Is it true there is Criminal Immunity for Reporting Child Porn in Florida?: Fort Lauderdale Criminal Defense Attorney explains 

A child is looking online on her cell phone, chatting with people who are trying to get her to send them child pornography - which is illegal in Florida and nationwideIn the State of Florida there is  Criminal Immunity for Reporting Child Pornography. This is important to know, as it is imperative that you report child pornography if you inadvertently receive or come across it. If you don’t report the child pornography you come in contact with, there is a chance that later down the line you could face criminal charges in Florida for possessing child pornography - even if you never meant to

 

What’s classified as Child Pornography in Florida?

According to the Department of Justice, “child pornography” is described as a “form of sexual exploration.” It involves visual depictions of minors (a person under the age of 18) involved in sexually explicit conduct. Images of these depictions are referred to as “child sexual abuse images.” 

 

Child pornography in Florida is considred a sexual exploitation of a child and children who are involved in the production of any images resulting in child pornography are victims of sexual abuse. People who distribute, supply, offer or otherwise “deal” in or with child pornography are in violation of Florida’s laws agains possessing child pornography. Offenders who deal with child porn in Florida or nationwide can also connect with others through online forums and networks. 

 

Child pornography is readily available in South Florida online and can be found in virtually every Internet outlet such as social networking sites, file-sharing sites, photo-sharing sites, gaming devices, and even mobile apps

 

According to the U.S. Department of Justice, the methods used by those dealing in or soliciting any form of child pornography have become increasingly sophisticated in an attempt to try to evade law enforcement detection. This may include encryption techniques and anonymous networks such as what’s commonly known as “The Dark Web” or the dark internet. 

 

With the expanision of the Internet and the visability of images published online, children who become victims of child pornography are also victims of sexual abuse who are forced to live with constant victimization due to the permanence of and distribution of the images, videos and media. 

 

The Department of Justice states, “no area of the United States or country in the world is immune from individuals who seek to sexually exploit children through child pornography.” This makes it increasingly important to report instances of suspected child pornography. 

 

In the State of Florida: Criminal Immunity for Reporting Child Pornography

Under Florida Law, anyone who reports child porn is immune from prosecution.

 

Any person who reports to law enforcement what they reasonably believe to be child pornography, transmission o f child pornography or any image, information or data that that is harmful to minors in the state of Florida may not be not be held civilly liable for such reporting. 

 

Therefore, if someone reports child pornography that they stumbled into on the internet, they will not be criminally charged with a crime such as possession of child pornography. Reporting child pornography, under this Florida Law, includes providing law enforcement with any image, information, or data that the individual believes is evidence of child porn, transmission of it, or that they believe is harmful to minors or a minor in the state of Florida. 

 

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement also distinguishes “Child Erotica” from Child Pornography. According to FDLE, child erotica (nude or partially nude children not posed in a way that is sexual) is not illegal. 

 

How do I Report Child Pornography in Florida?

FDLE suggests if you receive child pornography in an email or a text message or in anyway, to not download, print, or share it. They say to leave the email in your inbox and contact your local law enforcement authorities.

 

Similarly, if you come across a website with images of child pornography, you are advised NOT to download images for any reason - you should write down the website address and leave the site, then contact your local authorities. 

 

What is Considered Mandatory Reporting when it comes to Child Pornography in Florida?

Mandatory reporting laws relating to the reporting of child abuse, child neglect and child sexual abuse differ by state. 

 

In the state of Florida, certain individuals who report instances of child abuse, abandonment and neglect are considered mandatory reporters and must provide their names to staff members of the central abuse hotline. 

 

These individuals include:

  1. Physician, osteopathic physician, medical examiner, chiropractic physician, nurse, or hospital personnel engaged in the admission, examination, care, or treatment of persons;
  2. Health or mental health professional 
  3. Spiritual healing practitioners
  4. School teacher or other school official or personnel
  5. Social worker, day care center worker, or other professional child care, foster care, residential, or institutional worker 
  6. Law enforcement officer
  7. Judge
 

*If you know of anyone in possession of child pornography or have come across images or video of child pornography, please contact local law enforcement (click for a list of police departments statewide).

 

If you have any questions, please contact one of our three offices:

We have a team of experienced, award-winning criminal defense attorneys who can fight to defend your rights and your future. We offer free consulations - give us a call to schedule yours today.

HOW WE WIN CHILD PORN & SEX CRIME CASES IN SOUTH FLORIDA