Child Pornography Laws in Florida

By Lowry Law Firm | Posted on June 5, 2015

A previous blog post described Florida’s laws against contributing to the delinquency or dependency of a child. This blog post deals with a different type of sex offense involving minors – Florida laws regarding the possession and transmission of child pornography. (Transmission of child pornography is sometimes referred to as “distribution of child pornography.”)

Possession

Florida Statute 827.071(5) deals with possession of child pornography. It states, “It is unlawful for any person to knowingly possess, control, or intentionally view a photograph, motion picture, exhibition, show, representation, image, data, computer depiction or other presentation which, in whole or in part, he or she knows to include any sexual conduct by a child.”

The statute also declares that each photograph (or motion picture, exhibition, show, image, data, computer depiction, representation or presentation) that someone controls, possesses, or intentionally views is considered a separate offense. This means that if, for example, someone owns a hundred different photographs that constitute child pornography, then that person can be charged with one hundred counts of possession of child pornography.

It also states that if a photograph (or motion picture, exhibition, show, representation, image, data, computer depiction or other presentation) depicts sexual conduct by more than one child, then each child who is featured in the pornography will establish a separate offense.

In Florida, a third degree felony can result in a fine of up to $5,000, and up to five years in prison. Which means that two counts could result in a 10-year prison sentence, three counts could result in a 15-year prison sentence, and so on.

Transmission

Florida Statute 847.0137 states, “Any person who knew or should have known that he or she was transmitting child pornography…to another person in this state or in another jurisdiction commits a felony of the third degree.” Under the statute, it is also a third degree felony if someone outside of Florida transmits child pornography to someone in Florida, so long as he or she knew, or should have known, that he or she was transmitting child pornography.

The statute goes on to say, “This section shall not be construed to prohibit prosecution of a person in this state or another jurisdiction for a violation of any law of this state, including a law providing for greater penalties than prescribed in this section, for the transmission of child pornography…to any person in this state.” This means that someone who distributed child pornography may also be charged under other Florida statutes.

If You’ve Been Charged with a Child Pornography Offense

Being convicted of a sex offense can have dire consequences for your life, going beyond prison time. With a skilled attorney on your side, you may be able to avoid spending the rest of your life as a registered sex offender. Fort Lauderdale criminal defense attorney Mark S. Lowry can help determine what defense is most likely to be effective in your case. You can call or email the office today to schedule a consultation.