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11 Jul 20

Federal Child Pornography Attorney

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Last Updated on: 2nd October 2023, 05:31 pm

Table of Contents

CHILD PORNOGRAPHY LAWYERS

Possession and distribution of child pornography is a sex crime, which is punishable by state and federal laws. This is a type of crime which occurs over the internet, or because you downloaded files from the internet which contains illegal images. Sometimes, files can be mislabeled, or individuals might be redirected to websites they didn’t intend to visit. As a result, incorrect claims can be made against innocent individuals. It’s important to understand the various elements of child pornography crimes, and potential defenses.

Federal Child Pornography Sentencing Guidelines

Federal sentencing guidelines provide a point of access for all federally appointed judges in the United States to use during penalty distribution. For the crime of child pornography, these sentencing guidelines are intended to provide justice to the victims of sexual child abuse and trafficking by means of pornography. The federal child pornography sentencing guidelines include several points of references for the penalization of offenders. This crime can be charged in three categories which include first, second, and third degree sexual exploitation of a minor.

First Degree Sexual Exploitation of a Minor

This crime is committed in any of the following circumstances:

  • An individual allows, encourages, or forces a minor to engage in sexual activity for live performance or for a video recording
  • An individual allows a minor in his care to engage in sexual acts for a live performance or video recording
  • An individual transports or assists in the transport of minors across or through a state for the purpose of allowing that minor to engage in sexual activity for the purpose of producing a live performance or video recording
  • An individual captures a minor engaging in a sexual act on a video recording or receives financial gain from this activity

First degree sexual exploitation of a minor is a Class C Felony and carries a minimum sentence of 73 months in prison with a maximum of 25 years in prison. These sentences can be multiplied depending upon the amount of counts that a violator is charged with.

Second Degree Sexual Exploitation of a Minor
This crime is committed in any of the following circumstances:

  • An individual conducts, produces, or distributes any visual representation of a minor performing sex acts
  • An individual distributes, receives financial gain from, exchanges, or solicits any visual representation of a minor performing sex acts
  • An individual assists in the transportation of a minor to be placed in the care of a person producing a visual representation of the minor engaging in sex acts

Second degree sexual exploitation of a minor is a Class E felony and carries a minimum of 25 months in prison and a maximum of 7 years in prison.

Third Degree Sexual Exploitation of a Minor

This crime is committed in any of the following circumstances:

  • An individual possesses a visual representation of a minor engaging in sex acts
  • An individual transports material that includes a minor engaging in sex acts
  • An individual gains income from the possession of a minor engaging in sex acts

This crime is a Class H felony and is punishable by a minimum prison sentence of four and a maximum prison sentence of 4 years.

It is vital to remember that individuals charged with federal child pornography violations are often charged with many counts of individual violations. This can, and often does, impact the maximum prison sentences, adding up to 50 years to some sentences. An individual charged with and convicted of 4 counts of second degree sexual exploitation of a minor, for example, faces a maximum prison sentence of 28 years in prison. Additionally, there are very few criminal charges that carry the negative stigma that child pornography charges carry. While a violator may occasionally stumble across a lenient judge, most judges will prescribe the maximum sentence according to federal sentencing guidelines.

What is Child Pornography – Do I need a Child Porn Attorney?

Child pornography is any depiction of a minor, or an individual, who appears to be a minor, who is engaged in sexual – or sexually related content. This can be pictures, videos, or computer generated content. If you alter an image, or video, so it appears to be a minor – this too can be considered child pornography. One important exception to the category of child pornography is artistic renderings, or depictions, that have scientific, political, or artistic value. For example, if you have an anatomy book that explains the anatomy of a child – this is exempt from child pornography categorization.

