Federal Transmission of Child Pornography
Criminal offenses can be split up into two broad categories. There are actions that are criminalized because society demands it; because punishment for certain actions is morally required. Crimes like murder, sex offenses, and burglary will typically fall under this category. Those who are accused of such crimes often face a lifetime of stigma and justifiably serious penalties. On the other hand, some criminal offenses seem so ridiculous today that some would not believe they exist. Florida has a law on the books known as “unnatural and lascivious acts” which essentially punishes homosexual acts between consenting adults. While the law is no longer enforced, crimes punishing possession of cannabis, something legal in many other states, are still enforced in our State.
Child pornography offenses are a bit more difficult to categorize. On one hand, you would be hard pressed to find any individual or organization who supports the legalization of child pornography. There is no question that the child pornography industry is an evil that should be eradicated if at all possible. At the same time, there are levels to the culpability of child pornography offenses that are not reflected in the sentencing and prosecution of people facing these broad ranges of charges. Obviously, society demands that those involved in the production and distribution of child pornography be seriously punished. But those that merely consume child pornography with no actual risk of harming another person are punished severely as well. Anyone charged with a child pornography offense should immediately contact a dedicated Sarasota criminal lawyer to aid them.
Child pornography offenses can additionally be divided between State and Federal offenses. Both the State of Florida and the Federal government have criminal offenses prohibiting and punishing a myriad of child pornography related offenses. State governments led by the county State Attorneys Offices will prosecute cases that arise from conduct occurring solely within the borders of the State of Florida. Whereas Federal charges typically arise from offenses that are committed across state lines or while using some means of interstate commerce, such as the internet.Elements of Federal Transmission of Child Pornography
Transmission of Child Pornography is prohibited at the Federal level by 18 U.S. Code Section 2252. Under the law, anyone who knowingly ships or uses an instrumentality of foreign or interstate commerce, or who affects interstate commerce in the process of transmitting the visual depiction of a minor engaging in a sexually explicit act is guilty of the offense. Those convicted under this statute could potentially face serious criminal penalties, so consulting with a dedicated Sarasota criminal attorney is imperative to maintain your liberty.
Even those that are not directly involved with the distribution of child pornography materials can be charged and convicted under this law. Based on the language of the statute, even those who merely receive child pornography material that he or she knows was transmitted by means of interstate commerce—across state lines or even over the internet—can be found guilty of the crime of transmission of child pornography in Federal Court. And being found guilty of such a charge carries potentially serious penalties. A first time offender convicted under this section faces a mandatory minimum prison sentence of five years, along with a potential maximum sentence of twenty years in prison. If the defendant has a prior conviction for certain sex based or child pornography offenses, he or she could be facing a minimum term of fifteen years in prison with a maximum possible sentence of forty years. The significant risks involved with such charges necessitate that you consult with and retain the most competent Sarasota criminal lawyer you can find.Speak to the Lawyers at Hanlon Law
Our attorneys have years of experience defending clients for a myriad of criminal charges. We are here to work for the best outcome for you. Call us today at 941.462.1789.