Jacksonville Child Pornography LawyersThe Jacksonville child pornography lawyers here at the Sex Crime Defense Team have the education and experience to represent you and your interests in a court of law. Those who are convicted of possessing, manufacturing, distributing, or promoting child pornography face jail time, heavy fines, and mandatory registration as a sex offender. Generally, the length of a person’s sentence will vary depending on a number of factors, including the number of images found in the defendant’s possession, whether he or she has a prior criminal record, and whether the images depicted abuse, or involved prepubescent minors. For example, possessing child pornography is usually charged as a third-degree felony, but if a person had ten or more images in his or her possession, then that individual could face enhanced second-degree felony charges.
Possession of Child Pornography in JacksonvilleAlthough Fla. Stat. 827.071’s prohibition against possessing child pornography in Jacksonville applies to hard copies of images, it also covers electronically stored depictions. In either case, before a person can be convicted of possessing child pornography, prosecutors must be able to prove that the defendant knowingly possessed or controlled the image, which requires proof that:
- The defendant viewed more than a single image over a period of time
- The defendant took affirmative steps to save the images or was aware that downloaded files would automatically be saved
- The images were downloaded by another user of a shared computer
- The images were downloaded by a previous owner
- The individuals depicted were over the age of 18 years old
- The images were recovered during an illegal search
- The images do not depict sexual conduct, but qualify as child erotica
Promoting the Sexual Performance of a Child in JacksonvilleFlorida law also prohibits the promotion of the sexual performance of a child. A number of activities fall under this category, as the term “promote” is broadly defined as procuring, manufacturing, selling, mailing, delivering, transferring, or distributing child pornography. Anyone who produces, directs, or promotes the sexual performance of a child can be convicted of a second-degree felony, which is punishable by up to 15 years in prison and a $10,000 fine. This applies not only to photos, but also to films, plays, pictures, dances, and any visual representation exhibited before an audience. In Florida, it is even possible to be charged with possessing child pornography with the intent to promote the sexual performance of a child if a person is found in possession of three or more copies of the same photo, film, or representation.
Federal law 18 U.S.C. §2252A also prohibits similar behavior, although it is referred to not as promoting child pornography, but as distributing it. Florida residents can be charged in both state and federal court if they sold, transmitted, or transported images of children engaged in sexually explicit conduct using interstate commerce. This includes using the internet, as well as more traditional methods of distribution, such as the mail system.
Jacksonville Transmission of Child Pornography Via Electronic DeviceAlthough federal law covers the transmission of child pornography over the internet, Florida also specifically prohibits using electronic devices to transmit this type of material. Under Fla. Stat. 847.0137, defendants can be charged with a third-degree felony, as long as prosecutors can prove that they were aware of the nature of the content being sent. While the law applies to situations where pornographic material is being sent via email, the state Supreme Court has stated that using a file-sharing program, such as Dropbox, also qualifies as transmission for purposes of this statute. However, in order to obtain a conviction, prosecutors will still need to prove that the defendant actually loaded the images onto a specific file and then granted access to a third party who was then able to view the material. Similarly, this law covers images sent in text messages, chat rooms, and on social media sites.
Reclassifying Charges of Jacksonville Child Pornography CasesAccording to Fla. Stat. 775.0847, prosecutors can reclassify a charge to the next highest degree if a defendant is found in possession of ten or more photos or films of a child engaged in sexual conduct and at least one of the images depicted:
- A child under the age of five years old
- Sadomasochistic abuse
- Sexual battery
- Contained a pornographic movie, regardless of its length