Intent: this is critical when it comes to prosecuting child pornography cases. In order to face charges, it requires knowledge and intent

In order to be charged with a crime related to child porn, you have to knowingly either possess, distribute, or receive, child pornography. This crime requires knowledge and intent on the part of the defendant. If you accidentally stumble upon child pornography, this is not enough to be convicted of a child pornography crime. Internet investigators sometimes are simply looking at who is accessing child pornography websites or downloading pornographic materials – it is difficult for them to ascertain who is intentionally accessing the material, and it is difficult for them to figure out whether or not a mistake has occurred. When someone is downloading hundreds of images or repeatedly accessing an illegal website on the internet – then the intent is VERY obvious to investigators. In isolated circumstances, it is difficult to determine whether the person is actually committing a crime or not. In situations like this, it’s crucial to hire a child pornography lawyer who can help you understand your potential culpability.
If you’re accused of child pornography crimes, below are some of the US penal codes that could be used to prosecute you.

18 U.S.C. § 2251- Sexual Exploitation of Children
(Production of child pornography)
18 U.S.C. § 2251A- Selling and Buying of Children
18 U.S.C. § 2252- Certain activities relating to material involving the sexual exploitation of minors
(Possession, distribution and receipt of child pornography)
18 U.S.C. § 2252A- certain activities relating to material constituting or containing child pornography
18 U.S.C. § 2256- Definitions
18 U.S.C. § 2260- Production of sexually explicit depictions of a minor for importation into the United States

Pornographic images of children are not protected under first amendment rights, and are illegal. Section 2256, of Title 18, defines child pornography as any visual depiction of sexually explicit conduct involving a minor. Visual depictions can include photographs, videos, digital or computer images that are indistinguishable from an actual minor, in addition to images that are created/adapted/modified, but appear to depict an actual minor. Undeveloped film, or videotapes, that can store/be illegally converted into a visual image of child porn are also deemed illegal.
Under federal law, there is a prohibition on the production, distribution, possession, of child pornography. Section 2251 makes it illegal to persuade, entice, coerce, or entice, a minor to engage in explicit content for purposes of producing visual depiction of sexual conduct amongst minors. Anyone who attempts, or conspires, to commit a child pornography offense is subject to prosecution under federal law.

Defenses to Child Pornography Charges With Help From Child Porn Lawyers

One of the most obvious and important defenses is that the defendant didn’t know he/she downloaded the child porn. Many people accidentally come into possession of child porn, not intentionally. Possession of adult child pornography is legal, individuals however may not know they were looking at child pornography, or they might be download child pornography when they thought they were downloading adult pornography. In circumstances like this, the best defense is that the fundamental elements of the crime are not met – because there is no necessary state of mind.
Another possible defense is that although the material was on their computers – they didn’t download it. For example, if a computer has multiple users – such as in a work setting, one party might illegally download the porn – but then the child porn is attributed to another party. Bottom line, hiring a child pornography defense lawyer is crucial in situations like this.
Probable cause: Another defense to child porn charges could be the fourth amendment probable cause challenge. Defendants could raise procedural challenges to the charges that have been brought against them. Police have to have probable cause in order to search someone’s computer, or home, for illegal content. If a search was done without probable cause, and without a warrant, the items obtained during the search could be inadmissible during a trial.

Punishments for Child Pornography Possession or Distribution

Child porn charges can be prosecuted by federal and state courts. They carry significant criminal punishments. First time offenses can result in 15-20 years in prison, in addition to extended time in supervised sex offender release programs. When you’re charged with possession of child porn, it’ll require you to be registered in a sex offender database too.

What Counts as Possession of Child Pornography?

If law enforcement finds child pornographic material on your computer, the first step towards prosecution will be proving possession of the computer. The next step, is proving the person knew they were in possession of the file in question. Many factors come into play when law enforcement agents are going to try and establish purposeful possession of child pornography. Criminal charges involving child pornography shouldn’t be taken seriously, and you should hire a child pornography defense attorney to help you.

What Factors Determine How Child Pornography is Prosecuted?

It is illegal to create, receive, distribute or possess child pornography. The penalties for breaking child pornography laws are severe. State laws set forth consequences for perpetrators, which include prison time and hefty fines. If the U.S. government also presses charges, the offender is also subject to prosecution under federal law. The following factors influence the way that child pornography is prosecuted.

