Tampa Child Pornography Lawyers

Tampa child pornography lawyers banner image Our Tampa child pornography lawyers are well-educated and fully understand all the intricacies of Florida child pornography law. Florida law 827.071 prohibits the possession, promotion, production, distribution, and transmission of child pornography, all of which are considered felony offenses.

Defining Child Pornography in Tampa

An image will only qualify as child pornography in Tampa if it depicts a minor engaging in sexual conduct, which includes:
  • Sexual intercourse, whether actual or simulated
  • Sexual bestiality
  • Sadomasochistic abuse
  • Masturbation
  • Lewd exhibition of the genitals
  • Physical contact with a person’s pubic area, buttocks, or breast, whether clothed or unclothed, as long as the action was undertaken to gratify sexual desire
  • Actual or simulated sexual battery
Even if an image or film satisfies this definition, prosecutors can only convict someone of possessing child pornography if that individual:
  • Deliberately and voluntarily viewed more than a single image, representation, movie, or computer depiction over a period of time
  • Took steps to save the image on his or her computer or knew that downloaded files would automatically be saved
    • Defendants accused of possessing child pornography can be charged with a separate count for each image found in their possession. This means that a person found with hundreds of images on his or her computer could be faced with hundreds of charges, each of which is punishable by up to five years in prison.

      Manufacturing Child Pornography in Tampa

      Manufacturing child pornography is also prohibited under Fla. Stat. §827.071 and includes a number of different actions, including taking photos or recording videos that depict a minor engaged in sexual conduct. However, defendants can also be charged with manufacturing child pornography if they made copies of already existing images. In fact, anyone found in possession of three or more copies of the same movie, photo, image, or representation is automatically presumed to have had the intent to manufacture child pornography.

      Many defendants who are accused of manufacturing child pornography also face second-degree felony charges of using a minor in a sexual performance. This statute also specifically applies to parents or legal guardians who allow or force their underage children to participate in a sexual performance.

      Transmitting Child Pornography in Tampa

      Although some defendants are found in possession of physical copies of images or movies that contain child pornography, many images are retained only in electronic form. Florida law also applies in these situations, so each electronically stored image can still be charged as a single count of possessing child pornography. This prohibition also covers electronic transmission, as a defendant can be charged with distributing child pornography under Fla. Stat. 847.0137, which is a second-degree felony, if there is evidence that they used an electronic device to transmit pornographic images. This covers computers, tablets, and phones although courts have also held that using an app or a file-sharing program qualifies as using electronics to transmit child pornography if the defendant:
      • Uploaded the images onto a particular file
      • Granted access to that file to a third party
      According to the Florida Supreme Court, this type of conduct is just as purposeful as sending an email.

      Federal Sentencing Guidelines for Tampa Child Pornography Cases

      In addition to being charged in state court for possessing, manufacturing, or distributing child pornography, a person can also be tried for these offenses in federal court, but only if the defendant:
      • Sent the images across state lines using the internet
      • Used equipment that had previously been shipped across state lines
      An image also doesn’t have to contain a depiction of a child actually engaging in sexual conduct to qualify as child pornography under federal law. Instead, the image must qualify as sexually explicit, which is defined more broadly as sexually suggestive.

      Being convicted under 18 U.S.C. §2252 in federal court generally has more severe consequences than a conviction in state court, as judges are required to comply with sentencing guidelines. For example, sentences are enhanced when:
      • The material involved a prepubescent minor or a minor under the age of 12 years old
      • The offense resulted in pecuniary gain for the defendant
      • The material was distributed to a minor
      • The material portrayed depictions of violence, masochism, or sadism
      • The defendant engaged in a pattern of activity involving the sexual abuse of a child
      • The offense involved the use of a computer
      • Ten or more images were found in the defendant’s possession
      • The defendant transported or attempted to transport a minor to engage in sexually explicit conduct for the purpose of producing child pornography or transmitting a live performance
      In some cases, sentence enhancements could result in a life sentence or permanent registration on the sex offender registry.
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