The Extensive Consequences of Child Pornography Possession Charges in Florida
Possession of child pornography charges have far reaching consequences for a defendant. Aside from the general stress that comes along with facing any criminal charge, a child pornography suspect may also deal with repercussions to his or her reputation, family life and professional career.
Two separate cases made the Florida newspapers last week, regarding the possession of child pornography by two Miami firefighters. According to New York Daily News, one firefighter was arrested for allegedly sharing inappropriate pictures of underage girls via Twitter. The investigation began when the social media site flagged some of his pictures, based on suspicions of child pornography. After receiving copies of the photos, The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children determined that several of the girls in the picture were minor subjects, who subjects of ongoing pornography investigations. Twitter then conducted a search of the suspect’s entire account, which resulted in 16 charges of promoting the sexual performance of a minor. According to a report by Florida news channel, WPLG, another firefighter entered a not guilty plea to federal child pornography charges this week, stemming from accusations that he downloaded hundreds of child pornographic files on his work computer.
The prevalence of these stories in the news exemplifies the level of scrutiny that accompanies a possession of child pornography charge. Even before the cases have been concluded, the reputations of these suspects are being significantly damaged. The firefighter in the Twitter case is a father and served in the Miami-Dade fire department for 17 years. He has been placed on administrative leave until the case is concluded. He was reportedly a member of the Public Education Unit, where he participated in safety presentations for area schools. According to the New York Daily News report, the defendant asserts that he did not know the photo subjects were underage. The judge granted bail in the amount of $160,000. The firefighter who pleaded not guilty was denied any bail. Shortly after the charges were filed, the fire department terminated his position, after six years of service.
Florida Child Pornography Possession Laws
Child pornography charges are often classified as federal crimes and prosecuted in federal court. Convictions carry extensive prison sentences and significant fines. Depending on the charge, a conviction may also require a defendant to register as a sex offender indefinitely. So, the character and reputation ramifications can last a lifetime when child pornography possession charges are filed. In Florida, possession of child pornography can be prosecuted as a class three felony. Possession charges can include the viewing of photographs, videos or computer images involving minors engaging in sexual acts. In order to secure a conviction, the prosecution must prove that the defendant viewed the material voluntarily and knowingly. The state must also demonstrate that more than one image was viewed or possessed during a specified period of time. There are defenses to possession of child pornography allegations and a defendant would be well served to secure the services of an experienced Miami child pornography lawyer as soon as possible.
If you or a loved one has been accused of child pornography possession, contact the Miami based firm of Ratzan & Faccidomo, LLC at 305-600-3519 for a confidential and free consultation. With a strong commitment to every client, they can provide you with the aggressive and comprehensive defense you need.