Federal vs. State Prosecution of Child Pornography

In general, child pornography becomes a federal case when it involves interstate or international commerce. If the images crossed state lines or national borders, the U.S. government becomes involved.
This is obviously relevant if the USPS is involved in transporting material between states or countries. Federal prosecution is also applicable to situations that involve the internet. It’s fairly easy to track the dissemination of child pornography over the internet using IP addresses. Most internet content originates from servers that are in a different location than the viewers.
18 U.S. Code § 2252 provides details about child pornography laws. This section defines child pornography offenses and sets forth guidelines for prosecution.

Other federal codes set forth guidelines for prosecuting other types of crimes involving sexually explicit depictions of children. For example, statute 18 U.S.C. §2252A has to do with the sexual exploitation of minors. Statute 18 U.S.C. §1466A involves obscene representations of sexual abuse of minors.

Was It Done Knowingly?

Child pornography is a sex crime. To be charged with a child pornography offense, someone must knowingly watch, disseminate or own a visual representation of a minor participating in sexually related conduct. Most nudity qualifies as child pornography if it involves a minor. This is true even if the nudity is not inherently sexual.

The defendant must demonstrate that the crime was committed intentionally. In some cases, such as those in which a defendant downloads several incriminating videos or visits an illegal website more than once, intent is evident.

In other cases, however, it’s more difficult to prove whether the defendant knew about the images. For example, someone working on a shared computer that contains questionable files could claim that someone else downloaded the media. A shady link could redirect you to a child pornography site without your knowledge.

Disproving Child Pornography Accusations

An individual who commits a child porn crime can be prosecuted. Anyone who attempts or conspires to commit a child pornography offense is also subject to prosecution. But individuals may also be falsely accused.

Some defenses that can prevent prosecution include:
• Mistaken identity – Someone else downloaded, watched, received or distributed child porn on your computer or stole your IP address by changing the VPN.
• No criminal intent – The creator of the material stated that participants were 18 or older, and you had no reason to believe otherwise.
• No knowledge – You didn’t know that you possessed any child porn content.
However, committing child pornography crimes is serious. In many cases, declaring that you viewed questionable materials but weren’t aware of the age of the individuals involved is not a solid defense.
Child pornography is a serious offense. If the crime attracts federal attention, it could lead to decades of jail time, fines and a lifetime on the sex offender registry. If you have been accused of a crime that involves child pornography, contact a child porn lawyer immediately. Authorities will use anything that you say against you. Protect yourself by working with an experienced attorney.

Child Pornography FAQ

Does watching child pornography count as possessing child porn?
There is a legal ambigiuity when it comes to possessing and viewing anything on the internet. If you are accused of possessing, or distributing, child pornography, you should hire a skilled child pornography defense attorney who can defend your rights and present a strong criminal defense case on your behalf. When it comes to child porn, it’s often assumed that viewing is same as possessing. There is a gray area when it comes to things like streaming and possessing links, which your child pornography defense attorney can use to challenge culpability. Certain acts are 100% considered receiving, distributing, and possessing child porn. Consult with an experience lawyer who can examine your case, and discuss your legal options.

Federal Child Porn Lawyers | Child Pornography Attorneys

A visual depiction of a minor, or someone who looks like a minor, engaging in conduct that is sexually explicit is committing the crime of child pornography. A minor is considered someone under the age of 18, and “sexually explicit conduct” is described as a depiction of sexual intercourse that is actual or simulated; masturbation; and abuse or lewd exhibition of a minor’s genitals or pubic area. The fairly recent explosion of camera phones and digital cameras has also created an explosion of opportunities for many people to produce self-portraits and to share them with the world. Sometimes this sense of freedom and fun can lead to criminal activity by some. With the ever-growing use of and growth of the internet, which is able to send images across the world, these kinds of crimes easily grow larger. They are spread with the use of films and photographs, video, digital- and computer-generated images or pictures, drawings, and animations, among others. This act may also be a crime if the face of a minor that is edited onto the body of an adult is shown in a sexual manner.

