News4Jax.com recently reported the case of a Fort White man who pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Jacksonville to a charge of possessing images and videos of child pornography.
Child pornography charges in Jacksonville typically are handled by federal prosecutors rather than state prosecutors. That’s because Internet crimes are typically committed state-to-state and the number of images can affect the jurisdiction. But that doesn’t mean a defendant couldn’t face state charges.
Regardless of what court the person will be dragged into, the charges are serious and can be punishable by years in prison. That’s why immediately contacting a Jacksonville Child Pornography Defense Attorney should be the defendant’s first step. If investigated by law enforcement, things will move quickly; police will interrogate you, seek to confiscate your computers and want to search your home. You should refuse them access to your possessions and contact an attorney.
In this case, a 26-year-old man from Fort White recently pleaded guilty to possessing child pornography in federal court in Jacksonville. According to the news report, the man faces up to 10 years in prison, a $250,000 fine and a possible life term of supervised release.
According to the news station, an FBI agent in Oklahoma was conducting a child pornography investigation and identified a host computer whose Internet service provider led to the Fort White home. In 2009, agents executed a search warrant at the man’s home.
The man admitted to collecting child pornography for about a year, according to court documents. Agents found 25 videos and 273 images containing child pornography inside his house and on his computer.
As noted above, a defendant charged with having, making or sending child pornography can be charged either by state prosecutors or federal prosecutors. Under Florida Statute 847.0137, sending child pornography is a third-degree felony, punishable by up to five years in prison.
But under U.S. Code Tittle 18, Chapter 110, child pornography charges are much more extensive. Penalties range and can depend on the number of images, the conduct of the defendant and the defendant’s criminal history record.
The two systems vary in how they punish convicts. In the state system, penalties are added together based on the number of charges and judges have the discretion to sentence as they wish, within the guidelines of the possible sentence. In the federal system, there is a possible range of imprisonment, based on many factors, including the penalties, the criminal history record, how forthcoming the defendant was, if they provided information about other defendants for other prosecutions and other factors. The judge then must sentence within the range of months or years, unless they have a legal reason to go lower or higher.
The charges can be beaten in either system, but it requires hiring an experienced Jacksonville Criminal Defense Lawyer to fight the allegations. Proving who was using a computer if there are several people living in the house and showing that images were planted through file-sharing web sites, are two possible defenses. Our firm works with clients to present the best possible defense and seek the best resolution in their cases.
The Forbess Law Firm has been helping clients facing criminal charges in Jacksonville for more than a decade and are here to provide constitutionally guaranteed criminal defense to anyone accused of a crime. If you or a loved one require a Jacksonville criminal defense lawyer, contact our firm today through our website. Or call us at 904-634-0900.