Technology made child pornography more pervasive. The age of computers and internet has led to a sky rocketing number of crimes involving child pornography. The type of persons who commit this offense often do not have any criminal history that involves the sexual abuse or exploitation of children, nor do they have any prior felony. Access to child pornography can be accessed from the privacy of ones home computer over the internet. Gone are the days when producing and distributing these kinds of images was difficult and expensive. Anonymous distribution was not possible. Now, distribution of images and digitize movies cans be reproduced and disseminated to tens of thousands of individuals at the click of a button. The technological ease, lack of expense and anonymity in obtaining and distributing child pornography has resulted in an explosion in the volume of child pornography.
The proliferation of child pornography and the use of computers as means of illegal and illicit sexual conduct have been met by strong law enforcement effort in Miami and Florida, as well as across the country. Law enforcement at the local, state, and federal, levels has made this a law enforcement priority.
At the federal level Child pornography and sexual predators of minors is investigated by several law enforcement agencies including the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Department of Homeland Security, Customs and Immigration Enforcement (ICE).
Possession and distribution of child pornography carries a heavy penalty under Federal law and is addressed in Title 18 §2251 et. seq. The penalties can range from a minimum mandatory sentence of five years under Title 18 U.S.C §2252 to a sentence of more than 20 years according to the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, depending upon the number of images, the type of images, and the circumstances of the offense. The consequences may also lead to mandatory sexual offender registration. Contact Miami attorney Ken Swartz if you or a loved one has been accused of possessing or distributing child pornography.
While the penalties are harsh, there are many arguments that can be made for lower sentence based on mitigating circumstances. Cases decided by the United States Supreme Court in United States v. Booker, Kimbrough v. United States, and Gall v. United States have opened the door to sentence variances below the sentencing guidelines. Federal sentencing courts can now sentence below the harsh guidelines which had been enacted by the Sentencing Commission pursuant to an earlier misconception that these guidelines would be applied to sexual predators and exploitation of children. Most child pornography cases prosecuted in federal court do not involve persons who are involved in reprehensible conduct such as molestation, rapist, or sexual predators. These cases will more often involve a law abiding citizen, a respectable member of a community with a family and a career, who makes the mistake of exchanging these images on the internet. A psychosexual evaluation conducted by a licensed clinical psychologist can present a thorough analysis of the underlying problems that led to this conduct and can recommend the strategies and therapies which can be employed to prevent future conduct.
The Florida Swartz Law Firm has extensive experience representing persons charged with serious offenses involving child pornography and other offenses involving sexual offenses.