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Child Pornography

Child Pornography

In Florida, offenses relating to child pornography are taken very seriously. The state’s laws on child pornography are outlined under Chapter 827 of the Florida Statutes. Florida law makes it unlawful to possess, control, produce, distribute, or promote any material that depicts sexual conduct involving a child. The severity of the penalties for each type of child pornography offense will depend on the specific circumstances relating to the age of the depicted child, the number of images or videos found in the defendant’s possession, and the defendant’s prior criminal history.

In the digital age, it can be extremely easy for a person to inadvertently download an incriminating file containing such pornographic material or have incriminating pictures or videos gained through the use of shared computers or Wi-Fi passwords. Unfortunately, the state of Florida and the federal government both take these types of crimes very seriously and prosecutors will often pursue very harsh penalties against alleged offenders.

People who are charged with crimes relating to pornographic material featuring children understandably feel as though they are presumed guilty until proven innocent. This is indeed a profoundly damaging criminal offense for a person to be accused of, and many innocent people can have their lives irreparably harmed even when they have their names cleared of any wrongdoing. This is why it is so important to speak with an experienced defense attorney. Working with a defense attorney is the first step to clear your name and get the child pornography charges against you lessened or dismissed completely.

Tallahassee Child Pornography Lawyer

Have you been charged with a criminal offense or are under investigation for any kind of crime relating to child porn? You should immediately contact Pumphrey Law Firm for help developing the strongest possible legal defense.

Our Tallahassee child pornography attorneys aggressively defend clients in and around the greater Leon County area, including such Florida Panhandle communities as Blountstown, Graceville, Malone, Marianna, Perry, Port St. Joe, and Wewahitchka. You can take advantage of a free, completely confidential consultation that will allow our firm to review your case by calling (850) 681-7777 today.


Leon County Child Pornography Information Center


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What is Considered Child Pornography?

Under Florida Statute Section 847.001, child pornography is considered any image or depiction of a minor engaged in sexual conduct. A minor is considered any child that is under the age of 18-years-old. “Sexual conduct” is defined as any of the following depictions:

  • Simulated sexual intercourse;
  • Deviated sexual intercourse;
  • Sexual bestiality;
  • Masturbation;
  • Sadomasochistic abuse;
  • Actual or simulated lewd exhibition of the genitals;
  • Actual physical contact with a person’s clothed or unclothed genitals;
  • Pubic area;
  • Buttocks; or
  • Female breast area with the intent to arouse or gratify the sexual desire of either party.

The statute specifically notes that a mother’s breastfeeding of her baby does not under any circumstance constitute sexual conduct. Under this definition, a defendant may be accused of possessing child pornography for any of the following methods which depict minors in a sexual conduct:

  • Image(s);
  • Video;
  • Exhibition or show;
  • Computer data files;
  • Streaming or downloaded video; or
  • Any other image or video.

Florida Child Pornography Charges

Under Florida Statute Section 847.001, child pornography is considered any image or depiction of a minor engaged in sexual conduct. A minor is considered any child that is under the age of 18-years-old. “Sexual conduct” is defined as any of the following depictions:

  • Simulated sexual intercourse;
  • Deviated sexual intercourse;
  • Sexual bestiality;
  • Masturbation;
  • Sadomasochistic abuse;
  • Actual or simulated lewd exhibition of the genitals;
  • Actual physical contact with a person’s clothed or unclothed genitals;
  • Pubic area;
  • Buttocks; or
  • Female breast area with the intent to arouse or gratify the sexual desire of either party.

The statute specifically notes that a mother’s breastfeeding of her baby does not under any circumstance constitute sexual conduct. Under this definition, a defendant may be accused of possessing child pornography for any of the following methods which depict minors in a sexual conduct:

  • Image(s);
  • Video;
  • Exhibition or show;
  • Computer data files;
  • Streaming or downloaded video; or
  • Any other image or video.

Sexual Performance by a Child, Florida Statute § 827.071

It is a third-degree felony if a person if a person knowingly possesses a photograph, motion picture, exhibition, show, representation, or other presentation which, in whole or in part, includes any sexual conduct by a child. Each photograph, motion picture, exhibition, show, representation, or presentation is a separate offense. It is a second-degree felony if a person:

    • Employs, authorizes, or induces a child less than 18 years of age to engage in a sexual performance or, being a parent, legal guardian, or custodian of such child, consents to the participation by such child in a sexual performance.
    • Produces, directs, or promotes any performance which includes sexual conduct by a child less than 18 years of age.
    • Possesses with the intent to promote any photograph, motion picture, exhibition, show, representation, or other presentation which, in whole or in part, includes any sexual conduct by a child. The possession of three or more copies of such photograph, motion picture, representation, or presentation is prima facie evidence of intent to promote.

Computer Pornography, Florida Statute § 847.0135(2)

It is a third-degree felony if a person either:

    • Knowingly compiles, enters into, or transmits by use of computer
    • Makes, prints, publishes, or reproduces by other computerized means
    • Knowingly causes or allows to be entered into or transmitted by use of computer
    • Buys, sells, receives, exchanges, or disseminates

any notice, statement, or advertisement of any minor’s name, telephone number, place of residence, physical characteristics, or other descriptive or identifying information for purposes of facilitating, encouraging, offering, or soliciting sexual conduct of or with any minor, or the visual depiction of such conduct.

Transmission of Material Harmful to Minors to a Minor by Electronic Device or Equipment Prohibited, Florida Statute § 847.0138

It is a third-degree felony if a person knew or believed that he or she was transmitting an image, information, or data that is harmful to minors to a specific individual known by the alleged offender to be a minor.


