According to both the Federal and Florida state law, a sex crime is a no-go zone which attracts severe and unrelenting legal punishment. Being in possession of sex-related materials irrespective of the source, you are treated as a complaisant and hence legally responsible. To clear any uncertainty, the legislature through 847.001 statutes describes child pornography as including sexual intercourse, masturbation, bestiality, S&M abuse, deviate sexual conduct or simulated sexual intercourse.
The law is unforgiving to any producer, distributor, and custodian of kids’ original materials. It is, therefore, vital for every Floridian to familiarize himself or herself with the law including the expected grave consequences for the offenders. Thus, if you are facing child pornography-related charges, it’s advisable to work with an experienced Orlando child pornography lawyer to represent you in court.
Explained below is the process of unearthing and reporting of the offence, punishment to offenders, legal augments to escape conviction and legal representation of the accused.
So how are the sex crimes brought to light? It is a concerted effort of a multi-disciplinary team including computer hackers and specialists with a view to identifying the culprits for prosecution. Internet-based platforms such as search engines provide relevant information from their servers.
The incident is, in turn, reported to relevant Florida authorities such as the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. Both the Florida state and Federal task forces track and expose child sex exploitation related materials in addition to obtaining a search warrant to access the suspected electronic devices and the suspects’ residence.
Painful to the offender but sweet to the child
Possession, production and sharing of child pornography materials attract harsh punishment from both the state and federal courts. However, a number of factors including a number of images, the age of the victim, the history of the suspect and the device used, determine the severity of the punishment. For example, the least offence classified as a 3rd-degree felony under the state law, attracts imprisonment of five years and $ 5, 000 for each count.
That notwithstanding, production and promotion of sex materials, classified as 1st-degree felony attracts up to 30 years imprisonment. Sharing child pornography material which is a 2nd-degree felony leads to imprisonment of up to 15 years. The punishment is even worse at the federal level where such offences carry severe punishment than all other offences, attracting up to 40 years in Federal prison, release life probation and cash fines of up to $250,000.
Information of identification and shame
The lawbreakers are placed under probation in addition to registering with the Sex Offender Registration. The period under registration ranges from 15 years to lifetime depending on the seriousness of the offence committed.
They provide their personal details and a photo which are made public at the sheriff’s office at the county. Consequently, this haunts them for the rest of their lives. They face discrimination such as in finding residence in close proximity to children, difficulty in getting a job, benefiting from educational opportunities and damage to personal dignity,
However, there are numerous defense options the accused persons can use to argue out their case to be exonerated from the accusations. Such arguments include lack of search warrant, images of adults, questionable mental status, clearing of the offensive material immediately after receiving it, possessing the material unknowingly, and reporting the incident to the authorities. Moreover, assisting the respective authorities to arrest other offenders may result in a lenient penalty.
Right to legal representation
Despite the weighty consequences, the accused person has a right to legal representation to evade the severe penalties. An experienced criminal lawyer can make the difference between incarceration and freedom. It also ensures that no innocent person is imprisoned.
Child pornography is a cold-blooded action not only to the children but also to the parents. No wonder it persuaded the lawmakers to come up with stiff penalties as a deterrent and/or bring lasting behavior change. No one should use child pornography for their own financial and sexual benefits.