Ask a Lawyer: Possible Defenses for Child Pornography Crimes
Sept. 30, 2022
For good reason, Florida, as well as the rest of the United States, has very strict laws and penalties in place for those who are found guilty of child pornography or child sex crimes. The actual charges under these labels can vary widely depending on your circumstances. Regardless of your guilt or innocence, you need to work with an experienced criminal defense attorney to ensure your rights are protected.
Even though there’s a lot of social stigmas that comes with an arrest for this kind of crime, your lawyer’s only job is to represent your interests, ensure you have a fair trial, and build the strongest possible defense based on the evidence available. They are not here to judge you or your actions.
If you’d like to speak with a sex crimes defense lawyer about your charges, reach out to us at DaytonaDefense.com. We’re located in Daytona Beach, Florida, but can help those throughout the area including DeLand, Port Orange, New Smyrna Beach, Palm Coast, Volusia County, and Flagler County.
Child Pornography Charges in Florida
Each state sets its own laws and standards regarding child pornography, and Florida takes these charges very seriously. You may be looking at a charge for sexual exploitation of children, indecency with a child, distribution of child pornography, or possessing, controlling, or viewing child pornography.
In general, to be considered “child pornography,” there must be a sexually explicit depiction of a minor under the age of 18. Importantly, this image doesn’t have to depict a specific sex act, and simply a naked photo of a child can be categorized this way if it’s deemed “sexually explicit.”
Each charge comes with its own possible penalties which can be far-reaching and devastating for those convicted. Typically, these are always categorized as felony offenses, and the penalty for sex-related crimes can include fines of up to $10,000 and up to 15 years in prison. You may also be required to register as a sex offender after you’ve served your sentence, which can have lasting negative impacts on where you’re able to live and your employment prospects.
Our team knows that each individual has their own story, and the circumstances surrounding your charge are never quite the same as those for someone else. Because of this, the defenses for child pornography that we’ll use will be customized to you and highly dependent on the available evidence. Here are some common defenses:
Isn't child pornography: Sometimes the charges against you will be entirely unfounded, and what was assumed to be child porn isn’t at all, and the arresting officer made a mistake. Maybe the depicted individuals were in fact over the age of 18, or the image itself doesn’t meet the state definition of child pornography.
Illegal search or seizure: In other cases, you may have been the victim of an illegal search and seizure. If you feel your Fourth Amendment rights were violated, it’s possible to declare the evidence inadmissible in court.
Entrapment: Police officers will sometimes lure certain individuals into committing a crime in the hopes of catching them red-handed and filing charges against them. In some cases, this is a valid approach, but in others, it can be considered entrapment, which is illegal. With this defense, we would argue that you would never have committed this crime had it not been for the actions of law enforcement and that you were essentially “tricked” into your illegal action.
False accusations: Unfortunately, some people will falsely accuse others of crimes to get back at them or to exact some kind of revenge. We’ll thoroughly examine all evidence and work to clear your name if this is the case.
Unintended possession/lack of knowledge: One very common defense is that you legitimately didn’t know you were in possession of the content. For example, you may have accidentally downloaded material off the internet not knowing it contained child pornography.
Does not belong to you: Another common defense is that the content didn’t belong to you. This could happen if someone intentionally planted evidence on you in the hopes of getting you in trouble, but it could also happen under much less calculated circumstances, such as purchasing a pre-owned computer, phone, or laptop from someone, and that device already had the illegal content on it before you owned it.
Legitimate use for educational, religious, promotional, or scientific purposes: Lastly, you could genuinely have a good reason for owning the content, such as medical, scientific, or educational pursuits.
Don’t Risk Your Freedom. Call Now.
The possible penalties for a conviction like this can be life-altering, and you need to secure a skilled defense lawyer immediately to ensure your rights are protected. If you’re in the Daytona Beach, Florida, area and would like to learn more about the possible defenses for a child pornography charge, call us at DaytonaDefense.com.