Child Pornography Attorney in Miami, FL
Have you or a loved one been arrested or are under investigation for child pornography? If so, it is critical to consult with an experienced child pornography attorney in Miami as soon as possible to ensure your rights are protected. State and federal crimes prohibit child pornography and provide harsh punishment for those convicted of child pornography-related crimes. In addition to facing a prison sentence, you may also need to register as a lifetime sex offender if you are convicted of a sex crime. You need the counsel of a lawyer experienced in child porn cases to guide you through the process and maximize your chances of resolving your case with a favorable outcome.
Producing, possessing, selling, and distributing child pornography are serious criminal charges. Evidence in child pornography cases comes in the form of pictures and videos—most frequently in digital format seized from a defendant’s electronic devices, e.g., mobile phones, laptops, tablets, computers, and external hard drives. Consequently, it is often necessary to retain experts in computer forensics to analyze the evidence to determine the existence of possible defenses. Additionally, search and seizure issues may arise in cases involving child porn. You need an experienced attorney by your side to present the best defense possible on your behalf.
Florida Child Pornography Laws
According to Florida Statute 847.003(3), child pornography consists of any image that depicts a minor engaging in sexual activity. A minor is anyone under the age of 18. Sexual conduct is defined under Florida Statute § 847.001(19) as being:
- Actual or simulated sexual intercourse, deviate sexual intercourse, sexual bestiality, masturbation, or sadomasochistic abuse;
- actual or simulated lewd exhibition of the genitals;
- actual physical contact with a person’s clothed or unclothed genitals, pubic area, buttocks, or, if such person is a female, breast with the intent to arouse or gratify the sexual desire of either party;
- or any act or conduct which constitutes sexual battery or simulates that sexual battery is being or will be committed.
In no case does breastfeeding of a child constitute sexual conduct.
Florida law treats each video or image as a separate violation. The possible sentence someone faces if convicted is also largely influenced by how many videos or images they are charged with possessing, producing, selling, or distributing.
Florida Child Pornography Penalties
There are several possible punishments for child porn offenses depending on the defendant’s alleged conduct:
Use of a child in a sexual performance is a second-degree felony with a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison and a maximum fine of $10,000.
Promoting a sexual performance by a child is a second-degree felony with a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison and a maximum fine of $10,000.
Possession of child pornography with the intent to promote is also a second-degree felony and can be punished upon conviction with a sentence of up to 15 years in prison and a maximum fine of $10,000.
Possession of child pornography is a third-degree felony that can be punished upon conviction with a sentence of up to 5 years in prison and a maximum fine of $5,000.
Selling or buying of minors to promote or produce child pornography is a first-degree felony with a maximum punishment of 30 years in state prison and a $10,000 fine.
Additionally, defendants convicted of child pornography-related crimes may be required to register as lifetime sex offenders.
Federal Child Pornography Crimes
Under federal law, the possession, production, sale, or distribution of any material depicting a child under 18 in a sexual way is considered child pornography. Convicted federal child pornography defendants can face some of the most severe sentences in the federal courts.
Federal Child Pornography Investigations
It is typical for federal agents to investigate child pornography cases extensively before arresting and charging the defendant. This is especially true in cases involving peer-to-peer (P2P) file-sharing programs. In many cases, tracking the sharing of these files, locating the users, and investigating their backgrounds, can prolong an investigation.
It is also common for people under investigation to delay seeking legal advice until they’re officially charged with a crime. An attorney’s involvement during a case’s investigation phase can significantly impact its outcome. In some cases, lawyers may be able to prevent charges from being filed against you. If you think you’re under investigation for child pornography or have been interrogated by the police but not charged, you should seek legal advice immediately.
Federal Child Pornography Penalties
If a first-time offender is found guilty of producing child pornography under 18 U.S.C. § 2251, they will be punishable by a minimum of 15 years to a maximum of 30 years in prison and face a fine of $250,000.
Under 18 U.S.C. § 2252, a first-time offender convicted of transporting child pornography in interstate or foreign commerce faces a maximum fine of $250,000 and a minimum of 5 to 20 years in prison.
A first-time offender convicted of possessing or receiving child pornography can be ordered to pay a fine of up to $250,000 and sentenced to up to 20 years in prison.
Offenders convicted of child pornography may be subject to more severe punishments if they have previous convictions or if their offense occurred in aggravated circumstances. For example, suppose violence, sadism, or masochism are present in the images/videos, the minor was abused, or the offender had previous convictions for child sexual exploitation. In that case, a convicted offender may face a more severe mandatory minimum prison sentence or life imprisonment.
Retaining a federal criminal defense attorney right away is essential if you are under investigation or accused of a federal crime related to child pornography.
Defenses to Child Pornography Charges
You must knowingly possess child pornography to be convicted under state and federal law. In some cases, evidence that you connected to public networks or allowed others to use your computer can show that you unintentionally possessed the material.
People can be unaware that child porn is on their electronic devices or computer because the videos and images are contained in files, not in a physical form. Perhaps you ended up with illegal pornography on your device because you clicked on the wrong pop-up. Maybe you downloaded the files without realizing it using peer-to-peer file sharing software. Sometimes, people deliberately mislabel files to enable them to share child pornography without raising suspicion. You could have unwittingly downloaded child porn when you thought you were downloading something else entirely. In some cases, an expert can recover keyword searches and other data proving that you didn’t search for or intentionally download child pornography.
It is not uncommon for the defense in child pornography cases to argue to the judge that they should suppress the seized evidence because law enforcement officers violated their client’s constitutional rights. A successful argument to the judge that the search and seizure violated the defendant’s constitutional rights—also known as a motion to suppress—can end up preventing the prosecutor from introducing the seized items as evidence in their case, thereby forcing them to drop their case. Our experienced defense attorneys will analyze your case to determine whether law enforcement officers violated your 4th Amendment right against unreasonable search and seizures. If your rights have been violated, we will vigorously argue for the suppression of evidence against you.
Contact an Experienced Child Pornography Attorney in Miami
People accused of child pornography crimes are often presumed guilty and judged by family members, friends, and co-workers before they have even had a chance to defend themselves. Even though it’s just an accusation, people react emotionally when children are involved. Worse, being convicted for a child pornography offense can impact almost every aspect of your life. By immediately hiring an experienced child pornography attorney in Miami, you are reducing the chances that your case will result in long-term damaging consequences to your career, personal life, and reputation. CALL US NOW for a CONFIDENTIAL CONSULTATION at (305) 538-4545, or simply take a moment to fill out our securely encrypted intake form. The additional details you provide will greatly assist us in responding to your inquiry.
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