Child Pornography Enhancements
Criminal offenses can fall into many different categories. There are violent crimes, property crimes, and financial crimes. There are crimes committed over the internet and crimes that can only be committed face to face. It is sometimes helpful to separate criminal offenses into two broad categories. The first of those categories includes victimless crimes like drug possession, prostitution, or driving without a license. Many crimes like this are created and enforced simply to generate revenue for the government and to enforce “morality.” The second category of criminal offenses includes generally accepted morally wrong crimes. Violent crimes like battery or murder, along with property crimes like grand theft, and especially crimes victimizing children fall under this second, more serious category.
Within that second category of crimes, there are some offenses that stand out and that are treated more seriously by prosecutors, police and judges. Those offenses are crimes against children. One of the most unfortunately common crimes involving child victims is possession or distribution of child pornography. As one might expect, child pornography charges can carry grave consequences, including serious prison time, hefty fines, and lifetime registration as a sex offender. If you or a loved one has been charged with any child pornography related offense, you should not hesitate to retain a dedicated Sarasota criminal defense lawyer to analyze the case.Child Pornography Sentencing Enhancements
Child pornography possession convictions already carry daunting penalties without any enhancements. Even intentionally viewing or possessing an image of child pornography is a third degree felony punishable by up to five years in prison. This is compounded by the fact that an individual can be charged with one count of possession of child pornography for each image or video found to be in his or her possession. This legal calculus can result in offenders facing incredibly harsh sentences for a crime that does not involve the direct harm to another person. Don’t allow yourself to become a victim of the system, if you’ve been charged with a child pornography offense, reach out to a skilled Sarasota criminal lawyer today.
Florida law has instituted statutes that enhance the already harsh base penalties for child pornography offenses if certain prerequisites are met on the case. Under Florida Statute 775.0847, the state can enhance certain offenses to allow for longer sentences. First the prosecution must establish guilt for the offense of possession of child pornography, use of a child in a sexual performance, transmission of child pornography, transmission of material harmful to a minor, or another similar offense. Once the underlying offense has been proven, the state can enhance the offense if they prove that the defendant possessed 10 or more images of child pornography, and at least one of the images contained certain content. The content can be a child less than the age of 5, sadomasochistic abuse, sexual battery, sexual bestiality, or any movie involving a child.
The reality of child pornography charges is that most prosecutions are not based on just a handful of images. A vast majority of child pornography offenses involve dozens if not hundreds of images. Because of that reality, most prosecutions qualify for these offenses. If any of these enhancements apply the degree of the offense is enhanced. In the prosecution for a third degree felony, the offense will be increased to a second degree. And in a prosecution for a second degree felony, it will be enhanced to a first degree offense punishable by up to thirty years in prison. The serious consequences and complex nature of child pornography offenses mean that you should not try to face these charges alone. Reach out to a skilled Sarasota criminal defense lawyer right away.Speak to our Lawyers Today
The attorneys at Hanlon Law have the experience and dedication to achieve the best possible results for your case. Don’t hestitate to set up a consultation so that we can begin to develop a plan of action. Call us today at 941.462.1789.