Child Pornography

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.

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.

Tallahassee Child Pornography Lawyer

Have you been charged with or are you under investigation for any kind of crime relating to child porn? You should immediately contact Pumphrey Law 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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Florida Child Pornography Charges

Florida laws criminalize the possession, distribution, and manufacturing of visual material that features children engaging in sexual conduct. Under Florida Statute § 847.001, a minor is defined as any person under the age of 18 years, and child pornography is defined as any image depicting a minor engaged in sexual conduct.

The same statute also defines sexual conduct as meaning “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.” The statute specifically notes that a mother’s breastfeeding of her baby does not under any circumstance constitute sexual conduct.

Some of the specific charges relating to child porn that people can face include:

  • 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. The possible terms of imprisonment and fines are as follows:

  • Third-Degree Felony — Up to five years in prison and up to $5,000 in fines
  • Second-Degree Felony — Up to 15 years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines

It is important to keep in mind that certain cases may involve multiple pornographic materials resulting in separate charges. For example, a person convicted of possessing five photographs involving a sexual performance by a child could be sentenced to 75 years in prison.

Additionally, an alleged offender who is convicted of this type of crime could also be required to register as a sex offender. This can severely limit his or her chances of obtaining employment, housing, or certain benefits.


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Federal Child Pornography Charges

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 the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) 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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Child Pornography Defenses in Florida

It is important to have skilled legal counsel thoroughly investigate your case to determine all of the possible defenses that may be applicable to your case. A few of the common defenses in these types of cases include, but are not limited to:

  • 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
  • Computer virus caused download of pornographic material
  • Electronic device that the pornographic material was discovered on belonged to another party
  • Entrapment
  • Illegal search and seizure
  • Lack of intent to download or otherwise obtain pornographic material

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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 August 5, 2016.