At the Law Offices of Germain & McCarthy, LLC, our criminal defense attorneys fight false, exaggerated and unfounded accusations of possession of child pornography or distributing child porn under both federal law and Florida law. The penalties for these cases are extreme, including a possible lifetime requirement that you register as a sexual offender. Often seeking the services of a criminal defense attorney immediately after the accusation is made can help protect you against false allegations involving child pornography in Brevard County, Seminole County, Orange County, Volusia County, Osceola County, and Indian River County, FL.
Amazingly, more and more of these cases are involving allegations of "sexting" or texting inappropriate images of teenagers. Some of these allegations involve juveniles taking pictures of a body part or sending pictures of another juvenile. Parents are often shocked to find out that their child can be charged with "child pornography" for viewing pictures intended to remain private of a boyfriend or girlfriend. Likewise, sometimes innocent pictures of a child that were taken without any inappropriate or lewd intent can be misinterpreted by overly zealous federal agents or local detectives.
Complicated technology issues often require expert testimony in these digital image and computer cases. These cases often require technologically sophisticated attorneys that can utilize the proper computer and technology experts to dissect the prosecutor's case.
Often filing and litigating motions to dismiss and motions to suppress evidence seized as the result of a search warrant remains the most effective way to fight online solicitation cases or child pornography crimes involving possession or distribution of digital images, evidence or videos.
Many of these cases involve evidence found on a computer or through cyber or on-line communications. When the person accused does not make any statements to law enforcement, the prosecutor often has a difficult time proving that only one person could have accessed such material on the computer. Usually, statements made by the person accused are the only direct evidence proving one or more elements of the offense. For this reason alone, not making a statement to law enforcement remains your best protection against an unfounded allegation.
After an accusation of viewing child pornography or other prohibited material, It is vital to your future that you hire a knowledgeable criminal defense lawyer to assist you in protecting and defending your rights. Talking with an attorney as early in your case as possible is important so that all avenues of attack can be preserved.
If you are under investigation for any child pornography offense, contact the Law Offices of Germain & McCarthy, LLC today before you talk with any law enforcement officer. Our child pornography defense lawyers aggressively defend clients in Brevard County, Florida, including the cities and towns of Melbourne, Satellite Beach, Merritt Island, Titusville, Viera, Cape Canaveral, Cocoa, Cocoa Beach, Indialantic, Indian Harbour Beach, Melbourne Beach, West Melbourne, Palm Bay and Rockledge.
As the prosecutions have become increasing aggressively, even seeming innocent behavior can be scrutinized by law enforcement. Juveniles can be arrested for sending sexually explicit photographs of their own body to a boyfriend or girlfriend of the same age. Parents can be questioned about innocent pictures of a child who is swimming or bathing. Anyone using a computer can be framed by another person wanting to avoid detection for their own criminal acts.
Federal and State laws are extremely severe about punishing child pornography offenders. It is not necessary for offenders to partake in any sexual activity with a child to face firm penalties for possession of child pornography or distribution of child pornography. The mere accusation can have life-changing consequences, even if the charges are ultimately proven to be unfounded.
If you are convicted of a child porn sex crime, you could face momentous criminal penalties. As with any sex crime, offenders run the risk of facing imprisonment and registration as a sex offender. Consequently, convictions for possession or distribution of child pornography will follow an individual for the remainder of their life. Act quickly to talk directly with an experienced attorney about defending yourself against these serious charges.
Internet child pornography is based on the common forms of illegal activity on the web. Our Melbourne criminal defense lawyers defend clients accused of online sex crimes, such as:
As with all criminal offenses, the state prosecutors must prove actual possession child pornography charges beyond a reasonable doubt. Depending on the circumstances and data, it is not always possible to identify the abuser accountable for possessing or distributing child pornography material. Our child pornography criminal defense attorneys assist clients by investigating every avenue thoroughly in order to provide you with the best possible defense tactic.
