Transmission of Child Pornography

Sex Crime Attorney Advocating for Clearwater Residents

Transmitting child pornography is considered a very serious crime in Florida. If law enforcement officers contact you, if you are taken into custody, or if a warrant has been issued to search your computer, you should contact an experienced Clearwater child pornography attorney. In some cases, police will set up a voluntary interview with you in order to get information about child pornography charges. It is crucial not to speak to police officers without a lawyer who can protect your rights. At Hanlon Law, we are dedicated to protecting the rights of people accused of transmission of child pornography to both minors and adults.

Transmission of Child Pornography

Transmission of child pornography is also considered distribution of child pornography. A prosecutor charging this crime under section 847.0137 must show beyond a reasonable doubt that you sent or caused to be delivered any child pornography through an electronic equipment or device. Child pornography includes any image that shows a person under the age of 18 engaged in sexual conduct. A wide range of sexual conduct is considered pornographic, including sexual intercourse, deviant intercourse, masturbating, bestiality, S&M, lewd exhibition, touching of private areas with the intent to gratify or arouse, or any other act that is considered sexual battery or simulates an act leading to sexual battery.

The child pornography can be in the form of an image, data, or information, and the transmission must be through an electronic device or equipment. However, this law does not apply to subscription-based transmissions like list servers.

Transmitting child pornography — as well as distributing, possessing, and making child pornography — is also criminalized under Florida Statutes sections 827.071 and 847.0135. Transmission is usually a third-degree felony, whether it is charged under section 847.0137 or the other code sections. Section 827.071 covers making, promoting, and possessing pornography that shows a sexual performance by a child. Under section 847.0135, someone who transmits or causes to be transmitted through a computer any statement or notice of a minor's name or other identifying information in order to solicit, encourage, offer, or facilitate sex with a minor can be charged with a third-degree felony.

If you are convicted of a third-degree felony, you can face a maximum of five years in prison or on probation and fines of up to $5,000. However, you will also likely need to register as a sex offender for the rest of your life. Registering as a sex offender is highly stigmatizing, since your neighbors, coworkers, romantic prospects, and anybody else can access the information that you were convicted of a sex crime. It can become difficult to get a job, and you probably will not be able to work with children. It may also be difficult to rent a home or get a professional license that could help you earn money. You may not be able to go to certain schools.

In some cases, your Clearwater criminal defense lawyer can defend a transmission charge by arguing that you were not the person who sent the transmission. For example, perhaps somebody borrowed your computer, or perhaps a virus infected your computer and began sending child pornography to others. In some cases, it is possible to raise the defense of entrapment, but this can be challenging in a transmission of child pornography case. The issue with entrapment is whether you were persuaded to do a criminal activity that you otherwise had no propensity to do. In other cases, it may be possible to raise constitutional or procedural defenses.

Schedule an Appointment with a Child Pornography Lawyer in Clearwater

You should take charges involving child pornography very seriously. Sex crime accusations or charges can change your life dramatically. If you are being investigated for transmission of child pornography, it can be helpful to retain an attorney even before charges are filed. Our founder, Will Hanlon, has been providing criminal defense representation in Clearwater and the surrounding areas since 1994. We are dedicated to guarding the rights of the accused. Call Hanlon Law at 727-897-5413 or complete our online form.