Federal Charges for Transmission of Child Pornography
Criminal offenses can usually be organized into two distinct categories. There are offenses that are morally repugnant that are punished because society demands that people be deterred from committing such offenses. Crimes like murder, robbery, and sex offenses should obviously lead to arrests and convictions. Other offenses exist for other reasons, such as collecting revenue for the government or furthering special interests. One would be hard pressed to find a normal person in today’s society who still believes people should be prosecuted for smoking marijuana. People shockingly spend time in prison for simply driving with a suspended license.
There also exist cases which span the middle ground. Criminal offenses that can be reasonably argued to be morally repugnant but that also may be overblown, overcharged, and carry disproportionate sentences. Child pornography offenses are some of those types of crimes. While the production of child pornography and the sexual exploitation of children for that purpose are reprehensible offenses that rightfully carry serious prison sentences and penalties, the simple possession or consumption of such materials is a more complicated manner. The vast majority of child pornography offenders are nonviolent people who are not threats to ever actually commit a crime against a child. Yet possession of child pornography charges often carry penalties similar to violent offenders who do actually cause physical harm to others. If you have been charged with a child pornography offense, you should not hesitate to contact a skilled St. Petersburg criminal defense lawyer to help build your defense.
An additional wrinkle that comes along with many child pornography offenses is that they can often be brought by either State or Federal law enforcement agencies. Federal criminal charges are usually brought against defendants who are accused of violating Federal law or committing crimes that span across state lines. With the spread of the internet and technology becoming an essential part of our daily lives, the Federal government through the US attorneys office has learned to prosecute defendants that utilize the internet to commit crimes because the internet naturally circumvents those state boundaries.Transmission of Child Pornography
While again, it is true that a overwhelming percentage of child pornography offenders are not involved in the production or creation of child pornography, many of those same offenders are involved in the distribution of such materials. Child pornography, as a highly illicit and illegal material, is not easily available to download on public websites. Most people involved in child pornography exchange those materials. Before the advent of the internet, these exchanges would have to happen in person or through the mail, creating a significant feeling of risk. Transactions through the internet, while having no less risk, feel less risky and encourage people who would otherwise never engage in criminal activity. If this sounds like a situation you’ve been in, don’t wait to contact a dedicated St. Petersburg criminal defense lawyer to help you.
Federal law prohibits the transmission of child pornography materials over the internet across state lines pursuant to 18 U.S. Code Section 2252. Under the statute, if a person knowingly transports or ships a visual depiction of a minor involved in sexually explicit conduct by means of interstate commerce, he or she is guilty of the offense of transmission of child pornography. Even a person who merely “knowingly receives” child pornography via means of interstate commerce can be found guilty under this section. A violation of this statute is punishable by potentially significant penalties. A first offense violation is punishable by a minimum 5 year prison sentence with a maximum of 20 years. The seriousness of the penalties should necessitate that you speak with a dedicated St. Petersburg criminal defense lawyer right away.Speak to Our Lawyers
The attorneys at Hanlon Law have the skills and experience necessary to achieve the best results on your case. Call us today for a consultation at 727.289.0222.