Just this week, there were arrests in Polk County, Lee County and several other counties in Florida where men were charged with possession of child pornography and distribution of child pornography. These types of cases are on the rise because of new technology in the hands of law enforcement. People continue to use peer to peer software to view kiddie porn and in doing so, unwittingly allow police to come into their computer without a search warrant.
When a child porn image is transmitted over the Internet, it is identified and reported to law enforcement by NCMEC. All child porn video or still images have an identifiable “hash value”. That is the same as a fingerprint. In Sarasota County, and elsewhere, detectives are assigned to identify the location where images are sent. They get a report from NCMEC showing the date and time of the transmission. They then identify the IP address and proceed to get a search warrant. It is like shooting fish in a barrel for the police. Sarasota County leads the state in these types of cases. In Sarasota County, the State Attorney has chosen to take an incredibly hard-line approach and in almost every instance charges 40-second degree felonies, running the guidelines to the point that most defendants face twenty years to life in prison.
In Sarasota County, most child pornography defendants face more time for looking at a video than committing a homicide. Viewing child pornography is a treatable illness and sending someone to State prison for life is inhumane and constitutes cruel and unusual punishment. In Sarasota, the prosecutors simply do not care.
The best way to not get arrested is to not commit the crime. If somehow, you find yourself looking at this stuff, seek professional psychotherapy as soon as possible. Viewing pornography and particularly child pornography can be addictive. If you look at this material, you need professional mental health treatment before it is too late and you find yourself arrested and facing life in prison. As a sex crime lawyer, over and over I see men getting arrested for child pornography as a result of what appears to be an Internet addiction. Yes, you can get addicted to the Internet. Yes, you can get addicted to viewing child pornography. Get help immediately.
Most lawyers do not charge for an initial confidential consultation. I can give you the names of several good psychologists and doctors that specialize in treating this addiction.
It is only a matter of time until you are caught. Deleting it from your computer does not delete the fact that as you are looking at it, the police are secretly extracting it from your computer. As you are receiving it, the police are downloading it from your computer and getting a warrant. They have a law enforcement version of BitTorrent and Emule that hacks your computer and downloads images whether you are sitting at your computer or not. The simple answer is, stop looking at this stuff. If you have a child pornography addiction, get help before it is too late.