Clearwater Child Pornography Attorney
Child pornography is an offense that is both a state and federal crime, and the punishments for creating, distributing, or posessing child pornogrpahy are severe. According to Attorney General Eric Holder, there has been an “historic rise in the distribution of child pornography, in the number of images being shared online, and in the level of violence associated with child exploitation and sexual abuse crimes. Tragically, the only place we´ve seen a decrease is in the age of victims.
This is – quite simply – unacceptable.” The internet has drastically increased child pornography and the sexual abuse of children to gain such images. As such, you can quite easily come to the conclusion that the criminal justice system prosecutes these cases relentlessly, which is why only a law firm with equal determination, experience, and resources stands a chance at proving a defendant’s innocence or bargaining for a reduced sentence.
Examples of acts that are considered to be “sexualy explicit conduct” include images, photos, or videos of sexual intercourse, masturbation, genitalia, contact with genitals, and buttocks, or breasts (whether clothed or unclothed). It is important that this – child pornography – is distinguished between child erotica. Child erotica is not illegal, and refers to instances when children are filmed or photographed nude or partially nude, but not in a sexually explicit manner.
The Penalties for Child Pornography
Child pornography is comprised of a sexually explicit image of a minor (anyone under 18 years of age). Nudity does not need to be present in order for an image or film to be considered pornography; if the image is “sufficiently suggestively sexual,” the creator, distributor, or viewer can be charged with child pornography, according to the U.S. Department of Justice. Receiving, distributing, transporting, or possessing any form of child pornography is punishable by a mandatory minimum of five years in prison, not to exceed 20 years. However, that punishment is for a first time offense. If the defendant has any record of child pornography or sexual abuse of a minor, the mandatory minimum is 15 years in prison, not to exceed 40 years, according to the Cornell University Legal Information Institute. Producing child pornography carries a punishment of a minimum of 15 years in prison, not to exceed 30 years. Because child pornography is both a state and federal crime, it can be tried as one or the other, or even both.
Peer to Peer Tracking Helps Law Enforcement Track Child Pornography Offenses
According to a study done by University of New Hampshire researchers, peer to peer (P2P) file sharing has not only drastically increased the prevalence of child pornography and child pornography offenders, but the law enforcement’s ability to track offenders has increased as well. The arrests made from P2P file sharing networks, however, are also more likely to involve images of very young children or images of violence than other arrests. Law enforcers also pose as child pornographers online, which, in addition to monitoring file sharing, helps catch perpetrators. Interestingly, the report reveals that the age of offenders has decreased somewhat.
Defenses to Child Pornography Charges
If you are charged with child pornography, it is important to work with a Tampa child pornography criminal defense attorney who can help you to understand your options. While striking a plea bargain with the prosecution in exchange for a concession – such as a less severe sentence or punishment – may be possible, you may be uncomfortable pleading guilty to child pornography charges for multiple reasons, including the stigma that such a conviction carries. If this is the case, our attorneys can help you to explore defenses to charges, including:
- The person depicted in the images is not a minor. Child pornography is defined as images, digital material, or video in which the person depicted is under 18 years of age. One way that you may be able to defend yourself against charges – and perhaps even have charges against you dropped – is to prove that the person in the images/video is at least 18 years of age or older.
- Disproving sexually explicit content. Another defense to child pornography charges is disproving the claim made by the prosecution that the material contains “sexually explicit” content. For example, the content, even if it does contain a minor, may be considered child erotica rather than sexually explict pornography.
- Lack of knowledge. If child pornography is found on your computer, you may be able to prove that someone other than you had access to the computer, or that the computer was hacked. It is also possible that child pornography was mistakenly and unintentionally downloaded while legal, adult pornography was being searched for. Our attorneys can build a case asserting that you had no knowledge of the existence of child pornography on your computer.
Why You Should Work with the Criminal Defense Attorneys at Roman & Roman, P.A.
When you are facing criminal charges as serious as that of child pornography, you do not want to put your future in the hands of an inexperienced attorney. Further, you may not want to rely on the assistance of a public defender who, although capable, may be overburdened with multiple cases and may not have the resources and time necessary to devote to your case.
Instead, you want to work with a law firm that has successfully handled cases like yours in the past, and has the resources and experience necessary to provide you with the level of defense that you deserve. At the offices of Roman & Roman, P.A., we have been in business for more than 30 years, and firmly believe in your right to competent and effective legal representation. We will always prioritize your best interests, and work hard for you. We are committed to protecting your constitutional rights, and know how to have evidence dismissed when it is illegally obtained.
Contact Us Today to Schedule a Free Consultation
If you have been charged with possession or distribution of child pornography, the punishments that await you are severe. You need an Clearwater Child Pornography Defense Attorney with experience in dealing with these types of cases and knowledge of what is legal and what is not legal for law enforcers to do. Contact the Clearwater office of Roman & Roman today at 877-767-1032.