Possession of Child Pornography
The Internet can be said to be the modern invention that has most significantly affected our society and culture. Internet has transformed the way we interact with the world, for better and for worse. Internet has made our lives far easier and far more complicated. With the touch of a button or a voice command, we can gain access to the collective knowledge amassed over humanity’s history. We can chat with friends and relatives across the globe as if we were in the same room. We can order nearly any consumer good and have it delivered in 24 hours. Just as the Internet has made the lives of ordinary people exponentially easier, it has also made the commission of crime easier and more appealing. If you have been investigated for or charged with an internet related crime, you should not hesitate to contact a skilled Sarasota criminal defense lawyer to aid you.
The Internet makes criminal offenses more appealing to those who would never otherwise risk committing a crime. Computers allow us to remain faceless and to commit offenses over the wire, without having to ever physically interact with another human being. This entices more and more people to commit offenses like fraud, public assistance fraud, or unlawful use of personal identification information. Of all of the criminal offenses that typically take place over the internet, there is one type of offense that carries an enormous amount of notoriety and along with it, potentially enormous penalties. That category of offenses is internet child pornography.Elements of Possession of Child Pornography
Pursuant to Florida Statute 827.071 subsection 5, possession of child pornography is defined as the knowing possession, control, or intentional viewing of any image or video that the defendant knows includes the depiction of sexual conduct by a minor. Unlike many other offenses, where multiple acts of criminal conduct can be charged as a single count, possession of child pornography is unique. Each individual image or video counts as a separate offense, and child pornography cases typically involve hundreds if not thousands of images, resulting in an equal number of criminal counts. For comparison, a defendant who walks into a store and steals 50 laptop computers will be charged with one count of grand theft. A defendant who views or possesses 50 images of child pornography can be charged with 50 different counts of the crime, each of which is a third degree felony subject to enhancements. If you’ve been charged with such an offense, don’t waste time in retaining a skilled Sarasota child pornography defense attorney.
Successfully defending child pornography possession offenses requires a deep understanding of the elements of the offense. The two elements that are most commonly litigated are the possession and sexual conduct elements. First, prosecutors are required to prove possession of the images. Possession can be proven in child pornography cases even if the defendant simply viewed an image. A dedicated attorney may be able to aggressively challenge the element of possession. The prosecution must also prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the images in question depict sexual conduct by a minor. It is not always a simple task to prove that a person depicted in a pornographic image is actually a minor. Additionally, simply nude pictures do not rise to the level of sexual conduct. In order to qualify as child pornography, the images must depict masturbation, sexual intercourse, lewd exhibition of the genitals, or other contact intended to arous or gratify sexual desire.Speak to Our Lawyers Today
A skilled Sarasota child pornography defense lawyer can potentially successfully challenge the elements of proof needed to convict a person for possession of child pornography. The attorneys at Hanlon Law are positioned to develop the most effective defense for your individual case. Don’t hesitate to call us today for a consultation at 941.462.1789.