Possession of Child Pornography
Before the Internet, computers were basically glorified calculators and typewriters. They helped complete tasks in very specific circumstances, but did not have nearly the applications that they have today. The advent of the Internet changed computers from niche business instruments to absolute necessities. Now, almost every person on the planet has a powerful computer in their pocket, in their home, and at work. We now have at our fingertips access to the accumulated knowledge of human history. We can video chat with family members and friends across the world. We can transfer money and do business remotely and from the comfort of our own homes. That amazing technology, along with doing a lot of good, has opened up the floodgates for potential criminal activity as well.
The internet is today a hotbed for criminal activity. Fraud is rampant, people can easily access the credit card information of others and use it to make fraudulent purchases, or even take lavish vacations on another’s dime. Almost all applications for government assistance are digital, so public assistance fraud is a popular internet crime. Cyberstalking and cyberbullying are crimes that exist only due to the advent of social media. Of all internet crimes, perhaps none are more seriously prosecuted and punished more than child pornography crimes. If you have been investigated or arrested for a child pornography offense, it is critical that you contact a skilled St. Petersburg criminal lawyer to build your defense.Possession of Child Pornography Elements
Possession of child pornography in Florida is prohibited and punished by Statute 827.071 subsection 5. Pursuant to the subsection, it is a third degree felony to possess, control, or even simply view any image or video, partially or in full, that depicts sexual conduct by a child. Unlike many other criminal offenses, where a person is charged with one offense even where there are multiple acts of criminality, possession of child pornography is unique. Pursuant to the law, each and every image viewed or controlled by the defendant can be charged as a separate and individual offense. Each and every separate offense charged is a third degree felony punishable by up to five years in prison. Often, in cases like these, there are hundreds if not thousands of images or videos involved. Prosecutors will often use the large amount of potential criminal penalties to force the defendant into a plea agreement. Don’t fall victim to the tactics of the prosecution. Instead, consult a skilled St. Petersburg criminal lawyer who can aid in your defense.
In order to understand the defenses to child pornography cases, one must first have a detailed understanding of the elements required to prove a defendant guilty. In Florida, the prosecution must prove a defendant charged with possession of child pornography guilty of each element beyond and to the exlusion of every reasonable doubt. The elements that are litigated the most are whether the defendant was in actual possession of the illegal material, and if so, whether the material actually qualified as “ sexual conduct.” Sexual conduct is defined by the statute as intercourse, masturbation, lewd exhibition of the genitals, contact with genitals, or other depictions of arousal or sexual gratification. Simply nude or even erotic photographs of children do not necessarily violate the child pornography law. It is important that you discuss all of your options with an experienced St. Petersburg child pornography defense lawyer who has a full understanding of the potential defenses available to you. Unfortunately, attorneys often see cases like these as dead in the water and do little to build the defense of their clients.Speak to Our Lawyers Today
The attorneys at Hanlon Law are ready and able to build the best defense for your individual case. Don’t hesitate to call us right away for a consultation if you have been investigated for or charged with any criminal offense.