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Federal Child Pornography Charges

Federal Child Pornography Defense Lawyer

Federal prosecutors pursue child pornography charges tenaciously. Many different actions are considered child pornography crimes, including producing, possessing, selling, and distributing images of children involved in sexual conduct. Many of these crimes take place online, in chat groups and on social media, and people may not realize that others can monitor their internet activity and see with whom they’re interacting. At Hanlon Law, our St. Petersburg child pornography attorneys represent those facing federal charges of this nature.

Federal Child Pornography Charges

There are multiple child pornography crimes, and they are criminalized under various code sections under federal and state laws. Under federal law, child pornography is an image, still or moving, that shows somebody under age 18 engaged in sexually explicit behavior. The image can be a photograph, videotape, or a digital image of some kind. Undeveloped film and data that are electronically stored are unlawful child pornography under federal law. An image need not show a child having sex to be considered sexually explicit. You can be charged under both federal and Florida law for child pornography crimes.

It is a criminal act to sexually exploit children by making child pornography under 18 U.S.C. section 2251. If you try to persuade somebody who is a minor (under 18-years-old) to pose for pornographic pictures, you can face charges under section 2251. You can also face charges if you are a parent or guardian with custody or control of a minor and you knowingly allow the minor to be involved in or help with making child pornography by engaging in sexually explicit conduct in order to produce child pornography where you know or have reason to know that the child pornography will be transported or sent using interstate or foreign commerce methods.

Conduct not related to actually making child pornography is also criminalized. For example, you can be charged for receiving, possessing, or distributing child pornography. You can also be charged for importing child pornography into the United States. An attorney who has represented people defending against sex crime charges of this nature can assess the facts of your case in relation to the elements of the offense you have been charged with.


You can face between 15 and 30 years in prison for producing child pornography under section 2251. Under section 2252, which involves transporting child pornography in foreign or interstate commerce, you can face 5 to 20 years in prison, plus fines. If you are convicted of buying or selling kids in order to make child pornography, you will face at least 30 years in prison and fines.

There are circumstances related to federal child pornography charges under which the prison sentence or fine is increased. There are harsher penalties if the child pornography at issue is masochistic, sadistic or violent in its nature, the perpetrator has previous convictions for sexually exploiting kids, or the minor was sexually abused in the course of making or otherwise being involved in child pornography.

You will face at least 5 years of imprisonment and at most 20 years imprisonment if you are convicted of distributing, receiving, or transporting child pornography under section 2252. If you have a prior conviction for child pornography, aggravated sexual abuse, or sexual trafficking of kids, you can face a minimum of 15 years in federal prison and 40 years at most in federal prison for distributing, receiving or transporting child pornography on the internet, whether in email, chat rooms, or social media sites.

Retain a Sex Crime Defense Attorney in St. Petersburg

Federal child pornography charges are serious, but that doesn’t mean a conviction is inevitable. There are defenses you may be able to raise in response to criminal charges. If you are concerned about federal child pornography charges in St. Petersburg, it is advisable to talk to an experienced criminal defense lawyer. At Hanlon Law, our founder Will Hanlon has provided strong strategic defenses to the accused since 1994. Please contact Hanlon Law at 727.289.0222 or via our online form.

Client Reviews
As a practicing attorney, I was shocked to hear that a family member of mine was alleged to have committed a sex crime. Knowing full well the consequences this type of allegation can have on anyone and their future, I immediately reached out to William Hanlon for help. I had every confidence that Mr. Hanlon had the knowledge, expertise, and experience to handle this problem. Approximately 4 weeks from an initial conference with Mr. Hanlon, we received a call with the news that a letter of release was being issued and the case was being dropped. Now my family member can finally exhale, take a deep breath, and go on with his life. Thank you, William! Jerry
Was on the ball. Remembered names, events, places, situations. Never need to re explain the situation. Keeps in touch through out the entire experience and keeps you feeling safe, comforted and protected. Fights hard. Worth every single penny. Would never settle for anything less than Will. Carrie
I was facing a charge that if convicted would carry two years in prison minimally. Not only was he empathetic and listening to what I had to say but he arranged with the prosecutor for my charges not to be filed under terms of a pre trial investigation. Would highly recommend. Alec
I am very happy for what he did for me. Always there when I needed him. Explained everything well. He Fights for his clients. He got me what I needed. Hes an excellent lawyer. Mutaz
Mr. Hanlon did what no other lawyer could do. Not only did he turn my criminal history into a thing of the past so I could move on, he was a loyal associate. No matter how bad the situation is, he has miraculously cleared me on every charge since he became my lawyer 5 years ago. I have the best lawyer that the legal system has to offer. I have had other really good lawyers try to get my business, but I know that no one can do a better job than William Hanlon. Jesse