The knowledgeable attorneys at Blake & Dorsten, P.A. represent Florida residents who have been charged with a wide array of offenses, including those related to child pornography. Sex crimes are serious matters that should be addressed directly and comprehensively. Our sex crime attorneys are former state prosecutors who draw on that experience to help clients build strong defenses to the charges against them. A person charged with a crime in Florida has the right to a vigorous defense. Our St. Petersburg child pornography lawyers work aggressively to get charges dropped or reduced whenever possible while standing ready to make a client’s case to a judge or jury when needed.
The term “child pornography” refers to any image depicting a person under the age of 18 engaging in sexual conduct. This includes photos or videos of minors engaging in sexual intercourse, as well as various other forms of contact. Possessing, transmitting, or distributing child pornography is a crime. These offenses are typically considered third-degree felonies, punishable by up to $5,000 in fines and five years in prison. For habitual offenders with previous child pornography convictions, the jail time may increase to 10 or 15 years. The actual filming or production of child pornography is a second-degree felony, punishable as a first offense by $10,000 in fines and 15 years behind bars.
This is not to mention the stigma that comes with being a convicted sex offender. The authorities require people convicted of child pornography charges to register with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. Their photos and addresses are also posted on a sex offender registry, which can be viewed at any time by friends, family, and co-workers. Any criminal record can make it hard to find and keep a job. Sex offender status makes pursuing a career even more difficult. This is why hiring a child pornography attorney in the St. Petersburg area is a critical step to take if you are facing charges.Defenses in Child Pornography Cases
If you have been charged with a crime in Florida, it is important that you understand that the burden is at all times on prosecutors to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you committed the crime with which you have been charged. Showing that you might have committed the crime is not enough. Prosecutors need to put forward enough evidence to overwhelmingly prove your guilt with regard to every element of the offense.
Many child pornography offenses require proof that the person charged committed the crime knowingly or intentionally. It is tough for anyone to get inside another person’s head, so prosecutors usually rely on statements from the person accused and witnesses to help show knowledge or intent. They also often rely on circumstantial evidence to show that the person reasonably could not have been unaware that they were making, possessing, or otherwise involved in child pornography. Still, the law requires that law enforcement prove that the situation was more than a mere mistake.
Search and seizure laws also often come into play in child pornography cases. Police officers generally must have either a reasonable suspicion or probable cause - depending on the circumstances - to perform a search without a warrant. If the police fail to play by those rules, any evidence that they obtain during the search of a person or their car or home is likely to be kept out of court.Hire a Child Pornography Lawyer in St. Petersburg to Fight for Your Rights
At Blake & Dorsten, P.A., we understand the legal issues that often come up in child pornography and other sex crime cases. We know how prosecutors often approach these cases, and we have a keen sense for how judges and juries look at them. If you or a loved one has been charged with a sex crime in Florida, our St. Petersburg child pornography attorneys are ready to help. We also serve clients who need a sexual assault lawyer or assistance in fighting other sex crime charges in cities such as Tampa, Sarasota, Brandon, and Bradenton, as well as other areas of Hillsborough, Pasco, Pinellas, Manatee, and Sarasota Counties. Call us at (727) 286-6141 or contact us online to make an appointment to discuss your case with an attorney.