Jacksonville Computer Sex Crime Lawyers

Our Jacksonville computer sex crime lawyers are some of the best in the business. In Jacksonville, there are specific laws in place aimed at protecting children from online predators. For example, state law explicitly prohibits the possession of images that depict sexual conduct with a minor. This includes a prohibition against possessing not only photographs, but also movies, computer depictions, exhibitions, shows, representations, and any other image that depicts the sexual conduct of or with a child.

Possession of Child Pornography in Jacksonville

Before a person can be convicted of this offense, prosecutors must prove that the images were not only in a person’s possession but that he or she also intentionally and voluntarily viewed more than a single image. Often proof of downloading an image from the internet is enough to satisfy this requirement. Furthermore, under Fla. Stat. 827.071, each image found in a defendant’s possession is charged as a separate offense, so if a person was found with 20 images on his or her computer, he or she could face 20 separate third-degree felony charges.

Additionally, if a defendant is arrested with three or more copies of the same image depicting sexual conduct by a child, he or she can also be charged with the intent to promote child pornography. This offense is upgraded to a second-degree felony, which is punishable by up to 15 years in prison.

Jacksonville Soliciting/Traveling to Meet a Minor

The internet, while helpful for a variety of activities, can also make it easier to engage in criminal activities, such as soliciting someone for prostitution. For this reason, Florida also specifically prohibits the use of computers or electronic devices to:
  • Solicit or attempt to lure a child to engage in unlawful sexual conduct
  • Solicit a parent to consent to a child’s participation in a sexual act
The law also specifically states that the individual being solicited does not actually have to be a minor in order for a person to have committed unlawful solicitation. As long as the accused thought that the individual was a minor, he or she can be charged with soliciting a minor online. If convicted, defendants face a mandatory minimum sentence of 21 months in jail, $5,000 in fines, and at least five years on the sex offender registry.

In certain situations, these charges can be increased to a second-degree felony, but only if there is evidence that the defendant lied about his or her age in order to lure the minor into a meeting. An offense will also be upgraded to a second-degree felony if there is evidence that the defendant, after using an online service or computer to communicate with a minor, actually traveled to meet up with the victim for the purpose of engaging in unlawful sexual conduct. This is true even if the defendant never arrived at the agreed upon location or even saw the minor in person.

Transmission of Pornographic Images with an Electronic Device in Jacksonville

In addition to charges of possessing child pornography and using a computer to solicit a minor to engage in sexual activity, a person could also face accusations of using an electronic device to transmit an image depicting a minor involved in sexual conduct under Fla. Stat. 847.0137 if prosecutors can prove that the defendant:
  • Used the internet or electronic equipment to transmit a pornographic image involving a child
  • Knew or should have known that the image qualified as child pornography
This applies equally to those who are accused of transmitting images into the state, as well as out of the state. As with any sex crime allegation, it is important for defendants to formulate a strong defense, which can include establishing that:
  • The defendant was not the only one who had access to the computer
  • The images were downloaded by the computer’s prior owner
  • The defendant is the victim of mistaken identity
  • The defendant’s actions do not qualify as solicitation
  • The police conducted an illegal search or seizure
  • The arrest was the result of entrapment by law enforcement officers because the defendant was not predisposed to commit the offense
Although some or all of these defenses may be available to a defendant, Florida law does prohibit offenders from arguing that the alleged victim was not actually a child, but was a law enforcement officer. This is because Florida law specifically states that the target in question does not actually have to be a minor, but that a defendant’s belief that the victim was a minor is enough to satisfy this requirement and support a charge of soliciting a minor, possessing or promoting child pornography, or traveling to meet a child for unlawful purposes.
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