Accusations related to child pornography should be taken very seriously, even if it seems like a simple mistake or misunderstanding. Minimizing the reality of these charges is one common misstep parents make when it is their own child faced with child pornography charges.

Think about this: Young people all across Florida have cellphones, iPads and Internet access at the touch of a button. They take selfies and document any seemingly-important event in their lives. It does not take much effort for a young person to upload these images or send to a friend without giving it a second thought.

However, depending on the content of the images or messages, a minor could end up facing criminal charges related to child pornography. 

For example, if a teen takes a picture of him or herself that could be considered explicit, he or she could be charged with possession of child pornography. If that young person takes an explicit picture and sends it to a friend, boyfriend or girlfriend, it could result in charges of distribution of child pornography. The recipient of the image could also face charges.

Considering the fact that child pornography is currently defined by federal law as “any visual depiction of sexually explicit conduct involving a minor,” illicit selfies could fall into this category and be grounds for serious charges.

Even if the person facing charges is a minor and had no awareness that his or her actions were unlawful, the legal road ahead will likely be very bumpy. Defending a young person against the long-term and potentially severe consequences of a criminal conviction can be essential in protecting his or her future.

Current child pornography laws may not yet reflect the cultural and technological changes that are happening so quickly these days, but that does not mean we can ignore them or assume they will not apply. This is why it can be important to speak with an attorney if your child is facing charges related to child pornography.