Child pornography is prohibited in all 50 U.S. states under several federal and state laws. Federal law U.S.C. Chapter 110, Sexual Exploitation and Other Abuse of Children, prohibits child pornography. Such federal and state laws cover the sexual exploitation of children; selling and buying of children; possession, distribution, and receipt of child pornography; activities that use material constituting or containing child pornography;. and the production of sexually explicit images of a minor to be used to import to the United States. A first-time conviction for child pornography may mean 15-20 years in prison in addition to fines, and these trials may be held in federal or state courts or both.

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Individuals with federal child pornography charges have a tough road ahead of them, as these cases are some of the absolute hardest to defend. Individuals who are indicted with this charge are often publicly humiliated as well, even if they were falsely accused or set up. Federal child pornography offenses apply to anyone who possessed, received, viewed or distributed sexually-graphic visual depictions of a minor, meaning even accidentally viewing it could mean serious consequences. Charges can even apply in situations where a minor is depicted through CG imagery, an image of an adult actress is manipulated to look like a minor and/or with sexually-explicit drawings of minors.

The digital age has, unfortunately, made this charge significantly more common. It’s easier than ever to share images online, which is doubly true for child pornography. Individuals could find themselves accidentally viewing or receiving it without any intention to do so. federal courts don’t differentiate accidents and intentional viewings of images depicting child pornography though, meaning people can be hit with the full brunt of the law for a simple accident or misunderstanding; This is why retaining an experienced criminal-defense attorney to defend someone against child pornography charges is essential
There’s also the fact that some people are simply stuck in a dark part of their life and develop dangerous habits on the internet. This doesn’t mean it’s legal to pursue these habits, but it’s important for courts to understand situations where a mentally-ill individual may have the charges, but also pose almost no threat to children. These people can be highly-professional and/or successful individuals who made a mistake and a court won’t always understand that either; To take it further, courts don’t realize that simply indicting someone with these charges could ruin the rest of someone’s professional and personal life with prospective employers and family and friends. Having a knowledgeable attorney on the defense, however, can help explain how an individual is a productive or professional individual irregardless of the charges brought against them.

What Penalties One Could Face If They’re Convicted of Federal Child Pornography Charges, Why Do You Need a Child Pornography Lawyer

There are US sentencing guidelines that federal courts will strictly follow for child pornography charges; They specifically apply to cases involving possessing, receiving and/or distributing child pornography. The sentencing follows a very specific system that will affect how long a prison sentence is, but all prison sentences will start a mandatory minimum of five years, with a maximum of 20; Sentencing becomes much more strict if the individual was involved in the production of the work, as the mandatory minimum jumps to 15 years with a 30 year maximum. To make matters worse, offenders will also be fined and could be tried before both state and federal courts, which can double the charges and increase a prison sentence. Courts will enforce harsher penalties if the images depicting child pornography feature sexual abuse, sadistic or masochistic acts and/or the individual accused has prior convictions; These factors can cause an individual to face a lifetime of imprisonment. Every person convicted of this offense will also have a dent on their criminal record that prevents them from pursuing worthwhile careers; They will also have to register as a sex offender, which makes living in any area incredibly difficult.

How a Child Porn Lawyer Can Fight Unfair or Unjust Child Pornography Charges

federal cases involving child pornography can be very difficult; This is because one will only be indicted if the court has highly specific forensic evidence linking a computer to the person accused and/or links the individual’s computer to a server that has distributed child pornography. That’s why people need an experienced attorney in situations like this, as evidence can be planted against them. An attorney can also work on dismissing and disputing the case so that charges can be dropped or a hefty sentence can be lessened. Attorneys will also be able to help individuals realize what is and isn’t a defense for the case and will develop a strategic plan to work on defending them. Lastly, a knowledgeable attorney will be able to determine if law enforcement overstepped their boundaries and violated an individual’s rights and/or planted evidence on an individual.
If an individual is facing a child pornography charge, a determined prosecutor will already be building a case against them and they’ll have to experience public humiliation. This is why an attorney is absolutely necessary, as they can starting building a case for an individual instead of against them. They’ll work hard to disprove evidence and stand with their client every step of the way. Specifically, our firm can greatly help falsely-accused individuals and reformed offenders determine the best course of action with a quick consultation.

