Pornography, or porn for short, is any material showing sexual behavior or nudity to stimulate the viewer sexually. However, a media containing nudity or sexual behavior does not make it pornographic if the media’s purpose is not sexual stimulation. Pornography can be in the form of audio, photos, written material, animation, or videos. The legality of porn is not the same in every country. In the US, these laws may differ between regions. While the US enables people to access and purchase such material legally, there are a few unlawful things. In this article, we’ll talk about pornography laws in Florida.
Child Pornography Laws in Florida
In Florida, the prosecution and penalization of crimes involving child pornography are very aggressive and strict. Whether a person possesses or distributes pornographic material, s/he can face significant penalties, such as long-time imprisonment and getting the name on the list of sex offenders. Either way, it can damage one’s personal or professional life.
What Is Child Pornography?
Florida statute chapter 847, titled XLVI, states child pornography is any image showing a child under the legal age involved in sexually explicit behavior. Given this description, Florida statute, section 827.071 subsection (5) part (a) states that knowingly controlling, possessing, or observing any child pornography type is unlawful. Any person charged with this crime will face a 3rd-degree felony.
Based on the definition, a few examples of the child pornography image consisting of a minor under the age of 18 include:
- Motion pictures
- Computer depictions or data files
- Streaming or download video
The Penalties You May Face for Child Pornography
According to the pornography laws in Florida, besides viewing or possessing such images, some other crimes related to child pornography include stricter penalties. As per Chapter 827, section 017, a person is punishable if s/he:
- Authorizes, employs, or utilizes a child below 18 years to participate or get involved in sexual activities.
- Has material with child pornography to give, promote, publish, transfer, or distribute the image.
Multiple Florida laws handle the charges for child pornography and the penalties related to such crimes. These Florida statutes comprise:
- 847.0135: This section is the “Computer Pornography and Chile Exploitation Prevention Act,” which defines and determines the prohibited use of computers.
- 847.0138: This section explains the illegal transfer of details, images, or data that shows sexual behavior towards a child under the age of 18.
- 827.071 (5) (a): It comprises the description of various sexual acts conducted by a child and the related penalties.
To prove someone is guilty of distributing or possessing child pornography, the attorney must prove beyond the shadow of a doubt that the accused created, sold, or had such images.
🔥👉 Also, read about Pornography laws in Washington🔥👈
Punishments for Child Pornography in Florida
Florida’s child pornography laws have different penalties for different offenses. The comprehensive punishment for various crimes includes fines, sex offender registration, imprisonment, and probation.
An individual possessing child pornography will face a 3rd-degree felony charge. If established as a felon, the accused may get a sentence of around five years with a maximum fine of $5000 for every unlawful material in possession or a minor shown in the pornographic image, data, or video.
Hence, if the authorities catch you with a single image that consists of two underaged children or two pornographic images, you may face ten years in jail with a fine of $10000.
Conversely, it will fall under a 2nd-degree felony if the defendant has child pornography for distribution, promotion, or creation. This crime can result in the individual spending as far as 15 years in jail and paying a fine of $10000.
Moreover, if a guardian or pent convinces, authorizes, or employs a child below 18 years to get involved in a sexual activity, the defendant can face a 2nd-degree felony charge.
1. Child Pornography: Limitation Period
Crimes against minors, like offenses of child pornography or traveling to encounter an underaged juvenile, have a limitation period of 3 years. As a result, the statute of limitations sets a 3-year for the disputed parties to initiate legal actions.
2. Potential Defenses
The defendants require a powerful defense to prove their innocence, as the cases involving child pornography are extremely sensitive. The prosecutor on the defendant’s side may use some strategies. A few known defenses include:
Absence of Proof:
Proving the defendant was knowingly engaging with the material if they possess a single video or image is insufficient. In such cases, the attorney can prove you had no purpose in keeping or viewing such material.
The accused is not the owner of the material: Sometimes, the accused may discover pornographic material involving a minor on their spam mail or devices. The prosecutor can look for evidence that the defendant did not know about the material and only just discovered it.
Absence of demonstration of intention: Some lawyers can prove that the accused did not view or possess such material on purpose and encountered it unintentionally.
While these are general defenses for child pornography offenses, the prosecutor can seek other avenues that help the case.
3. Federal Charges as per Pornography Laws in Florida
It is illegal to distribute or possess child pornography as per the federal law. Hence, in addition to the federal law, these crimes may be actionable under the state laws. Like every other federal offense, these crimes can lead to aggressive penalties if the punishment is per federal law.
Beginner wrongdoers charged for the transportation or distribution of child pornography can get a sentence ranging from at least five years to a maximum of 20 years in jail. If the offenders possess such content, they may face a 10-year sentence for the first offense. These penalties increase for repetitive sex offenders.
Reporting Child Pornography in Florida
When an individual reports pornography, including children under the age of 18, to the legal authorities, s/he is immune to facing charges as per section 847.0139. Hence, if you encounter child porn and file a complaint regarding it, you won’t be accused of a crime.
Reporting includes the submission of data, information, or images that the individual considers evidence of child pornography distribution or possession as per the child pornography laws in Florida.
Florida has strict laws against crimes of child pornography. These charges have severe repercussions like probation, fines, registration as a sex offender, and imprisonment. As a result, offenders can face lasting implications that can adversely affect their personal and professional lives. Those facing these charges should acquire the guidance of an experienced legal professional