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Defenses to Federal Child Pornography Charges

  • January 31, 2019

If you’ve been charged with possession of child pornography, there are only a few defenses that may help with this charge. 90% of those charged with this type of Federal crime often plead guilty. Many of these individuals that do go on to trial are convicted. While you are likely wondering how to beat this charge, the most important thing to do is get an attorney as soon as possible.

What a Federal Child Pornography Charge Means

If you hope to beat the federal child pornography charge, you’ll need to understand all the elements involved. In order for you to be convicted on this charge, the Federal Government must prove the following things to be true:

  • You knowingly obtained any image containing child pornography
  • The image in question was transported in interstate commerce or was created by items that were transported in interstate commerce.

If the government proves these elements to be true, the jury will likely find you guilty.

Defenses to Child Pornography Charges

Lawyers that are tasked with beating a child pornography charge have a few defenses that they can use. Your attorney can argue the following:

  • The Content Isn’t Child Pornography: This defense can work if your lawyer can prove that the seized images aren’t child pornography. For an image to be classified as child pornography, it has to meet certain qualifications. The content has to depict children that are naked or sexually explicit.

    Another way to prove this defense is to allege that the images are for scientific or educational purposes.

  • Unintended Possession: This defense will work if you did not intend to possess the child pornography. This defense would apply in the scenario that someone receives child pornography by accidentally clicking on something. A lawyer can argue this defense if there is proof that you spent a limited amount of time on any particular website.
  • Illegal Search: If a procedural error occurred during the seizure of the alleged child pornography, a lawyer can argue that this error violated your constitutional rights. If the evidence was illegally obtained by police, the evidence will be thrown away.
  • Psychological Addiction: This defense is used in conjunction to pleading guilty. It can be used to minimize the sentence you will receive if convicted. This defense can result in a sentence to a treatment program rather than incarceration.
  • Entrapment: If you were part of a sting operation where you were coerced into committing the crime, your lawyer can argue entrapment. This defense will apply to a situation where the purchased content isn’t clearly labeled as child pornography.

Even with the aforementioned defenses that can be used to avoid conviction for possession of child pornography, many individuals that are accused of crimes relating to child pornography have a hard time successfully proving these defenses. The only way to battle these types of charges is to hire an experienced Federal criminal attorney.

If You’re Convicted

If convicted of these child pornography charges, you’ll likely face state penalties in addition to federal consequences.

Once convicted, if this is your first-time offense, you will be registered with your state as a sex offender for at least 15 years. If you have multiple convictions, you’ll have to register as a sex offender for 25 years and, in some instances, for the rest of your life. As a registered sex offender, you’ll be forced to relocate so that you are a certain distance away from parks, schools, and other areas.

Some people that are convicted of viewing the child pornography online will be banned from accessing the Internet. All of these penalties are in addition to serving jail time.

If you have any questions regarding federal child pornography charges, reach out to a federal attorney immediately. While this charge is hard to beat, you will benefit from having an experienced attorney in your corner.

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