What Legally Makes It Child Pornography?

Child porn is a crime which deals with some of the harshest punishment under the law, that a person can face. Regardless of the event, or material involved, the first offense is met with a VERY heavy punishment. Subsequent offenses result in even harsher criminal sentences. There are two types of materials considered child porn: simulated, and porn produced with direct involvement of the minor. With the production of child porn, there could be other charges includes, like child abuse, and many many other laws.
Pictures of child porn are not secure under First Amendment rights – they are unlawful under federal law. Under federal law, any visual portrayal of sexually explicit minor can be considered child pornography. Sexual activity is not needed in the image to be considered child porn. The images that contain a nude picture of a child that is deemed sexually suggestive is enough to be considered illegal. Child porn under federal law is when you disregard the age of the subject, who is involved in sexual activity. Some states consider age of consent to be younger than 18 years old, but when child pornography is concerned – any depiction of a minor under 18 is unlawful.

Sex offenders must register at an appropriate law enforcement agency once they are released into the public. Registration aims to protect communities, help apprehend suspects and discourage further criminal acts. Although each state has a separate registry procedure, failing to register is a federal offense.

History of Sex Offender Registration Laws

Congress began to focus heavily on sex offender registration laws in 1994. The Jacob Wetterling Crimes Against Children and Sexually Violent Offender Registration Act, passed in that year, established standards for state registration of sex offenders. Several other bills were passed throughout the next decade, including Megan’s Law.
The Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act, or SORNA, was passed in 2006, establishing a federal standard for registering sex offenders. The bill classifies sexual offenses in different tiers, which are based on a number of factors. Each tier has different reporting requirements, as follows:
• Tier III – Lifetime reporting requirement
• Tier II – 25-year reporting requirement
• Tier I – 10 to 15-year reporting requirement

Although registration and notification are managed through individual systems in each state, they’re standardized and monitored by the federal government. This allows for continuity of tracking if registrants move among jurisdictions.

Sex offender registration is required in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, some Native American tribal jurisdictions and the five principal U.S. territories. Sex offender registration details and legislation differs from state to state.

Jurisdictions must maintain a minimum standard, however. That means that they can enact more stringent laws than the federal standard, but they can’t ask for less than what SORNA requires. Therefore, local sex offender laws and penalties may be more stringent than federal ones.

Activities Connected to Material Constitifying or Containing Child Pornography

If you are in the midst of any kind of federal child pornography charge, you’ll require the services of a skilled federal sex crimes attorney on your team. These types of crimes are punished severely. They have the potential to drastically hurt your reputation, which can negatively impact your future. If you are serious about to avoid the negative repercussions that come along with a federal child pornography case, reach out to a highly skilled attorney immediately. a well informed attorney can walk you through the investigative stage by standing up for your constitutional rights. If this is done well, it can put you on track to receive a favorable outcome. He or she should be prepared to staunchly defend you throughout trial and even beyond. Whatever the specifics of your unique case, your lawyer needs to be able to put you one step closer to your desired results.

Understanding the Legislation Surrounding Federal Child Pornography Crimes

Any kinds of images of child pornography are against the law and are not protected under your first amendment rights. Pursuant to the legislation, child pornography is defined as any visual depiction of an individual under the age of 18 engaging in sexually explicit conduct. Further, the sexually explicit conduct is not necessarily sexually explicit activity. Even a sexually suggestive image of a child may fit the definition of child pornography.

To produce, distribute, receive, facilitate, or possess child pornography is a federal offense. It is also against the law to entice, persuade, induce, or coerce a minor to engage in any sexually explicit conduct with the intent to create visual depictions of that conduct. Even attempting or conspiring to do any of these things can be prosecuted under the relevant federal laws. If you are involved in a child pornography offense or suspect you might be under investigation, reach out to a federal criminal lawyer as soon as you can. These types of cases are extremely serious, and have the possibility to negatively impact the rest of your life.

