Both the federal and state laws give special considerations for children’s rights. That’s why penalties for child pornography crimes are typically high and harsh. In federal cases, the most common penalty is a prison sentence, even for a minor offense like possession. In Florida state, child pornography attracts both probation and prison sentence.
Federal cases regarding sharing or receiving child pornography materials such as sending sexually explicit photos or videos attract a minimum of five years in federal prison. The maximum federal penalty for child pornography can be between 20 years to a life prison sentence. In Florida, if you’re charged with a child pornography offense, a mandatory lifelong child offender registration is possible.
If you’re accused of engaging in the crime of child pornography, no one will tell you beforehand the kind of penalty you’ll receive and, if it’s a prison sentence, how long you’ll serve. That is unless you contact a child pornography lawyer who’s well versed in such cases. With that in mind, keep reading to learn about child pornography penalties in Florida state.
Federal Child Pornography Laws And Penalties
According to federal laws, child pornography crimes involving possession of child porn material with the intent to view such material attract a minimum sentence of 10 years. This is a felony offense involving the control or possession of indecent material of a minor below the legal age of 18. This law, found in the 18 U.S.C. Sec. 2252(a)(4), can be capped at ten years unless the victim is a minor below 12 years. In such cases, the highest penalty is 20 years.
Otherwise, a conviction can only take effect if the offender knowingly and intentionally possessed or accessed the material with full knowledge that it depicts a minor below 18 or 12 years. Similarly, if the offender had had a previous sex offense conviction, including child pornography, they could be sentenced to a minimum of ten years with a 20 years recap regardless of the child’s age.
Although there are no minimum penalties for simple possession of child porn materials, according to the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines for child porn found in Section 2G2.2, the minimum sentence is usually set at ten years. Therefore, you should never plead guilty to child porn offenses unless you’re fully aware of the mandatory minimum penalties set out in the Sentencing Guidelines, which often applies.
Under US federal law, creating or producing child porn materials is often considered as sexual exploitation of a child. This charge typically attracts a minimum sentence of 15 years if the child is a minor younger than 18, according to U.S.C. Sec. 2251. This statue includes taking indecent photographic materials depicting a child below 18.
How Much Jail Time for Child Pornography As Per Florida Child Pornography Laws?
Under Florida Statute 827.071(5)(a), Possession of Child Pornography is defined as the crime of deliberately and knowingly possessing, accessing, or viewing indecent images or videos depicting a child. These could be photos or videos, exhibitions, or other presentations showing a child in a sexual or compromising position.
Sexual conduct is anything depicting actual or simulated sexual activities, a lewd show of sexual organs, or physical contact with a minor whether they are clothed, unclothed, sexual organs, buttocks, pubic area, or female breasts intended to elicit sexual desires or gratification of a third party.
Under Florida state laws, each image of child porn is treated separately as a separate crime from the other as per Florida Statute 827.071(5)(a). Therefore, each image or video of child porn can be treated as a separate count of Possession of Child Pornography. That’s why most people charged with this crime can be charged with as many as 100 counts of Possession of Child Pornography, depending on the number of images you were found with.
Penalties for Possession of Child Pornography In Florida
According to Florida state laws, Possession of Child Pornography sexual offense is a third-degree felony that carries a minimum of five years in prison, five years of probation, and another $5,000 fine.
A federal court judge may sentence such an offender of a single or multiple counts of Possession of Child Pornography to probation for sex offenses but may also convict the person of the minimum five-year mandatory sentence. Consequently, if you’re charged with several counts of Possession of Child Pornography, you could face a minimum of 12 months of a mandatory prison sentence and an additional four months behind bars for each count of Possession of Child Pornography you’re convicted of. That is to say, if charged with four counts of Possession of Child Pornography, you could be sentenced to 15 months in prison besides the mandatory five-year sentence.
How Much Jail Time for Child Pornography And Aggravated Possession of Child Pornography In Florida
As per Florida Statute 775.0847(2), Aggravated Possession of Child Pornography is the crime of possessing ten or more images depicting child porno. The images should have at least one of the following:
- Depictions of a minor below five years;
- Sadomasochistic abuse of a child;
- Sexual battery involving a minor aged below 18;
- Bestiality involving a child; or motion pictures that are sexual in nature and involves a child
According to Florida state laws, Aggravated Possession of Child Pornography is a second-degree felony that attracts a minimum of 15 years in prison, fifteen years of probation, and another $10,000 fine.
Aggravated Possession of Child Pornography is also considered a derivative crime; that is, you must be found in possession of at least ten images of child pornography to be convicted, and each of these images is treated as a separate count. Consequently, you can be convicted of Possession of Child Pornography and Aggravated Child Pornography, all of which carry about 41 months in prison.
Want To Know How Much Jail Time for Child Pornography In Florida? Contact Criminal Defense Lawyer
If you or someone you know has been arrested or charged with a Possession of Child Pornography offense in Florida and especially the greater West Palm Beach area, contact criminal defense lawyers at Meltzer & Bell P.A today. We will help you with several legal defenses that can see you walk out with a lesser charge. The initial consultation is free as we are a dedicated team of legal professionals always ready to provide advice on the best course of action you should take.