Miami Child Pornography LawyersThe Miami child pornography lawyers here at the Sex Crime Defense Team are well-versed in Florida child pornography law. Florida law prohibits the possession, viewing, manufacturing, distribution, and transmission of child pornography. Those who are accused of these crimes face felony charges and may even be required to register as sex offenders with the state for the duration of their lives.
Possessing Child PornographyUnder Fla. Stat. 827.071, anyone in the state who knowingly possesses or views an image depicting a child engaged in sexual conduct can be charged with possessing child pornography in Miami. This applies to photos, films, computer depictions, exhibitions, shows, and other images as long as they show a child involved in sexual conduct, which includes sexual intercourse, whether actual or simulated, deviate sexual intercourse, masturbation, abuse, lewd exhibition, physical contact with another person’s private parts, and sexual battery.
Before a person can be convicted of possessing child pornography, prosecutors will need to prove that he or she viewed more than a single image over a specific period of time and also took affirmative action to save the images. Each image also constitutes a separate charge and because those who are convicted of possession of child pornography face up to five years in prison for each allegation, defendants could end up spending decades in prison. Further, accusations of the possession of child pornography are often accompanied by additional charges, including possession with the intent to promote child pornography, as well as the distribution and sale of illicit images. These types of offenses have more severe consequences, as they are almost always charged as second-degree felonies. Finally, if a person sent images to another person using the computer or another electronic device, he or she could also face charges for violating Fla. Stat. §847.0137, which prohibits the transmission of child pornography via electronic equipment in Miami and the rest of Florida.
Manufacturing Child PornographyManufacturing child pornography in Miami is a second degree felony that is punishable under Fla. Stat. §827.071 by 15 years in prison. Manufacturing includes a variety of actions ranging from taking photos and recording sexual conduct to making a copy of a preexisting pornographic image. In fact, those who are found with three or more copies of a pornographic film, movie, or photo in their possession are automatically presumed to have had the intent to manufacture child pornography.
Manufacturing charges are almost always accompanied by additional charges related to the unlawful use of a minor in the production of a sexual performance. This applies to the production of an array of images, including not only photos and movies, but also sculptures, drawings, and any other visual representation. As long as the material in question depicts sexual conduct, sexual excitement, or nudity in a manner that is harmful to minors, a person can be charged under Fla. Stat. 847.012. Parents and guardians who consent to their child’s participation in the manufacturing of child pornography also face second-degree felony charges.
Distributing and Transmitting Child PornographyAccording to Fla. Stat. §827.071, it is a violation of state law, punishable by up to 15 years in prison per count, to distribute or transmit child pornography. Although it is a state crime, some defendants can also be charged with distribution of child pornography under federal law if they sell, transmit, transport, or otherwise distribute images of children engaged in sexually explicit conduct using interstate commerce, which includes the internet and U.S. mails. Conviction under 18 U.S.C. §2252 could significantly lengthen a sentence, especially if the distributor was an authority figure and provided the material to minors, or the material was sexually violent. Even renting or loaning material that could be harmful to minors, including films or photos that depict sexual conduct, is prohibited by Fla. Stat. §847.012.
Distributors who use electronic devices to transmit their material could also be penalized under Fla. Stat. 847.0137, as long as prosecutors can demonstrate that the individual knew the nature of the content being sent. This law applies not only to Miami residents who transmit images both inside and outside of the state, but also distributors from different states who transmit images to residents.
Although most people associate the distribution of child pornography with email or links sent via websites, the state’s Supreme Court has actually held that even using a file-sharing program qualifies as transmission of child pornography if:
- The defendant loaded the images onto a specific file
- The defendant granted access to a third party