St. Petersburg Child Pornography Lawyers

St. Petersburg child pornography lawyers banner image The St. Petersburg child pornography lawyers here at the Sex Crime Defense Team are well-versed in all areas of Florida child pornography laws. In St. Petersburg, Florida, possessing, promoting, distributing, transferring, and manufacturing child pornography is strictly prohibited. Those who are accused of these offenses face felony charges with punishments of up to 30 years in prison.

Possession of Child Pornography in St. Petersburg, Florida

Under Fla. Stat. 827.071, a person does not have to be in actual physical possession of an image depicting a child engaged in sexual conduct to be convicted of possessing child pornography in St. Petersburg. Instead, it is only necessary to prove that a defendant:
  • Intentionally viewed more than one image over a period of time
  • Took steps to save the files onto an electronic device, such as a computer, hard drive, or USB device, or knew that downloads would automatically be saved
Prosecutors will also need to prove that the image in question satisfies the state’s definition of child pornography, which means that it depicts a child engaged in sexual conduct. Sexual conduct includes the following activities:
  • Actual or simulated sexual intercourse
  • Masturbation
  • Abuse
  • Lewd exhibition of the genitals
  • Contact with a person’s private parts if done with the intent of gratifying sexual desire
  • Actual or simulated sexual battery
If these elements are fulfilled, a defendant can be charged separately for each image found in his or her presence, whether it is a photo, movie, computer depiction, exhibition, or other representation. In many cases, this results in defendants being charged with hundreds of counts of possessing child pornography in St. Petersburg, each of which is punishable by five years in prison.

St. Petersburg Promoting of Child Pornography

Although many people associate the crime of promoting child pornography in St. Petersburg as being limited to cases involving production and manufacturing, the reality is that these charges are most often levied against those who share images with others. While this does cover the creation, production, and directing of child pornography, it also applies to those who merely copy already existing images or films before distributing them. Furthermore, the images do not need to be transmitted in their physical format for a person to be charged under this statute. In fact, a man was recently charged with promoting child pornography after it was discovered that he uploaded and shared an image depicting a child engaged in sexual conduct to a social media chatroom. When images are sent across state lines, whether through the mail system or the internet, a defendant can be charged with federal possession and distribution, which carry much higher penalties than their state counterparts.

Florida law also makes it a separate offense to possess child pornography with the intent to promote the sexual performance of a child. This charge is raised in cases where a defendant was found in possession of three or more copies of the same pornographic image. Even if there is no further evidence of an attempt to distribute the image, the existence of copies is considered prima facie evidence of the defendant’s intent to send, sell, or otherwise transmit the images to another person. Like promoting child pornography, this offense is charged as a second-degree felony and as such is punishable by up to 15 years imprisonment and a $10,000 fine for each count.

Transmitting Child Pornography in St. Petersburg

St. Petersburg residents are not only prohibited from possessing child pornography, but also from sending or transmitting it to anyone else. According to Fla. Stat. §847.0137 those who are accused of doing so face third degree felony charges if there is evidence establishing beyond a reasonable doubt that:
  • The accused sent and delivered a pornographic image from one place to another through the use of any electronic device
  • The defendant knew that the images being transmitted contained child pornography
  • The images satisfy the definition of child pornography
What qualifies as transmission of child pornography in St. Petersburg is defined broadly and a number of courts have determined that the following actions count as transmitting child pornography via electronic device:
  • Using a file-sharing program, such as Dropbox, by uploading the images to a specific computer file and then sending a request to a third party who is given authorization to access the files
  • Using an app to send or receive pornographic images
  • Using social media sites to trade images
  • Sending or receiving messages in chat rooms or through instant messaging applications
These types of actions are viewed as affirmatively taking steps to transmit an image or a film to another person and so satisfy the elements of transmitting child pornography via electronic device. This law applies equally to those who send images from Florida to another person across state lines and to those who send images from out of state to a person residing in St. Petersburg, Florida.
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