Enhanced Child Pornography Penalties
Any offense involving the possession, transmission, distribution or manufacture of child pornography is incredibly serious. Additionally, Florida law provides for enhanced child pornography penalties in certain situations. When an enhancement applies, the underlying offense is automatically “reclassified” to the next higher degree. These enhancements can turn a third-degree felony into a second-degree felony or a second-degree felony into a first-degree felony and significantly increase your exposure.
At the Mayberry Law Firm, our Tampa Bay criminal defense attorney has been aggressively representing individuals charged with serious sex crimes, including child pornography possession and distribution, for more than 15 years. Over this time, he’s developed a reputation for being an honest, dedicated advocate, which has earned him the trust of both judges and prosecutors. Attorney Mayberry leverages these relationships to negotiate favorable plea agreements for those clients who are interested. However, as an experienced trial lawyer, Attorney Mayberry is equally comfortably litigating cases in front of judges and juries where a non-trial resolution is not in his client’s best interests.Child Pornography Penalties
All Florida child pornography crimes are felony offenses. Generally, possession of child pornography is a felony of the third degree and promoting child pornography is a felony of the second degree. However, in some instances involving ten or more images, the judge must “reclassify” a child pornography offense. In this context, reclassification means turning a third-degree felony into a second-degree felony or a second-degree felony into a first-degree felony.When Do Enhanced Child Pornography Penalties Apply?
Under Florida Statutes § 775.0847, a child pornography offense is reclassified to the next higher degree if the defendant possesses ten or more images of child pornography and one or more of the following applies:
- An image depicts a child under five years old;
- An image contains sadomasochistic abuse of a child;
- An image shows the sexual battery of a child;
- An image involves bestiality; or
- The content is an actual or computer-generated motion picture, film, or video.
For the enhanced child pornography penalties to apply, only one of the ten images must contain any of the above.
The impact of an enhanced penalty cannot be overstated. For example, possession of child pornography is typically punishable by up to five years in jail. However, if the offense is reclassified under § 775.0847, it becomes a second-degree felony with a maximum prison term of 15 years.Which Sex Offenses Are Subject to an Enhanced Penalty?
Section 775.0847 applies to the following offenses:
- Use of a Child in a Sexual Performance (§ 827.071(2))
- Promoting a Sexual Performance by a Child (§ 827.071(3))
- Possession with the Intent to Promote Child Pornography (§ 827.071(4))
- Possession of Child Pornography (§ 827.071(5)(a))
- Transmission of Child Pornography by Electronic Device (§ 847.0137)
- Transmission of Material Harmful to a Minor (§ 847.0138)
In addition to these child-pornography-related offenses, § 775.0847 also applies to other sex offenses, including online solicitation of a minor under § 847.0135(3) and traveling to meet a minor under § 847.0135(4).Are You Facing Enhanced Child Pornography Charges?
If you were recently arrested and charged with one or more child pornography offenses, it is essential you understand what is at stake and what you can do to mitigate your exposure. At the Mayberry Law Firm, Attorney Jason Mayberry takes a comprehensive and holistic approach to every case he handles, always looking for the best possible result for his client. Whether it’s negotiating with prosecutors to drop certain charges, litigating pre-trial motions to prevent harmful evidence from coming into trial, or arguing your case in front of the jury, Attorney Mayberry has what it takes to get you the result you are looking for. To learn more and to schedule a free consultation with a Tampa criminal defense attorney today, call 813-444-7435. You can also reach us through our online contact form.