Tampa Child Pornography Attorney
Child pornography is defined by the Department of Justice in statute 18 U.S.C. § 2256 as “any visual depiction of sexually explicit conduct involving a minor (someone under 18 years of age).” A visual depiction includes “photographs, videos, digital or computer generated images indistinguishable from an actual minor, and images created, adapted, or modified, but appear to depict an identifiable, actual minor.” Not only that, but undeveloped film or videotape or electronically stored data that could be turned into a pornographic visual image of a child is also illegal.
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.
Crossing State Lines Makes Child Pornography a Federal Offense
As the Department of Justice lays out, if the child pornography crosses state lines, a person can be charged federally in addition to being charged at a state level. Furthermore, any explicit content that is on the internet can be considered to have crossed state lines, meaning that viewing child pornography online can be a federal offense. Producing pornography of minors is a serious crime that is punishable by several to many years in prison, and accompanying fines. It is essential to have a Tampa child pornography defense attorney if you believe you will be charged, or have been charged in the past, of child pornography.
Technology Changes how Child Pornography is Transported and how Felons are Charged
Child pornography laws have become more complex with the internet and yet again with cell phone cameras. Even back in 2010 there was discussion in the Duquesne Law School News Magazine about ‘sexting’ (a sex text) legislation and how it applies to minors who send provocative cell phone texts. The law is clear about child pornography possession: even if someone sends you an underage pornographic picture on your phone, you could be held accountable and be charged with child pornography.
The Penalties for Convicted Felons of Child Pornography
Child pornography is a serious offense. According to statute 18 U.S.C. § 2251, anyone convicted of producing child pornography faces a mandatory minimum of 15 years in federal prison and a maximum of 30 years in prison. And, as stated in statute 18 U.S.C. § 2252, anyone convicted of transporting child pornography will be punished with a minimum of five years and a maximum of 20, including fines as well. It is imperative that you have an experienced attorney no matter the type of child pornography charges being brought against you. With an attorney of high regard, there is a chance that the charges may be dropped or the sentenced drastically reduced. You should be aware of how the charges of child pornography were brought about. For instance, if the data was found in an illegal search, as was the situation in the case reported on by the Washington Times, it may be possible for the charges to be dismissed.
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
Contact us today at 877-767-1032 to talk with one of our Tampa child pornography criminal defense attorneys as soon as possible. Your future rests in your attorney’s hands and the sooner we get started, the sooner you can put this troubling event behind you. The legal professionals at Roman & Roman in Tampa are here to help you.