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Using Minors in the Production of Prohibited Materials

Tampa Lawyers Aiding People Charged With Child Pornography Crimes

Many people accused of child pornography crimes are not responsible for the actual harm suffered by the minor victims. In other words, a person charged with possessing or transmitting child pornography often will have no interaction with the child depicted in the images in question. Some people are accused of being directly involved in creating child pornography, though, such as those charged with using minors in the production of prohibited materials. Convictions for child pornography crimes can result in permanent harm to a person’s rights and their reputation, and it is smart for anyone accused of such offenses to meet with an attorney. The aggressive Tampa child pornography defense lawyers of Hanlon Law are skilled at helping people charged with sex crimes fight to protect their rights, and if you hire us, we will work diligently on your behalf. We frequently assist parties charged with Florida child pornography offenses and other crimes in Tampa and cities throughout Florida.

Using Minors in the Production of Prohibited Materials

Florida Statute 847.012 dictates that an individual may not knowingly use a minor in the production of materials that are harmful to minors. This includes any photograph, picture, drawing, movie, sculpture, or image of visual representation of a person or a part of the human body showing sexual conduct or excitement, nudity, sexual battery, bestiality, or sadomasochistic abuse. Materials harmful to minors also include any magazine, book, pamphlet, printed materials, or sound recordings that contain any such matter or detailed and explicit descriptions of sexual excitement or conduct. A violation of Florida Statute 847.012 is a third degree felony punishable by fines of up to $5,000 and a prison sentence of up to five years.

Defending Against Charges of Using Minors in the Production of Prohibited Materials

Florida Statute 847.012 specifically provides that certain defenses are unavailable to people charged with using minors in the production of prohibited materials. Specifically, a person cannot argue that a minor consented to the acts in question or that they misrepresented their age to the defendant or another party. It is also not a defense that the defendant either did not know the minor’s age or held a bona fide belief regarding their age.

The statutory removal of certain defenses does not mean that no defenses are available, though, or that the prosecution will automatically be able to convict the defendant. In other words, the prosecution must still prove each element of the crime in question in order to obtain a conviction. In many instances, the prosecution may lack sufficient evidence to do so. For example, if the prosecution cannot establish the date when the materials in question were produced, it may not be able to show that the person depicted was actually a minor at the time. In some cases, the defendant may be able to argue that the items produced do not fall under the umbrella of prohibited materials. For example, if whether they show sexual activity is open to interpretation, the state may not be able to establish they are prohibited.

Mistakes made during the investigation process, such as the failure to advise the defendant of their Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination or the Sixth Amendment right to counsel, and violations of the Fourth Amendment right against unreasonable search and seizure, could render some or all of the state’s evidence inadmissible.

Contact a Dedicated Tampa Criminal Defense Attorney

Defending against a production of child pornography charge can be challenging, but there are many steps between a charge and a conviction, and the prosecution does not always have enough evidence to obtain a guilty verdict. If you are faced with charges that you committed a child pornography crime, it is smart to contact an attorney to assess your options for pursuing a favorable outcome. At Hanlon Law, our dedicated Tampa criminal defense attorneys can advise you of your rights and aid you in seeking the best legal result available under the facts of your case. We have an office in Tampa, and we also have offices in Clearwater, St. Petersburg, Sarasota, and Bradenton. You can reach us by calling us at 813.228.7095 or using our form online to set up a free and confidential meeting.