Internet child pornography offenses are based on additional factors than just illegal images of a child. Additional basis of internet child porn could consist of possession video or film pornography, sexual online chats or discussions and other types of illicit online communication with a child. Most internet sex crimes cases involve offenders being victims of sting operation.
In the State of Florida, young people have faced and been convicted of child pornography charges. In this evolving area of the law, legislators and prosecutors are faced with prosecuting minors for transmitting nude photos of themselves to boyfriends and girlfriends. Many of these cases involve the illegal images becoming widely accessible.
Possession of child pornography is a serious crime offense that can be punishable by long prison terms under federal and state laws. Federal and state law enforcement agencies have targeted computer child pornography as a high priority.
Federal law provides a 20 year maximum and a 5 year minimum sentence for first-time convictions for each charge of:
Federal law also provides for a maximum 10-year sentence for possessing child pornography and for consciously accessing child pornography websites. Florida law provides a 5-year maximum sentence for each child pornography image.
Under federal law, any image or visual depiction of a child who is 17 years old or younger is considered contraband if the images show the child engaged in sexually explicit conduct. 18 U.S.C. §§ 2256(1) and (8). The federal definition of "child pornography" does not require that the visual image actual depict the child engaged in any type of sexual activity. 18 U.S.C. § 2256(2). In fact, even a picture of a partially clothed child could meet the definition of illegal child porn even if it is merely sexually suggestive.
Another issue in many of these cases involves the fact that the viewer may have no idea that the image involves a "child" which is defined as any person who is 17 years old or younger. 18 U.S.C. § 2256(1). In fact, although certain states may determine that the age of consent for sexual activity is lower than 18, federal law does not recognize any exception based on the laws of the state where the crime was allegedly committed. The term "visual depiction" includes any photograph, videotape, digital image, or digital video.
Under federal law, it is a crime to distribute, produce, or receive any visual depiction of child pornography across state lines or through foreign commerce. 18 U.S.C. §§ 2251, 2252, 2252A. This federal jurisdictional requirement is often triggered merely because of the technology involved.
Other cases involve sending a picture to a person in another state. Even the fact than an e-mail or text picture were sent to a person in the same state often triggers the federal jurisdictional requirement because the United States Postal Service was used, or the "computer server" was located out of state.
If the computer server was located out of state, it basically means that for a fraction of a second the image crossed state lines even if one person transmitted the image to another person in the same room. Given new technologies, any image on a computer, cell phone, or other device almost always triggers the federal jurisdictional requirement. Even in cases in which the image itself never leaves the state, if the film or CD-ROM used to store the image were ever transmitted across state lines (even before the images were stored on the film or CD-ROM).
Under 18 U.S.C. § 2251A, any person can be prosecuted under federal law if he or she is involved in purchasing or selling anyone under the age of 18 years old while knowing or intending the teenager, juvenile or child to be involved in any type of sexual activity. Many of the federal statutes impose mandatory minimum prison sentences for a variety of child pornography crimes.
Citizen's Guide to United States Federal Child Pornography and Exploitation Laws - Information from the United States Department of Justice related to federal prosecutions for federal child exploitation and child pornography laws including information on child prostitution, abuse of children, child models, the history of child porn, victims of pornography, obscene materials or movies, and obscenity laws.
Child Pornography Federal Statutes - Information from the child and exploitation and obscenity section (CEOS) of the United States Department of Justice.
Child Pornography Laws Explained by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children - Exhaustive list of federal laws, as well as the laws in each state with links and additional information including stories, statistics, and studies.
If you are accused of a child pornography offense, contact our Melbourne criminal defense attorney who focuses on defending those accused of sex crimes in Brevard County. Contact The Law Offices of Germain & McCarthy, LLC by calling (321) 253-3447 or submit information pertaining to your specific situation in our online form.
The Law Offices of Germain & McCarthy, LLC represents clients charged with child pornography offenses in Brevard County, Volusia County, Seminole County, Orange County, Osceola County, and Indian River County, FL. Call our criminal defense attorneys today to schedule a confidential consultation to discuss an investigation or prosecution for these serious charges.