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Last Updated on: 3rd November 2023, 07:11 pm
Child Pornography Defense in Orlando, FL – A Helpful Guide
Being charged with possession of child pornography can be an incredibly scary and overwhelming experience. However, it’s important to remember that you have rights and there are defenses available. In this article, we’ll provide a helpful overview of child pornography laws in Florida, potential defenses, and what to do if you’ve been charged.
Child Pornography Laws in Florida
In Florida, possession of child pornography is primarily prosecuted under Florida Statute 827.071. This law makes it a third-degree felony to possess material depicting sexual conduct by a child, also known as child pornography. While possession carries penalties of up to 5 years in prison and $5,000 in fines, manufacturing or distributing child pornography are first-degree felonies with even harsher sentences of up to 30 years in prison.
One issue with Florida’s law is that it was enacted in 1985, long before issues like computerized child pornography arose. The statute hasn’t really been updated or interpreted by courts for today’s technology, which can make these cases complicated.
How Do Child Pornography Charges Arise in Florida?
Most child pornography prosecutions in Florida begin with a search warrant. Law enforcement may receive a tip from an internet service provider or website about suspected child pornography on someone’s computer. While this alone may not seem like probable cause for a warrant, magistrates are often not informed about intricacies of modern technology. They take the tip at face value in granting a search warrant.
With warrant in hand, police then enter a home and seize computers or other devices. Even if someone never intentionally downloaded child pornography, it could be uncovered in searches and lead to criminal charges.
Common Child Pornography Defenses in Florida
So what defenses are available if you’ve been charged with possession of child pornography in Florida? Some common ones include:
- You Never Intentionally Downloaded It: One of the biggest issues in child pornography cases is that files can end up on your computer without you ever knowingly downloading them. With file-sharing programs, opening emails, clicking questionable links – there are many ways child pornography could get onto a device without your intent.
- You Didn’t Know the Files Were There: Related to the above, it’s entirely possible you were unaware that any child pornography was even on your devices. Particularly if files were buried deep in folders or system caches, you may have never viewed or accessed them.
- You Deleted the Files: As soon as you realized child pornography was on your device, you deleted it. This shows you didn’t want the illegal files and removed them when discovered.
- Free Speech: Child pornography laws can sometimes conflict with First Amendment free speech protections. While this is a nuanced area, arguments exist that you have a constitutional right to possess some materials.
- Law Enforcement Mistakes: There may have been procedural mistakes in how your case was handled, such as issues with the search warrant, interrogation tactics, or preserving evidence. This could lead to evidence being suppressed or the case dismissed.
Finding the Right Orlando Child Pornography Defense Attorney
If you are being investigated or charged with possession of child pornography, it’s critical that you retain an experienced criminal defense attorney immediately. Never consent to any searches or speak to police without counsel present.
When researching defense lawyers, look for these important qualifications:
- Experience specifically handling child pornography cases in Florida.
- Knowledge of both state and federal child pornography laws.
- Ability to conduct forensic analyses of computers and devices.
- Resources to retain expert witnesses as needed.
- Track record of positive case results in this complex field.
Trusted Orlando law firms like Lindsey & Ferry, P.A. have decades of experience successfully defending child pornography charges in Florida. Do not leave your future in the hands of just any lawyer – seek out accomplished child pornography defense attorneys.
What to Do If You Are Facing Charges
If you have been contacted by police or federal agents regarding child pornography allegations, here are important steps to take:
- Politely decline to answer any questions and state you will not discuss anything further without your lawyer present.
- Do NOT consent to any searches of your home, devices, accounts, etc. Make clear nothing can be searched without a warrant.
- Contact a qualified child pornography defense lawyer immediately to protect your rights.
- Follow your attorney’s advice exactly regarding interactions with police and prosecutors moving forward.
With an experienced criminal defense lawyer guiding you, it is possible to build a strong defense in even the most challenging child pornography cases. Do not wait to get legal help fighting these life-changing charges.
Being charged with possession of child pornography in Florida can carry drastic penalties that will follow you for life. However, all hope is not lost. With an in-depth understanding of Florida law, available defenses, and a strategic legal approach, many of these cases can be successfully defended or mitigated.
If you or a loved one are facing allegations involving child pornography, do not delay in contacting a qualified Orlando defense attorney. Skilled legal counsel can protect your rights, build defenses, and work toward the most favorable outcome in your case.