Child Pornography Immunity
Child pornography is a subject surrounded by a great amount of stigma, and rightfully so. It is so stigmatized by our culture and our criminal justice system, that even those that are unintentionally exposed or even victimized by child pornography producers and distributors may be afraid to come forward and report the wrongdoing associated with the child pornography trade. Child pornography laws do little to assuage this fear, as the statutes drafted by our lawmakers are extremely broad reaching and mandate punishments usually reserved for violent and repeat criminal offenders. Nevertheless, there are protections available to those who wish to report instances of child pornography to law enforcement. Even as a victim or witness of child pornography offenses, you should consider consulting with a dedicated St. Petersburg criminal lawyer to understand what options are available to you.
As the internet has spread to become a necessary and ubiquitous element of our daily lives, so too has the enforcement of internet based crimes. Prior to the internet, prosecution for child pornography offenses was rare, as the possession and transmission of such materials was extremely difficult; relegated to shady back alley dealings and dangerous transactions. The internet however, has made the transmission of illegal materials shockingly accessible, which in turn leads to more people committing the offense. State and Federal law enforcement, along with partnerships with private entities and internet service providers have become extremely adept at detecting child pornography transmission and overcoming the perceived safety and anonymity of the internet. More recently, even artificial intelligence has been used to investigate the transmission of child pornography and other internet based crimes.Child Pornography Immunity for Reporters
Child pornography offenses in Florida can be extremely difficult to defend and if convicted, carry inordinately harsh punishments. The letter of the law is also extremely broad and vague, which can justifiably result in fear of reporting child pornography offenses to authorities. Possession of child pornography under Florida law is defined as, among other things, the simple viewing of child pornography materials. Imagine being a person who unwittingly receives a text message or email containing images or videos of child pornography. A person in that position, upon reading the law, might think that he or she could be prosecuted for possession of child pornography. If you have found yourself in such a position, you should contact a St. Petersburg criminal lawyer to learn what your options might be.
Another common example is the teenage victim of “revenge porn.” Like it or not, teenagers have sex, and because of the availability of smartphones and internet communications, they “sext” with each other and distribute nude and sexually explicit materials. Teenagers also make poor decisions and some become the victims of revenge porn. These victims are often afraid to come forward due to embarrassment and due to fear that they themselves might be prosecuted for possession or distribution of child pornography. If you have been victimized in this manner, a skilled St. Petersburg criminal lawyer may be able to help you report the crime and avoid any harmful consequences.
Laws such as Florida Statute 847.0139 also protect the reporters of child pornography from civil liability. If a person comes into contact with what they believe to be child pornography material, but reports it to law enforcement, that person cannot be held liable for civil or monetary damages as a result of that reporting. If you are the victim or witness to a child pornography related offense, retain a skilled lawyer who can help you achieve justice without exposing you to any criminal or civil liability.Talk to Our Lawyers Today
The attorneys at Hanlon Law have years of experience dealing with a variety of State and Federal offenses. Whether you have been charged with a crime or are a victim, we can help you achieve your goals. Call today for a consultation at 727.289.0222.