The Consequences for Federal Child Pornography Crimes

If you have been caught violating federal child pornography legislation, you will find yourself looking at serious consequences. First time offenders who are convicted of producing child pornography could potentially be punished with huge fines and a minimum of 15 years behind bars. If you’re found guilty of the crime of transporting child pornography in interstate or foreign commerce and are a first-time offender, you could also face fines plus a minimum of 5 years in prison. If you have prior convictions on your criminal record, or the offense involved some sort of aggravated situations, you could be looking at life in prison. Your federal child pornography matter may additionally be tried under state child pornography laws as well.

Being that the punishments for child pornography crimes are so severe, it’s that much more important to hire a great defense attorney as soon as you can. When it comes to safeguard your future, your attorney should be prepared to go above and beyond their basic job description. He or she must stand by your side throughout the entire process and make certain that you’re on track to locking down the best available results.

Federal Child Pornography Cases

Every child pornography case is unique. The right attorney should be dedicated to reviewing every detail and even conducting their own investigation using their firm’s resources to make certain that they have all the facts they need. He or she must work to develop a customized defense strategy that takes the unique aspects of your case into account. Your lawyer must keep you informed throughout the entire process, giving you the power to make wise choices that will impact your future. If you or a person that you love is under investigation for a child pornography crime, get a good attorney involved right away..

Federal Prosecution of Child Pornography Charges

A conviction of federal child pornography charges carries the potential for long prison terms and extensive fines and penalties. A person who is prosecuted for federal child pornography charges may also be required to register as a sex offender for a minimum of five years. People with this conviction on their record may lose their professional licenses and experience other lifelong consequences that affect their ability to access housing and maintain employment. If you’re facing federal prosecution for child pornography charges, it’s necessary to work with a lawyer who can defend you and protect your rights.

Federal Definition of Child Pornography

United States Code Section 2256 of Title 18 defines child pornography and spells out what a child pornography crime is at the federal level. The definition of child pornography is broad. Any type of visual depiction of sexually explicit conduct that involves a minor is child pornography. A minor is anybody younger than 18 at the time the visual representation was recorded.

A visual depiction of a child could include a digital or computer-generated image that is indistinguishable from an actual child. It can also include photos and videos of actual minors. The photos or recordings may be adapted or modified. As long as they appear to depict a child in a sexually explicit manner, they are child pornography. Videotape, film and electronic data that could be turned into a sexually explicit image of a child is also child pornography.

Note that the minor does not have to be engaged in a sexual act in order for their image to be considered child pornography. A photo of a nude child can be considered child pornography if it is sexually suggestive. For example, a photo of a naked child in a medical textbook to show a variation of anatomy is not child pornography, but a naked child with exposed genitalia generally is considered to be child pornography.

Even if the age of consent in the state where the child’s image was recorded is less than 18, this does not matter under federal law. Any type of depiction of a minor engaged in sexual conduct is illegal and can be prosecuted.

Who Investigates Child Pornography Crimes

According to the Department of Justice, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is the primary federal agency for investigating child pornography.

Types of Child Pornography Crimes

There are many types of child pornography crimes prosecuted by the federal government.

Possible Defenses to Federal Prosecution of Child Pornography

There are a few defenses to child pornography charges a lawyer may use in court.

What the Government Must Prove to Prosecute Child Pornography Crimes

To prosecute child pornography crimes, the federal government must prove certain aspects.

Sentencing for Convictions on Child Pornography Charges

A person convicted of certain child pornography charges faces severe sentencing guidelines.

Defending Against Federal Child Pornography Charges

For a good reason, the federal laws regarding child pornography are extremely tough. The investigators who go after anyone accused of such a crime typically do so rather vigorously. If you are accused of this crime, your reputation and very livelihood are at stake. Given the stigma that is associated with just being accused of such a crime, you will need to be represented from the beginning by a qualified and experienced attorney who can look out for your best interests. You need an attorney who is well versed in, among other things, forensic computer evidence and dealing with criminal matters in a federal court.

