Even when they are completely innocent, simply being charged with a crime relating to child pornography can have a profound impact on the lives of alleged offenders. Friends, families, and co-workers immediately pass judgment on those accused of these types of offenses, and the potential harm can be devastating long before alleged offenders even get the chance to step foot in courtrooms to defend themselves.
Florida aggressively pursues harsh punishments for alleged child pornography offenses, but the largely online nature of sharing and viewing such material means that such crimes can be deemed as having crossed state lines. Thus, offenses involving pornographic material featuring children can be prosecuted under federal laws which involve penalties that are significantly steeper.Lawyer for Child Pornography Arrest in Miami-Dade County, Florida
Were you arrested or do you suspect that you might be under investigation in Florida for any kind of child pornography offense? Do not say anything to authorities without legal representation. Contact The Hoffman Firm today.
Evan A. Hoffman is an experienced criminal defense attorney in Miami who aggressively defends clients accused of sex offenses throughout Miami-Dade County, including Coral Gables, Hialeah, South Miami, Aventura, and several other areas. Call (305) 249-0090 right now to schedule a free initial consultation that will let our lawyer review your case and help you understand all of your legal options.
Overview of Child Pornography Crimes in North Miami
- What are the possible state charges for child pornography offenses?
- How are sentences different in federal cases?
- Where can I find more information about laws and stories relating to this crime?
Child Pornography Charges in Florida
Child pornography is defined under Florida Statute § 847.001(3) as any image depicting a minor engaged in sexual conduct. A minor is any person under 18 years of age and sexual conduct is defined under Florida Statute § 847.001(16) as being “actual or simulated sexual intercourse, deviate sexual intercourse, sexual bestiality, masturbation, or sadomasochistic abuse; actual 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.”
It is important to understand that each photograph or image involved in a Florida child pornography case is treated as a separate offense. Some of the offenses relating to child pornography under Florida Statute § 827.071 and Chapter 847 of the Florida Statutes generally include:
- Possessing, Distributing, Transmitting, or Manufacturing Child Pornography — Third-degree felony punishable by up to five years in prison and/or fine of up to $5,000.
- Possession with Intent to Promote Child Pornography — Second-degree felony punishable by up to 15 years in prison and/or fine of up to $10,000.
- Selling or Transferring Custody of Minor for Purpose of Promoting or Producing Child Pornography — First-degree felony punishable by up to 30 years in prison and/or fine of up to $10,000.
Federal Child Pornography Penalties
Child pornography transmitted via the internet can be deemed as having crossed state lines and thus violating the Commerce Clause of the United States Constitution. In such cases, alleged offenders could face any one of a number of federal charges.
Federal laws relating to child pornography include:
- Obscene Visual Representations of the Sexual Abuse of Children, 18 U.S. Code § 1466A — An alleged offender who possesses a visual depiction of any kind that depicts a minor engaging in sexually explicit conduct can be ordered to pay a fine of up to $250,000 and/or sentenced to up to 10 years in prison. If an offense involves a minor less than 12 years of age, the alleged offender can be ordered to pay a fine of up to $250,000 and/or sentenced to up to 20 years in prison. Second or subsequent offenses are punishable by a fine of up to $250,000 and a mandatory minimum of 10 years up to 20 years in prison. Producing, distributing, receiving, or possessing with intent to distribute a visual depiction of any kind that depicts a minor engaging in sexually explicit conduct is punishable by a fine of up to $250,000 and a mandatory minimum of five years up to 20 years in prison for a first offense or a fine of up to $250,000 and a mandatory minimum of 15 years up to 40 years in prison for a second or subsequent offense.
- Sexual Exploitation of Children, 18 U.S. Code § 2251 — An alleged offender who produces or attempts or conspires to produce child pornography can be ordered to pay a fine of up to $250,000 and sentenced to a mandatory minimum of 15 years up to 30 years in prison for a first offense, ordered to pay a fine of up to $250,000 and sentenced to a mandatory minimum of 25 years up to 50 years in prison for a second offense, or ordered to pay a fine of up to $250,000 and sentenced to a mandatory minimum of 35 years up to life in prison for a third or subsequent offense.
- Certain Activities Relating to Material Involving the Sexual Exploitation of Minors, 18 U.S. Code § 2252 — An alleged offender who transports, ships, receives, or distributes child pornography can be ordered to pay a fine of up to $250,000 and sentenced to up to 20 years in prison for a first offense or ordered to pay a fine of up to $250,000 and sentenced to a mandatory minimum of 10 years up to 40 years in prison for a second or subsequent offense.
- Certain Activities Relating to Material Constituting or Containing Child Pornography, 18 U.S. Code § 2252A — An alleged offender who mails, transports, ships, receives, distributes, or reproduces child pornography can be ordered to pay a fine of up to $250,000 and sentenced to up to 20 years in prison for a first offense or ordered to pay a fine of up to $250,000 and sentenced to a mandatory minimum of 10 years up to 40 years in prison for a second or subsequent offense.
Florida Child Pornography Offense Resources
Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) | Child Pornography — View information about state laws relating to child pornography on this section of the FDLE website. You can also learn what to do if you receive child pornography or find a website that contains such images. The website also contains several links for help keeping your children safe online.
Citizen's Guide to United States Federal Child Pornography and Exploitation Laws — You can view summaries of federal laws pertaining to the Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS) of the Criminal Division of the United States Department of Justice (DOJ). Learn more about federal laws on child pornography, obscenity, and sex offender registration. You can also report violations and find answers to frequently asked questions.
Wireless router hijacked for child pornography — In January 2011, the Herald-Tribune published this story of a then-58-year-old Sarasota man who found himself in the middle of a child pornography investigation. Another man would later admit to possessing and sending 10 million illegal files from a boat in the marina below. The case underscores the dangers of leaving a home wireless router unprotected without a password.
If you think you could be under investigation or you were already arrested in South Florida for an alleged offense relating to child pornography, it is in your best interest to retain legal counsel as soon as possible. The Hoffman Firm can fight to get the criminal charges significantly reduced or completely dismissed.
Miami criminal defense attorney Evan A. Hoffman represents people accused of these crimes in North Miami, Opa-locka, Key Biscayne, Miami Beach, and many other surrounding communities in Miami-Dade County. He can provide an honest and thorough evaluation of your case as soon as you call (305) 249-0090 or fill out an online contact form today.