WHAT SHOULD I DO IF I HAVE BEEN CHARGED WITH POSSESSION OF CHILD PORNOGRAPHY?
Any dealing with law enforcement is likely to be anxiety provoking, even if you did nothing wrong. However, if you have been charged with possession of child pornography the situation and your anxiety level will likely escalate. The state of Florida takes possession of child pornography extremely seriously, so you have every reason to be nervous. You need to contact a Clearwater, Florida criminal defense attorney right away, though understanding the basics regarding child pornography can be helpful.
Under Florida’s Computer Pornography and Child Exploitation Prevention Act, the possession of child pornography is a third degree felony, punishable by five years in prison and a fine not to exceed $5,000. Additionally, if you are convicted of possession of child pornography you may be required to register as a sex offender for life, regardless of where you live in the United States. There has been at least one case, such as that of State of Florida v. Daniel Enrique Guevara Vilca, in which the defendant was charged with one count of possessing child pornography for each picture involved in the case. He had 454 pornographic images of children, was found guilty, and was thereby sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
Making the situation even more complex, the definition of child pornography is “any image depicting a minor engaged in sexual conduct” according to Florida Statute 847.001(3). Sexual conduct is more than nudity.
Sexual conduct is clearly defined by Florida Statute 847.001(16), which states, in pertinent part:
“Sexual conduct means actual or simulated sexual intercourse, deviate sexual intercourse, sexual bestiality, masturbation, or sadomasochistic abuse; actual lewd exhibition of the genitals; actual physical contact with a person’s clothed or unclothed genitals, pubic area, buttocks, or, if such person is a female, breast with the intent to arouse or gratify the sexual desire of either party; or any act or conduct which constitutes sexual battery or simulates that sexual battery is being or will be committed.”
However, it is important to note that child pornography is different than child erotica, which is not illegal. If children are photographed nude or partially nude in a way that does not meet the legal definition of sexual conduct, it is child erotica.
As you can see, the state of Florida does not take the possession of child pornography lightly. That does not mean your situation is hopeless; it means that you need a good Pinellas County, Florida criminal defense attorney on your side to ensure that your rights are protected throughout the prosecution of the case. Call the law offices of Powers Sellers & Finkelstein at 727-531-2926 today for your FREE EVALUATION!