Possession of Child Pornography
There are several inventions throughout history that could be said to have ushered in a new era of human productivity. The modern invention that has ushered in the information era is undoubtedly the Internet. The development of the Internet has been the catalyst for giant leaps in our society and culture. Information can be exchanged across the globe and beyond instantly. We can communicate with friends and family hundreds of miles away. We can order goods both necessary and frivolous and have them delivered to our door sometimes on the same day. The Internet has undoubtedly made our lives easier and has made the world smaller. Conversely, the Internet is not all positive. The anonymity provided by the web has also made it far easier and more attractive to commit all sorts of computer based crime. If you or a loved one has been investigated for an Internet based crime, don’t hesitate to contact a skilled Clearwater criminal lawyer to represent you.
Internet crimes run the gamut. Nearly any crime that a person can commit in person--outside of physically violent offenses-- can be committed over the Internet. Want to steal money? You can commit credit card fraud over the Internet. Want to harass your ex? You can cyberstalk them over the Internet. The widespread use of the Internet for crime has resulted in special investigative agencies dedicated to the investigation of computer crime, and the creation of whole new classes of criminal offenses that are committed using the Internet. One of those classes of Internet crimes is child pornography. Possession of child pornography is an offense that is controversial and serious, and one that is aggressively prosecuted by State attorneys.Elements of Child Pornography
Possession of child pornography does not necessarily mean the physical possession of child pornography images or video. Florida Statute 827.071 subsection 5 defines the crime of possession of child pornography as knowingly possession, controlling, or even intentionally viewing an image or video that the viewer knows contains the depiction of sexual conduct by a minor. In prosecutions for possession of child pornography, each image, video or representation of the sexual conduct constitutes a separate offense. At its base level, possession of child pornography is a third degree felony punishable by up to five years in prison. In most child pornography possession cases, the allegations often include hundreds if not thousands of images. This means that the prosecution can pile on the charges and increase the defendant’s exposure to criminal penalties. Due to the potentially significant penalties involved for such convictions, anyone charged with a child pornography offense should contact a dedicated Clearwater child pornography defense lawyer immediately.
It is important to understand the specific elements of child pornography cases in order to build the most comprehensive defenses for such serioius cases. Images depicting nude children, or even sexually suggestive photos do not necessarily equate to child pornography. In order to legally qualify as child pornography, the images or videos mus meet certain specific elements. Specifically, the depiction must represent “sexual conduct” by a minor. The criminal statute defines sexual conduct as either real or simulated intercourse, masturbation, contact with genitalia, or contact intended to arouse sexual desire. Unless the images in question depict this type of activity, it is not child pornography and is not illegal. Prosecutors and investigators will be quick to go after any images that depict what they believe or feel to be child pornography without actually doing a proper analysis as to whether they actually depict illegal pornography. If you have been charged with possession of child pornography, it is critical that you reach out to a skilled Clearwater criminal defense lawyer to aid in your defense.Speak to Our Lawyers Today
The attorneys at Hanlon Law have the skills and experience necessary to build the most effective defense for your case. Call us today for a consultation at 727-897-5413.