Possession of Child Pornography
Child pornography is any depiction of a minor under 18 engaging in sexual behavior or in sexually suggestive poses. That includes photographs, motion pictures and other representations. Possessing any child pornography is a serious crime under both Florida statutes and federal law. Under the Florida state statute, possession of child pornography is a third-degree felony punishable by up to five years in prison for each photo in the defendant's possession. Duplicates can be charged individually, which means that possession of five photos could mean 25 years in prison. Florida law allows prosecutors to increase that sentence if the material in question depicts certain acts or a child under age five.
Miami Sex Crime Attorney Defending Child Pornography Charges
As with all crimes, the government must prove child pornography charges beyond a reasonable doubt. In order to meet that burden, the government must prove that the defendant was in actual possession of the child pornography -- which isn't always the case, even when the material was found on the defendant's computer. Some computers are shared; others may be infected with viruses or other "malware" that allow people using other computers to manipulate the infected computer. Depending on the circumstances and data, it is not always possible to pinpoint the user responsible for introducing the material. A Miami criminal defense lawyer should investigate this thoroughly in order to mount the best possible defense.
Once the government can identify the user, the next step in meeting the burden of proof is proving that the evidence truly is child pornography. The government will generally just show the image to the triers of fact (the jury or judge), and allow the graphic nature of the image to persuade them. To be child pornography, the image must be of a minor and sexually explicit, or the focus of the image must be lewd and lascivious. Following that, the government may or may not choose to prove that the images are real and not computer generated.
Because the client's freedom is at stake, a good South Florida child pornography possession criminal defense lawyer should work hard to hold prosecutors to this standard. This may be accomplished with experts; witnesses who have meet the individuals who are depicted in the image or the individuals in the images. Additionally, the government may call a medical expert to testify that the individual in the image is a minor based on medical physiology.
You Need Seltzer Law, PA On Your Side
As you can see, there are many possible defenses in a Florida possession of child pornography case. Don't delay; let an experienced former cybercrime prosecutor help protect your good name and reputation. You can reach us by phone or online 24 hours a day, seven days a week to set up a free, confidential consultation on your rights and your case. We also provide legal representation throughout the state of Florida and around the U.S. For more information, see Florida Statute 775.0847: Possession or promotion of child pornography. Also, see Florida Statute 847.0135 or 827.071(5); Possession Child Pornography
If your case involves Cyber-related offenses, you may find more information by visiting our cyber/sex crimes site.