Criminal Defense

Tampa Child Pornography Lawyer

Sex offense allegations can ruin your life, but child pornography charges carry a unique stigma. If you’ve been accused of possession, promotion, or creation of child pornography in Tampa, you need to take it seriously from day one. Working with an experienced Tampa child pornography attorney may be the difference between time behind bars, sex offender registration, and life-long damage.

It is nearly impossible to defend yourself in a sex crimes case and you should never try to explain away the charges without a lawyer. Contacting a defense attorney is critical to protecting your rights and getting a favorable result, like avoiding formal charges, seeing the case dismissed, or negotiating the best possible outcome.

Contact Brett Metcalf, Criminal Defense Attorney, P.A at (813) 258-4800 or contact us online for a free and confidential consult.

What is Child Pornography?

Child pornography is also called sexual performance of a child under Florida Statute 827.071. Charges include any type of medium, like photos, movies, a computer depiction, data, or visual representation that depicts, whether actual or simulated, the performance of sexual acts by or on a minor.

Possession Charges

Possession of child pornography is knowingly possessing, controlling, or intentionally viewing content that contains sexual conduct of a child.

Promotion Charges

Promotion of the performance of a child, or possession with the intent to promote, typically refers to sharing or distributing child pornography. Promotion can be in intent or in deed. Therefore, if you produce, direct, or promote a performance that includes sexual conduct by a child, this can also be considered promotion of child pornography.

In addition, possession of three or more copies of material is prima facie for intent to promote. This is significant with digital files, which can contain numerous separate images.

Creation Charges

Creation of child pornography involves employing, authorizing, or inducing a minor to engage in sexual performance. You may also be charged with creating child porn if you use your authority as a parent, legal guardian, or custodian to facilitate their involvement.

What if You’ve Been Charged with Child Pornography in Tampa

Most child pornography charges occur as a result of a sting. If you have been charged with child pornography, the most important thing you can do is remain silent. If you are arrested, comply with police instructions and ask for a lawyer. Do not answer questions beyond routine booking questions.

People often make their cases worse by trying to explain these misunderstandings themselves, like how material may have gotten on their computer. Remember, the police are permitted to lie to you and anything can be used against you later.

If you are brought in for a custodial interrogation, ask for a lawyer and refuse to answer questions. You have a constitutional right to have representation present at any police interrogations.

Child Pornography Penalties

The penalties for a child pornography conviction are harsh, and you will be required to register on the sex offender registry.

Your sentence will vary depending on the exact circumstance of your charges. It’s important to keep in mind that you can be charged for each item, each child featured, and for possession, promotion, or creation at the same time.

Florida Statute 827.071 defines child pornography in more detail, but you may face the following:

  • Possession of child pornography is a 3rd degree felony – up to five years in prison, five years on probation, and a $5,000 fine per possession count.
  • Promotion of child pornography is a 2nd degree felony – up to fifteen years in prison, fifteen years on probation, and a $10,000 fine per count of promotion or intent to promote.
  • Creation of child pornography is a 2nd degree felony – up to fifteen years in prison, fifteen years on probation, and a $10,000 fine per count of creation.

Possible Defenses

Child pornography charges often involve objective electronic evidence. But IP addresses and computer records are not foolproof. We regularly work with forensic experts who can review your hard drives, media files, and digital fingerprints to assist in scrutinizing the prosecution’s evidence against you.

We also work with mental health experts who conduct risk assessments. An psychosexual evaluation showing that you are not a risk to reoffend can help persuade the prosecutor and the judge that you are capable of successfully completing probation, as an alternative to incarceration.

Your attorney may wish to discuss the following:

  • Lack of possession: if you did not possess or did not intend to download child pornography, lack of possession may be the key to your defense. Defendants who had child pornography on their computers may have been the victim of a virus or purchased a tainted hard drive.
  • False accusation: it is possible that your accuser lied to the police about your involvement.
    Mistaken identity: A victim or witness may have mistaken you for the real offender.
  • Insanity: Insanity pleas are rarely successful, but your attorney may be able to show that you or a loved one did not understand the consequences due to a mental defect or disease.

Contact Brett Metcalf, Criminal Defense Attorney, P.A.

If you’ve been charged with child pornography in Hillsborough County, you need an experienced and aggressive defense attorney. As a former prosecutor, attorney Brett Metcalf understands how the state handles child porn cases and where to look for weaknesses. With a history of getting favorable results for his defense clients, he knows what it takes to secure the best possible outcome, whether that’s a plea, reduced sentence, an acquittal, or a dismissal before real harm is done.

We’re available 24/7 to help. Call (813) 258-4800 or contact us online for a free and confidential consultation.