Child Pornography Lawyer
Child pornography is viewed as one of the worst crimes in the United States. It is particularly heinous due to its nature and with children as the victims and carries a zero tolerance policy. The creation of child pornography, possessing it and distributing it are all charged as a sex crime that can be prosecuted under both state and federal law.
A person who finds themselves charged with child pornography should not take it lightly. These are very serious charges that carry severe consequences that can last throughout the rest of a person’s life. A person who is convicted of child pornography is required by law to register as a sex offender for the rest of their life, which can greatly impact a number of areas of their life, including the ability to get certain jobs and where they may be allowed to live. As a result, it is imperative that anyone who is facing these charges get in touch with an experienced criminal defense attorney immediately.
What Constitutes Child Pornography?
Child pornography includes anything that shows children or anyone who is under the age of 18 engaging in any type of sexual activity. It can include images, videos or anything else that includes children in such acts. Even if an image or video has been modified to appear that children are engaged in a sex act, it can be considered child pornography. In addition, even if the content shows children simulating sexual activity and not the actual act, it can still be charged as child pornography.
There are certain exceptions, however. For example, if an anatomy book shows a picture of a nude child and explains the child’s anatomy, it would not be considered child pornography because it exists for a scientific purpose.
How Can a Person Be Charged with Child Pornography?
In order for a person to be charged with a child pornography crime, they must knowingly possess, distribute or receive the content. A person is required to have some degree of knowledge in order to be charged. In other words, if a person merely discovers child pornography by accident, it isn’t enough to convict them of the crime.
It can be challenging for investigators to determine how a person encountered child pornography on their computer and whether they accidentally accessed it. In cases where there are hundreds of downloaded images or videos depicting children in sexual acts, it can be easy to determine that the person is guilty of committing a crime. However, in some cases, it can be difficult.
Possible Defenses to Child Pornography Charges
There are certain defenses a criminal defense attorney can use in a child pornography case. One of the most basic is to argue that the individual didn’t know that they were downloading such content or that they received or possessed child pornography by accident. For instance, a person might have been downloading adult pornographic material, which is legal, and may have accidentally stumbled across the child pornography.
Another possible defense to child pornography charges is for the defense attorney to argue that the defendant did not download the content in spite of it being on their computer. It’s possible to argue that others had access to the computer and that one of them downloaded the material.
Additionally, the defense can argue that law enforcement officers did not have a warrant to legally search the individual’s property. This would render the findings inadmissible in court.
Penalties and Sentences for Child Pornography
Child pornography is a crime that can be prosecuted in both state and federal courts. They carry severe penalties and a first time offender who is convicted can receive 15 to 20 years in prison. Additionally, the individual would be required to be supervised in a sex offender release program after that time. The person would also be required to register as a sex offender for life.
Because child pornography charges are always very serious, a person who is arrested and charged with the crime must contact a defense attorney at their earliest convenience. The lawyer can begin building a strong defense against the charges in time for their court date.