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Child Pornography Penalties in Leon County

The level of punishment for convictions involving these crimes depends on the specific classifications of the offenses.

Getting charged with possession of child pornography is considered a third-degree felony. In Florida, the penalties for a third-degree felony include up to a $5,000 fine and up to five years in prison.

Getting charged with promoting, manufacturing, or promoting child pornography is considered a second-degree felony. In Florida, the penalties for a second-degree felony include up to a $10,000 fine and up to 15 years in prison.

It is important to keep in mind that certain cases may involve multiple pornographic materials, which could then result in separate child pornography charges.


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Possession of Four or More Examples of Child Pornography

If a defendant is charged with four or more counts of possession of child pornography, they would face a mandatory sentencing under Florida’s Criminal Punishment Code. Without grounds for a downward departure sentence, a defendant convicted of four or more counts of child pornography possession would be sentenced to a mandatory minimum 12 months in prison, plus 4 months for each additional count of child pornography possession. For example, a person charged with five counts of child pornography possession would face 15 months of imprisonment. 

Aggravated Child Pornography

Florida Statute Section 775.0847(2) defines the offense of aggravated child pornography as when a defendant is accused of possessing 10 or more examples of child pornography which depict any of the following:

  • Child under the age of 5;
  • Sadomasochistic abuse involving a child;
  • Sexual battery involving a child;
  • Sexual bestiality involving a child; or
  • Any motion picture, film, video, or computer-generated motion picture involving a child, regardless of length and regardless of whether the motion picture contains sound or not.

Aggravated child pornography charges are reclassified to the next higher degree. For example, a third-degree felony is reclassified to a second-degree felony, and a second-degree felony is reclassified to a first-degree felony.

Federal Child Pornography Charges

Possessing or distributing child pornography is also considered a federal offense. A large amount of pornographic material is distributed or transmitted on the internet. This can often be interpreted as crossing state lines and makes alleged offenders subject to violations of the Commerce Clause of the United States Constitution.

In these cases, alleged offenders could be prosecuted by both State and Federal prosecutors for the following federal child porn crimes:

  • Sexual Exploitation of Children, Title 18 U.S. Code § 2251
    This is punishable by a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years up to 30 years in prison for a first offense, a mandatory minimum sentence of 25 years up to 50 years in prison for a first offense, and a mandatory minimum sentence of 35 years up to life in prison for a third or subsequent offense.
  • Knowingly Transports, Receives, Distributes, or Possesses with Intent to Distribute or Sell Child Pornography, Title 18 U.S. Code §§ 2252, 2252A
    Depending on the age of the minor depicted in the material and the type of the material, this may be punishable by a fine or up to 20 years in prison for a first offense, and a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years up to 40 years for a second or subsequent offense.
  • Knowingly Produces, Distributes, Receives, or Possesses with Intent to Distribute Obscene Visual Representations of the Sexual Abuse of Children, Title 18 U.S. Code § 1466A(a)
    This is punishable by a mandatory minimum sentence of five years up to 20 years in prison for a first offense, and a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years up to 40 years in prison for a second or subsequent offense.
  • Knowingly Possesses Obscene Visual Representations of the Sexual Abuse of Children, Title 18 U.S. Code § 1466A(b)
    This is punishable by an up to 10 years in prison for a first offense, and a 10-year mandatory minimum sentence up to 20 years in prison for a second or subsequent offense.

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Registration as a Sex Offender

The state of Florida requires specific convicted offenders to register with the Florida Sex Offender Registry. In addition to being marked as a sexual offender, the convicted person will be required to comply with and follow the sex offender registration laws. For specific sexual offenders, they will remain on the Sex Offender Registry for the rest of their life. This can make finding a job or place to live exceedingly difficult, as a convicted sex offender is restricted from living in certain areas. To find out more about Florida’s Sex Offender Registry and its regulations, you can do so here.

Child Pornography Defenses in Florida

It is important to have a skilled legal defense attorney who can thoroughly investigate your case and determine all possible defenses that may be applicable to your case. Due to the nature of the offense, child pornography crimes require aggressive criminal defense. The following lists possible defenses for child pornography cases:

  • Adult Depiction – Alleged minors in pornographic material were actually 18 years of age or older;
  • Another individual was responsible for distributing or receiving pornographic material because of shared computer access, breach of password, or absence of password;
  • Child Erotica – Material that depicts “young children in a sexually suggestive way” but is not “sufficiently lascivious to meet the legal definition of sexually explicit conduct”;
  • Computer virus caused download of pornographic material;
  • Electronic device that the pornographic material was discovered on belonged to another party;
  • Entrapment from law enforcement;
  • Illegal search and seizure by law enforcement;
  • Lack of intent to download or otherwise obtain pornographic material; or
  • Transitory Possession – Child pornography was not knowingly or intentionally possessed by the defendant.

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Find a Child Pornography Lawyer in Tallahassee

If you are under investigation for or have been charged with any kind of criminal offense involving child porn, you should not delay in getting legal representation. Pumphrey Law works tirelessly to keep these types of criminal charges out of federal court and ultimately get them reduced or completely dismissed.

Our experienced Tallahassee child pornography attorneys help residents of communities in Leon County, Calhoun County, Gulf County, Jackson County, Madison County, and Taylor County as well as many other areas of Northern Florida. Call (850) 681-7777 today to have our firm provide a complete evaluation of your case during a free, confidential consultation.


Article last updated May 29, 2023.

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