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Common Defenses Against Child Porn Charges

Florida law defines child pornography are any image that depicts a minor engaged in sexual content or that has been created, altered, modified, or adapted to show an identifiable minor engaged in sexual conduct. Sexual conduct can include a wide variety of actions, including but not limited to:

  • Sexual intercourse (real or simulated)
  • Sexual bestiality
  • Masturbation
  • Lewd exhibition of genitals
  • Any physical contact with a person’s genitals, butt, pubic area, or breast whether the person is clothed or unclothed with the intent to arouse or satisfy either party’s sexual desire.
  • Any act that would be considered or that simulates sexual battery is being or will be committed

Under Florida Statutes § 847.0135, § 847.0138, and § 827.071, it is illegal to:

  • Buy, sell, receive, exchange, or disseminate any information concerning a minor (i.e. their name, address, physical description, etc.) with the intent to facilitate, offer, solicit, or encourage sexual conduct of or with any minor or an image of such conduct.
  • Send harmful material to minors via an electronic device or equipment to a person the defendant knows or believes to be a minor.
  • Use, employ, authorize, promote or authorize a minor to engage in a sexual performance, or being the child’s parent or guardian, consent to the participation of a minor in a sexual performance
  • Produce, promote, or direct a performance that includes sexual conduct by a minor
  • Possess with the intent to promote any image, motion picture, exhibition, show, representation, or any other presentation that includes any sexual conduct by a minor

In some cases, the accused may face federal child pornography charges if the transmissions cross state lines or the conduct violates the Commerce Clause of the United States Constitution. Federal child pornography offenses carry even harsher penalties than similar state offenses. If you are under investigation for or have been arrested for Florida or federal child pornography offenses, you need to consult with an attorney and develop a solid defense strategy.

Are There Defenses to Child Pornography Charges?

Here are some of the common defenses that can be used to defend against child pornography charges.

  • Defendant not in possession. If you have a shared computer, it can be argued that someone else was the person in possession of or who downloaded the illegal content. Work computers also often allow other employees to access a person’s drive.
  • Illegal search and seizure. A common defense strategy is to investigate and call into question the conduct of the police. If they did not follow the proper legal procedures before searching or seizing your device(s), the prosecution’s evidence can be challenged.
  • Adult depiction. If the person in the image, video, or content was an adult rather than a minor (i.e. a person under the age of 18), the charges should be dropped.
  • Unknowing possession. Also known as the “Zombie Computer” defense, it can be argued that you did not intentionally or knowingly possess the child pornography because a third party accessed or used the device on which the illegal content was found.
  • Good faith destruction and/or reporting. With federal charges, a possible defense strategy is proving that you, acting in good faith, deleted the images or reported the images to law enforcement. However, this defense is only applicable in cases involving three or fewer images, videos, or depictions.
  • Entrapment. The defense can argue that an undercover law enforcement officer encouraged the defendant to commit a crime that they (the accused) would not have committed otherwise.
  • Substantial assistance. If you are facing possession charges, your charges can be reduced or suspended if you help the prosecution to identify, arrest, or convict other persons involved in child pornography.

Consult with Our Qualified Attorneys

At Hubbs Law Firm, we are dedicated to helping our clients defend themselves against child pornography charges. We understand how unnerving it can be to be under investigation or charged with such a crime as these charges often place a strain on the accused’s personal and professional life.

If you or a loved one have been accused of or charged with a child pornography offense, you can trust our team to help you build a strong case. We handle Florida and federal sex crime cases, and having a former prosecutor on our team allows us to better understand the opposition and develop a personalized case strategy for our clients.

Every client matters to us, and we treat every case as a top priority. If you or a loved one are facing possession of child pornography charges or other sex crime charges, give us a call (305) 570-4802 or reach out online to schedule a consultation.

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