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Child Pornography and Internet Sex Crimes

Florida Statute 847.001(3) - Possession of Child Pornography • Sexual Performance of a Minor • Transmission • Soliciting a Minor by Computer • Traveling to Meet a Minor


Computers, tablets and smart phones have become so prevalent in society that it is no surprise that prosecutions for computer-related crimes have increased dramatically in recent years. The penalties in Florida for a computer-related sex crime conviction can be devastating.

It is imperative that you hire a knowledgeable and skilled West Palm Beach and Stuart based criminal defense lawyer immediately upon being contacted by law enforcement. The Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution protects your right against self-incrimination. Never answer any questions or make any statements to any law enforcement officer investigating a computer-related sex crime. Immediately contact an attorney.

Possession of Child Pornography

Child Pornography is defined by Florida Statute 847.001(3) as any image depicting a minor engaged in sexual conduct. The term “sexual conduct” is further described at Florida Statute 847.001(16).

Knowingly possessing, controlling or the intentional viewing of any photograph, image, video or computer depiction of a minor engaging, in whole or in part, in any sexual conduct is a third-degree felony, punishable by up to five years in prison pursuant to Florida Statute 827.071(5)(a).

Each photograph, video or image is considered to be a separate offense.

If the photograph, video or image contains more than one child, then each child in the photograph, video, or image is considered a separate offense.

Sexual Performance of a Minor

Possessing a photograph, movie, image, or other item, that depicts sexual conduct of a minor, with the intent to promote those items, is a second-degree felony punishable by up to fifteen years in prison pursuant to Florida Statute 827.071(4).

Promote means to procure, manufacture, issue, sell, give, provide, lend, mail, deliver, transfer, transmute, publish, distribute, circulate, disseminate, present, exhibit, or advertise.

Transmission of Child Pornography

Any person who either knew or should have known that they were transmitting child pornography by using the internet or by using any electronic device commits a third-degree felony punishable by up to five years in prison pursuant to Florida Statute 847.0137(2).

Soliciting a Minor by Computer

Any person who knowingly uses any online service, internet service, social media platform or any device capable of electronic transmission to contact a minor, or a person believed to be a minor, and during that contact, solicits, seduces, lures, entices, or attempts to do the same, to get the minor to engage in sexual conduct commits a third-degree felony punishable by up to five years in prison pursuant to Florida Statute 847.0135(3)(a).

Additionally, any person who knowingly uses any online service, internet service, social media platform or any device capable of electronic transmission to contact the parent or guardian of a minor, or a person believed to be the parent or legal guardian of a minor, and during that contact, solicits, seduces, lures, entices, or attempts to do the same, to get the parent or guardian to consent to the participation of the minor to engage in sexual conduct commits a third-degree felony punishable by up to five years in prison pursuant to Florida Statute 847.0135(3)(b).

Traveling to Meet a Minor

Any person who uses any online service, internet service, social media platform or any device capable of electronic transmission to seduce, solicit, entice, or lure a minor, or a person believed to be a minor, to engage in sexual conduct, and then travels or attempts to travel, any distance, for the purpose of sexual conduct, commits a second-degree felony punishable by up to fifteen years in prison pursuant to Florida Statute 847.0135(4)(a).

Additionally, any person who uses any online service, internet service, social media platform or any device capable of electronic transmission to seduce, solicit, entice, or lure a parent or legal guardian, or a person believed to be a parent or legal guardian, of a minor to engage in sexual conduct and then travels, or attempts to travel, any distance, for the purpose of sexual conduct, commits a second-degree felony punishable by up to fifteen years in prison pursuant to Florida Statute 847.0135(4)(b).

Lewd or Lascivious Exhibition Using a Computer

Any person who (1) intentionally masturbates, (2) exposes their genitals in a lewd or lascivious manner, or (3) commits any other sexual act that does not involve physical contact using any online service, internet service, social media platform or any device capable of electronic transmission and either knows, or should know, that the transmission is to be viewed by a person under sixteen, commits lewd or lascivious exhibition using a computer pursuant to Florida Statute 847.0135(5).

If the offender is 18 or older, the offense is a second-degree felony punishable by up to fifteen year in prison. If the offender is under 18, the offense is a third-degree felony punishable by up to five years in prison if the case is in adult court.

Penalties

A conviction for any of the offenses described above can result in a felony conviction. However, perhaps even more devastating is the fact that a conviction for any of these offenses requires the convicted person to register as a sex offender pursuant to Florida Statute 943.0435.

Potential Defenses

Wayne Richter is a skilled and knowledgeable criminal defense lawyer with over a decade of experience in South Florida courtrooms. Wayne will thoroughly examine your arrest on any computer related sex charges. Issues that need to be explored are (1) whether law enforcement obtained the evidence in a lawful manner, (2) does the evidence seized constitute child pornography, (3) can any of the evidence be specifically attributed to you, (4) discuss whether a forensic computer expert should be retained to analyze your case, as well as other potential defenses.

Contact Wayne Richter to schedule a free initial case evaluation.

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