Federal Offenses Related to Child Pornography

Child pornography is often a federal crime because it involves multiple jurisdictions. By the time a person is accused of these charges, federal agents have quite possibly been working on the investigation for months, all without the accused even knowing about it. There are several different federal agencies that work to enforce existing child pornography laws, including the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security.

There are different tactics that each of these agencies will use to investigate potential child pornography violations. In some case, an undercover agent might scour the Internet or computer servers looking for any files that have been shared on peer to peer networks. They are looking for filenames that might indicate child pornography is found. If a file is found, the agents will then use almost any means at their disposal to track down where the file originates from and who has downloaded it onto their own electronic devices. They may get subpoenas from Internet Service Providers in order to access this user information.

Federal Charges Related to Child Pornography

The two primary federal statutes that relate to child pornography are Title 18 – Sections 2251 and 2252. These go into detail about what you are or a loved one is facing if brought up on such charges.

  • Possession of Child Pornography – Federal law is quite clear that no person is permitted to knowingly be in possession of child pornography. The key distinction there is ‘knowingly’, which is why you need a solid defense attorney on your side. Also, there are some technical terms that are related to child pornography that need to be understood. It refers to any depiction of a child under the age of 18 who is involved in some type of explicit sexual behavior. Penalties are more severe if the minor in question is under 12 years of age.
  • Receipt of Child Pornography – In this case, the accused is believed to have received child pornography by way of some form of interstate commerce. This can include via the mail or a computer or other form of electronic device. The person must be proven to have knowingly received the images in question. There is a mandatory minimum sentence of between 5 and 20 years, depending on the age of the victims.
  • Distribution of Child Pornography – A charge under this statute means that the accused is believed to have distributed child pornography to others, usually via a peer to peer network or via email or the Internet.
  • Production of Child Pornography – This is the most serious charge as it also involves the physical and sexual abuse of children. As such, it is punishable by a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years, with a maximum of between 25 and 50 years.
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Any of these charges are serious. It goes without saying that a conviction almost always involves a mandatory minimum sentence that is quite severe. In addition to a prison sentence, there is often a financial penalty and court ordered restitution that must be provided to the victims. Any person who is convicted will also need to register as a sex offender for the rest of his or her life.

You will want to contact a criminal defense attorney immediately upon learning of being charged with any form of federal child pornography violation. The penalties are simply too severe. There are many defenses that can be considered when such a charge is brought against you or a loved one, but time is of the essence. Do not delay.

Federal Child Pornography Charge Defense Lawyer

Law enforcement officers on both state and federal levels are now cracking down on many offenses that people might have gotten away with years ago. This is the case with child pornography charges. When following the news, you might have heard a lot about people getting in trouble for possessing or being involved with the production of child pornography in recent years. You might have never thought that it would happen to you, but if you have recently been charged with federal child pornography charges, then you could be frightened about what the future holds. Understanding the laws and working with a federal child pornography charge defense lawyer can help you navigate this incredibly difficult and complicated legal situation.

What are Child Pornography Charges?

Quite simply, child pornography charges are related to possessing, sharing or being involved in the production of child pornography. Child pornography is illegal in all 50 states and is illegal on a federal level. If you are found with child pornography on your computer or if you are otherwise caught being involved with child pornography, you could find yourself facing these serious charges.

What Types of Consequences are You Facing if You’re Convicted?

The federal courts take child pornography charges very seriously. You could be fined $5,000 if you are convicted, but this is actually the least of your concerns. Those who are convicted of possessing or otherwise being involved with child pornography could face up to 20 years in federal prison.

Of course, the legal consequences that you’re facing aren’t your only concerns. There is a stigma against those who are convicted of crimes related to child pornography. If you do end up getting convicted of this type of charge, it could be very difficult for you to find employment or housing. It could also seriously impact your relationship with your loved ones and the way that the general public sees you as a person.

What to Do if You’ve Been Accused of a Child Pornography Charge

As soon as you become aware of the fact that you are being charged with child pornography charges, it is imperative for you to seek legal representation. It is never a good idea to face either state or federal charges on your own, but child pornography charges are some of the more serious crimes that you can face. Hiring a lawyer who has knowledge and experience with dealing with this type of sensitive legal matter is an absolute must.

