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23 Dec 23

Aurora Child Pornography Sentencing Guidelines

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Last Updated on: 24th December 2023, 06:25 am

Criminal Lawyer Advice on Child Pornography Charges

Facing allegations related to child pornography can be an incredibly difficult and scary situation. The potential legal consequences are severe, and the social stigma surrounding such charges makes them intimidating to confront. However, having an experienced criminal defense lawyer can make all the difference in navigating this complex area of law. Here is some advice on potential sentencing and defense strategies when dealing with child pornography charges.

Understanding Child Pornography Sentencing Guidelines

Child pornography laws take a hardline stance, with mandatory minimum prison sentences that remove judicial discretion in many cases. The number of images, the nature of the content, and intent behind the crime can all impact sentencing.

Sentencing Based on Number of Images

The volume of images factors heavily into sentencing, though other circumstances still apply.

Factors Impacting Child Pornography Sentencing

Beyond just the number of images, other factors courts consider include:

  • The graphic nature of the images and videos possessed
  • Evidence of active trading/distribution rather than just possession
  • Any hands-on offense against a minor
  • Criminal history of the defendant
  • Background, character, and likelihood of rehabilitation

These factors help determine whether the mandatory minimums apply, or if exceptions can reduce the sentence.

Enhancements for Aggravating Factors

Several aggravating factors can enhance child pornography sentences above the mandatory minimums:

  • Images depicting sadistic/violent conduct lead to sentencing enhancements
  • The age of the children involved – images of very young children receive harsher sentences
  • Defendants with any prior related criminal history face sentencing enhancements

These enhancements can add years or decades onto the mandatory minimum sentences.

Building a Strong Defense Against Allegations

While child pornography sentencing can seem overly harsh, experienced criminal defense lawyers can build strong cases to get charges reduced or dismissed. Here are some effective legal defenses:

Illegal Search and Seizure

  • Law enforcement must demonstrate probable cause and obtain legal warrants before seizing property and performing searches.
  • Evidence seized illegally gets thrown out – destroying the prosecution’s case.

Lack of Criminal Intent

Unlawful Distribution/Sharing

  • Simply sharing files through peer-to-peer networks may not imply intent.
  • Without evidence of actively trafficking illegal material for profit or distribution, sentences can get reduced.

Conclusion

Facing child pornography charges puts defendants in a difficult legal situation given strict sentencing guidelines. However, experienced criminal defense lawyers can analyze the full context and build strong cases to get charges dismissed or reduced. Illegal searches, lack of criminal intent, and unlawful distribution arguments provide grounds for defense. With the proper legal advice and guidance, even mandatory minimum sentences can sometimes get avoided in child pornography cases. The stigma surrounding such allegations makes a robust defense vital.

Resources

How Lawyers Defend Child Porn Possession CasesWhat is Considered Child Pornography Under Federal Law?Child Pornography Sentencing Guidelines Overview