Recent headlines regarding sex crimes and child pornography charges brought on 71 people in a state other than Florida reminds us that sex offenders come from all walks of life. All but one of those people arrested on charges of trading child pornography were men. The overwhelming majority of sex offenders are men, there is no other pattern. In that case there was a rabbi, a police chief, a police officer, a paramedic and a Boy Scout leader/little league coach.
The case, like so many others, involved an investigation on peer to peer sites where individuals can share files similar to Napster or Dropbox. Because many of these cases involve using the internet to trade child pornography, the successful defense and prosecution of cases of possession, distribution, or sharing of child pornography may require a computer expert. To prove the crime of possession of child pornography in Florida, the state is required to prove that the pornographic images were knowingly possessed. Transmitting child pornography only requires that the accused reasonably should have known that he or she was transmitting child pornography.
Each image of child pornography possessed is a separate offense. This means that an individual possessing several images of child pornography can be charged separately for each image. Possession of each image depicting sexual conduct by a child is a third degree felony punishable by 5 years in prison and a $5,000 fine. In some circumstances, the crime of possession of child pornography can be reclassified as a second degree felony punishable by up to 15 years and a $10,000 fine for each image.
The possession of one image depicting a sexual act by a child is very serious and can have life long consequences. Anyone under investigation or accused of any sex offense including possession or distribution of or trading child pornography must consult with a lawyer. Click or call for a consultation.
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