A Miami Child Pornography Attorney Will Protect Your Rights
Child pornography is a serious crime that can lead to life-long negative consequences. From photos to videos depicting minors committing sexual acts to actively participating in the production of sexual materials involving minors, child pornography convictions are treated very seriously and often result in maximum criminal penalties.
Whittel & Melton has represented adults and juveniles accused of sex crimes for decades. Our legal team is available to review the circumstances surrounding your case to reduce or eliminate the charges against you.
Types of Child Pornography Charges
In Miami, child pornography can include a wide range of incidents, from the possession of a video depicting a child engaging in sexual acts to the distribution of photos that include a minor in a sexual nature. Child pornography charges include:
- Possessioning or receiving child pornography
- Distribution or transmission of child pornography
- Solicitation of a minor to engage in pornography
- Active participation in the creation of pornographic materials involving a minor
Oftentimes, charges for the distribution or transmission of child pornography are substantial. An individual who has committed any of the below actions can be charged with the distribution or transmission of child pornography:
- Distribution of images or videos involving minors engaging in sexual acts
- Sending images or videos in which a minor in depicted in a sexually provocative manner
- Advertising visuals of a child performing sexual acts
- The accused knew what the visual representation of the child was and still distributed it
Can I Be Convicted of Child Pornography in Miami?
An accusation of child pornography can lead to a conviction if certain elements are present in the case.
- The alleged offender knowingly possessed materials that featured a minor (child 18 years of age or younger) in a compromised situation
- The materials feature a minor (child 18 years of age or younger) engaging in sexual activities
- The alleged offender was aware that the materials in their possession featured a minor (child 18 years of age or younger) committing sexual acts
Penalties for Distribution or Transmission of Child Pornography Charges
Being convicted of transmitting or distributing child pornography can lead to a variety of penalties, depending on the severity of the offense and the age of the minor in question. Below are some of the penalties that can be incurred if the accused is found guilty of transmitting or distributing child porn:
- Up to 15 years in prison
- Fine up to $5000
- Mandatory registration as a sex offender
Know What to Expect if You’re Under Investigation for Child Pornography Charges
From the initial investigation to your opportunity to “tell your side of the story,” every stage in a child pornography case is critical.
Incident Report to Law Enforcement
Law enforcement can receive a report of child pornography through various channels. Florida Statute §39.201(1)(a), requires that any person who has reasonable cause to suspect a crime against a child must report it. Failure to report child abuse is a third-degree felony.
Child pornography reports also take place at the federal level. U.S. Law 18 USC §2258A requires Internet Service Providers to report child pornography to the National Center of Missing or Exploited Children (NCMEC).
Miami Child Pornography Attorney Explains the Initial Investigation
An investigation begins as soon as authorities receive a report of child pornography. During the initial investigation law enforcement will:
- Interview the complainant
- Interview the victim and gather any additional information (often with the help of child social services)
- Speak with witnesses
The evidence collected during the initial investigation will determine if the case moves forward.
Police Will Ask for “Your Side of the Story”
If there is enough evidence found in the initial investigation, authorities may contact you. It’s important to remember that you aren’t obligated to answer any questions. The purpose of the contact is to collect evidence; it’s not an opportunity to defend yourself. It’s strongly recommended you consult an attorney before you make a statement, even if you are innocent.
Charges Filed and a Warrant Issued for Your Arrest
It can take months for authorities to conclude a child pornography investigation. The prosecuting attorney will only issue a warrant if the investigation provides enough evidence. Don’t wait until there is a warrant for your arrest to speak to an attorney.
When It’s Time to Reach Out to a Miami Child Pornography Attorney
As soon as you are aware that you are under investigation for child pornography, it’s time to reach out to a Miami child pornography attorney. Innocent or guilty, speaking to law enforcement is an unnecessary risk. As soon as an investigator approaches you with questions:
- You do not have rights against “self-incrimination.”
- Remember, you have the right to remain silent.
- The case will not just go away if you state you are innocent
In most cases, there is already evidence against you by the time law enforcement reaches out to speak with you. Child pornography cases often involve undercover sting operations.
While you may want to tell your side of the story, saying the wrong thing to the wrong person can have disastrous consequences. As soon as you are aware of a pending investigation, contact a lawyer and start building your defense.
Possible Defenses for Child Pornography Charges
Child pornography charges are among the most serious sex crime offenses in Miami and throughout Florida. While child pornography is a serious criminal offense, there are times when the alleged offender didn’t knowingly possess child pornography. In these instances the accused could have:
- Inadvertently visited a website or opened a webpage that contained pornographic materials involving minors when it was not their intention to view such materials.
- Been told the child in question was older, or he or she claimed to be older.
- Lent their phone or computer to another person who committed the offense without their knowledge.
At Whittel & Melton, our experienced sex crime attorneys provide aggressive legal counsel for individuals accused of distributing or transmitting child pornography. Those who are convicted can face severe penalties, including imprisonment, fines, and mandatory registration as a sex offender.
Contest Your Charges, Contact a Miami Child Pornography Attorney Today
If you or someone you know has been accused of a child pornography offense, contact Whittel & Melton immediately. Our attorneys work tirelessly to fight these charges head-on. We have handled these cases and similar serious charges throughout the state, including criminal court in Miami, Tampa, Orlando, Jacksonville, Ocala, Gainesville, West Palm Beach, Boca Raton and Ft Lauderdale. Contact us online or call (866) 608-5529 for a free evaluation with a Miami child pornography attorney.