 2015 and January 2016.
What is Child Pornography?
Under Florida’s obscenity laws, child pornography is any image that shows a child under the age of 18 engaging in sexual acts. The image could be a photo, magazine, video, or computer file. The sexual conduct includes a wide variety of behavior and may include sexual intercourse, masturbation, sexual abuse, bestiality, physical contact with sex organs, and other conduct or acts. Federal law makes it illegal to possess, distribute, transmit, and manufacture child pornography. It is a felony crime punishable with significant jail time and the label of being listed as a convicted sexual offender.
Consequences of Child Pornography Conviction
Oftentimes, child pornography cases are dealt with as federal child pornography possession charges and prosecuted in federal courts. A child pornography possession conviction is punishable with long prison sentences and steep fines. The punishment for child pornography often depends on whether the accused is a first time or repeat offender:
- First Time Offenders: a first time child pornography conviction is punishable with up to 10 years in federal prison. The statutory maximum for this offense is 10 years. There is no mandatory minimum sentence. A court will decide a potential sentence by considering key facts from the case such as whether or not the accused accepts responsibility for the crime.
- Repeat Offenders: if the accused has a prior child pornography conviction or a conviction for any other sex crime, then the court has more tools to punish the accused. The punishments can range from 10 to 20 years in federal prison. At a minimum, the accused is facing 10 years in federal prison.
- Registration as a sex offender: depending on exact nature of the charge, a court may also require anyone convicted with possession of child pornography to register as a sex offender. Which will place communities on notice about the convict. This means that convict will face increased scrutiny and perhaps isolation from the surround community.
Let an Attorney Help
Child pornography charges are serious and have state and federal consequences. The impact of a conviction can last a lifetime. If you are dealing with these serious accusations, then you should speak with the criminal defense attorneys at Moses & Rooth. We understand the nuances of both criminal and state law and can develop a strategy to defend you in court. Contact us today 407-377-0150 to schedule an appointment.