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What You Need To Know About Child Pornography Laws In Florida

Possessing or producing child pornography is a quite serious offense in Florida. As with all other jurisdictions in the United States, involvement in child pornography in Florida is penalized by significant fines and prison time. The following is what you need to know if you ever find yourself facing charges of child pornography in Florida.

Basics

In Florida, producing visual materials that depict children in sexual situations is prohibited. So too is possessing such material and promoting it as well. The elements of the crime, which is known specifically as “sexual performance by a child” in Florida’s statutes are for a person

  • knowing the character and content of the performance,
  • he or she employs, authorizes, or induces a child less than 18 years of age to engage in a sexual performance or,
  • being a parent, legal guardian, or custodian of such child, consents to the participation by such child in a sexual performance.

Meanwhile, promoting a sexual performance by a child is also prohibited. A person is guilty of this crime if

  • knowing the character and content of the performance,
  • he or she produces, directs, or promotes any performance which includes sexual conduct by a child less than 18 years of age.

Finally, possession of child pornography is illegal if the defendant knowingly possesses, controls, or intentionally views a depiction of it, whether it be a full performance or only a part of it.

Multiple Counts

Florida law provides that each photo or other media that depicts child pornography is a separate count. Also, if a photo or media depicts more than one child, each child in the depiction is a separate count of child pornography.

Simulation

Although the depiction of child pornography may be a simulation and not carried out by living human beings in real life, Florida law prohibits producing, promoting, or owning such depictions as well.

Penalties

Florida law makes any crime involving child pornography a felony. Producing and promoting child pornography is a second degree felony, punishable by up to 15 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000. Meanwhile, possessing child pornography in Florida is a third degree felony, which is punishable by a prison sentence of up to 5 years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000.

In addition, a conviction of child pornography often requires registering with the state of Florida as a sex offender and appearing on its sex offender database.

Defenses

The defense most often employed against a charge of child pornography is that of entrapment. A defendant who is claiming entrapment must show that he or she had no previous predisposition to commit the crime of child pornography.

In addition, child pornography possessed by law enforcement as part of an investigation is specifically exempted by Florida statute.

However, arguing that the defendant did not know that the media included child pornography or if the defendant made a mistake in good faith about the participation of the child in the performance is not a valid defense to a child pornography charge in the state of Florida.

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