Transmission of Child Pornography to a Minor
There is some overlap between sex crimes and obscenity. Obscenity includes crimes that involve pornography or relationships with minors that are inappropriate but do not involve touching. Some of these include transmission of child pornography to a minor, traveling to meet a minor, or trying to meet a minor for a sexual purpose in a chatroom. If you are charged with transmission of child pornography to a minor, you should be aware that this is a very serious charge. You should contact an experienced St. Petersburg child pornography lawyer right away. At Hanlon Law, we are committed to protecting our clients' rights in connection with sex crime charges.Transmission of Child Pornography to a Minor
Florida Statute section 847.0133 criminalizes the knowing transmission of obscene materials, such as child pornography, to a minor. A minor is anyone who is under age 18. Minors can also be convicted of child pornography crimes — any sort of image of a child involved in sexual conduct is criminalized. For example, there is a separate sexting law that is just for minors who are caught sending materials to each other, but an adult sexting with a child can also be charged as transmission of obscene materials. Thus, for example, if you are 18, and your girlfriend is 16, and you send a sexual image of someone under age 18 to your girlfriend, you could be charged with transmitting obscene materials.
Often, child pornography is transmitted to minors over the Internet. For example, if you met a child in a chatroom and sent her a pornographic image, a transmission offense could be charged. Similarly, if you sent a teenager an email with child pornography as an attachment, you could be charged. In fact, you could be charged with transmitting obscenities even if a minor is not depicted in the pornography. For example, you could be charged for selling an adult magazine to someone who looked over the age of 18 but was actually 17.
However, you could also be charged for providing child pornography images to a child in person. For example, if you are an art history teacher who gives a book that includes child pornography to a student, you could be charged with transmission. Transmission of child pornography to a minor is ordinarily a third-degree felony. Third-degree felonies are punished with five years of imprisonment or probation and fines of up to $5,000. In addition, you may need to register as a sex offender.
Enhanced penalties are mandated for people who are authority figures who provide child pornography to a student. By law, an authority figure is someone at least 18 years old who is contracted with a school, or who volunteers or is employed by a school at which the victim is a student. Transmission is reclassified to a second-degree felony if you are a convicted authority figure. This is important to understand because as an authority figure, you may be sentenced to a maximum of 15 years’ imprisonment and a $10,000 fine. Many defense strategies may be available depending on the circumstances. All criminal charges must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt. In some cases, it is possible for an attorney to raise a reasonable doubt by presenting a more reasonable explanation for what happened than the prosecutor's story. In other cases, it may be possible to argue entrapment. However, you should be aware that law enforcement officers conduct undercover investigations of child pornography, and they may engage in an investigation for the purpose of finding probable cause to get a warrant to search your computer or home.Retain a Knowledgeable Internet Sex Crime Attorney in the St. Petersburg Area
If you are being investigated for transmission of child pornography, it can be helpful to hire a St. Petersburg criminal defense attorney even before formal charges are filed. This allows us to get your version of what happened in front of the prosecutor and possibly prevent a certain charge from being brought, depending on the circumstances. Our founder, Will Hanlon, has been providing criminal defense representation to St. Petersburg residents since 1994. We are dedicated to guarding the rights of the accused. Call Hanlon Law at 727.897.5413 or complete our online form.