Federal Child Pornography
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.