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Federal Child Pornography

Sarasota Criminal Lawyers Defending the Rights of the Accused

Public policy is often guided and shaped by public opinion. When people become outraged at certain aspects of society or at the public actions of certain people, the result is often that our legislators turn that outrage into law. This can be a dangerous scenario, as outrage often blinds the legislative process and results in unnecessarily harsh laws. This cycle is obviously reflected in the criminal justice system. Especially as technology has become more and more of a necessity in our day to day lives, laws punishing the misuse of technology have grown to be broader and more punitive.

One of the many criminal laws that have come into effect as the influence of the internet spreads is the law prohibiting the possession and distribution of child pornography. While you will be hard pressed to find anyone who would support the legalization of such materials, the immediate and harsh outrage over child pornography’s spread over the world wide web has resulted in our state and federal lawmakers imposing extremely harsh and punitive policies regarding violations of these laws. As anti-child pornography laws evolved, offenders received harsher and harsher penalties that were previously reserved for violent and habitual criminal offenders. Anyone charged with a child pornography offense should not take such charges lightly, and should retain a dedicated Sarasota criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible.

Federal Child Pornography Offenses

The vast majority of criminal charges are filed and prosecuted at the state level. That is, crime that occurs within the borders of one state may only be tried within the state and county within which the crime was committed. Federal criminal charges, on the other hand, concern cases that interest the Federal government, violate federal-specific laws, or most commonly; involve facts crossing state lines. Because child pornography offenses often involve the use of the internet to send and receive images across state lines, the Federal government can often get involved with the prosecution of such offenses.

Federal laws define child pornography under 18 U.S.C. Section 2256. Child pornography is legally defined as the visual depiction of a person under age 18 engaged in sexually explicit conduct. Sexual intercourse is not required to be depicted in order for an image or video to legally be considered child pornography. The law further defines sexually explicit conduct to include sexual intercourse whether same sex or opposite sex, bestiality, masturbation, sadomasochistic abuse, or the lascivious exhibition of the private areas of any person. Possession of such materials under Federal criminal law can be a serious offense, and if charged, you should retain a skilled Sarasota child pornography defense lawyer right away.

Another reason the retention of a lawyer can be so important is that Federal courts often impose more significant sentences than state courts because of differing laws and stricter sentencing guidelines. Federal sentencing laws are much more nuanced and complex than state laws, and a lawyer with experience dealing with Federal courts and sentencing can successfully argue for reduced sentences if you are convicted of a federal child pornography offense.

Although federal sentencing laws can be harsh, and there is little concern given for child pornography offenders, criminal advocates and lawyers have begun to chip away at the stigma of child pornography offenders. Many who are convicted of this type of offense never actually act out on their fantasies and commit any physical harm to children. And many child pornography offenders are they themselves the victims of sexual abuse which contributes to their choices. A skilled Sarasota criminal defense lawyer can make these points to the court and obtain the best result possible for your case.

Speak to Our Lawyers Today

The attorneys at Hanlon Law have decades of combined experienced defending people facing a wide range of criminal charges. Don’t hesitate to contact us today for a consultation to see how we can help you with your case. Call us today at 941.462.1789.

Client Reviews
As a practicing attorney, I was shocked to hear that a family member of mine was alleged to have committed a sex crime. Knowing full well the consequences this type of allegation can have on anyone and their future, I immediately reached out to William Hanlon for help... Jerry
Was on the ball. Remembered names, events, places, situations. Never need to re explain the situation. Keeps in touch through out the entire experience and keeps you feeling safe, comforted and protected. Fights hard. Worth every single penny. Would never settle for anything less than Will. Carrie
I was facing a charge that if convicted would carry two years in prison minimally. Not only was he empathetic and listening to what I had to say but he arranged with the prosecutor for my charges not to be filed under terms of a pre trial investigation. Would highly recommend. Alec
I am very happy for what he did for me. Always there when I needed him. Explained everything well. He Fights for his clients. He got me what I needed. Hes an excellent lawyer. Mutaz
Mr. Hanlon did what no other lawyer could do. Not only did he turn my criminal history into a thing of the past so I could move on, he was a loyal associate. No matter how bad the situation is, he has miraculously cleared me on every charge since he became my lawyer 5 years ago. I have the best lawyer that the legal system has to offer. I have had other really good lawyers try to get my business, but I know that no one can do a better job than William Hanlon. Jesse