Why are Child Pornography Cases Difficult to Defend?

A criminal defense lawyer who is helping you with state or federal charges has a job to do. That job is to defend you in any legal way possible. However, child pornography cases in particular are often incredibly difficult to defend. Because of the stigma that goes along with child pornography and other charges related to children, many people who face these charges are already seen as guilty by the general public before a trial even begins. Additionally, many people are nervous about sharing the details of their private lives, particularly when it pertains to these matters.

Even though these cases are not easy to defend, a good lawyer who specializes in handling these types of crimes can be very helpful. Your lawyer might be able to argue that you were not aware that there was child pornography on your computer, for example. In some cases, the lawyer might be able to argue that the individuals who were displayed in the pornographic material were, in fact, of legal age or that you believed that this was the case when viewing the material.

You might feel as if you’re in the middle of a nightmare right now if you are facing child pornography charges. You are not the only person who has ever been through this type of situation, even though it might seem like it right now. A good lawyer can help you more than you might realize, and the case might go differently than you think right now. Your best course of action is to seek representation right away. Once you talk a little more with a federal child pornography charge defense lawyer, he or she can give you more information.

What Factors Determine How Child Pornography is Prosecuted?

It is illegal to create, receive, distribute or possess child pornography. The penalties for breaking child pornography laws are severe. State laws set forth consequences for perpetrators, which include prison time and hefty fines. If the U.S. government also presses charges, the offender is also subject to prosecution under federal law. The following factors influence the way that child pornography is prosecuted.

Federal vs. State Prosecution of Child Pornography

In general, child pornography becomes a federal case when it involves interstate or international commerce. If the images crossed state lines or national borders, the U.S. government becomes involved.

This is obviously relevant if the USPS is involved in transporting material between states or countries. Federal prosecution is also applicable to situations that involve the internet. It’s fairly easy to track the dissemination of child pornography over the internet using IP addresses. Most internet content originates from servers that are in a different location than the viewers.

18 U.S. Code § 2252 provides details about child pornography laws. This section defines child pornography offenses and sets forth guidelines for prosecution.

Other federal codes set forth guidelines for prosecuting other types of crimes involving sexually explicit depictions of children. For example, statute 18 U.S.C. §2252A has to do with the sexual exploitation of minors. Statute 18 U.S.C. §1466A involves obscene representations of sexual abuse of minors.

Was It Done Knowingly?

Child pornography is a sex crime. To be charged with a child pornography offense, someone must knowingly watch, disseminate or own a visual representation of a minor participating in sexually related conduct. Most nudity qualifies as child pornography if it involves a minor. This is true even if the nudity is not inherently sexual.

The defendant must demonstrate that the crime was committed intentionally. In some cases, such as those in which a defendant downloads several incriminating videos or visits an illegal website more than once, intent is evident.

In other cases, however, it’s more difficult to prove whether the defendant knew about the images. For example, someone working on a shared computer that contains questionable files could claim that someone else downloaded the media. A shady link could redirect you to a child pornography site without your knowledge.

How Many Images Were Involved?

When fewer than three images are involved, the accused individual reports the issue to a law enforcement agency and takes reasonable action to destroy the visual materials and prevent others from seeing them, an affirmative defense may be available.

This is a legal exemption that applies only to federal law. State laws differ regarding the amount of child pornography involved. You should consult with a lawyer before attempting to contact a law enforcement agency about child porn.

The state will typically handle a child pornography prosecution if only a few images were involved. When a large amount of material is in question, the feds usually get involved. The goal is to thwart the creation and dissemination of child pornography. If a defendant can provide details that provoke an investigation of other offenders, they may be able to reduce the severity of their sentence.

Does the Defendant Have a Prior Record?

State sentencing guidelines for individuals with no prior record are not usually as serious as federal sentencing guidelines for the same offense.

Federal sentencing for a first conviction could include five to 20 years of prison time for each offense. Those guidelines shift to 15 to 40 years of prison time for someone with a prior record.

In state court, possession of child pornography could earn you several years in prison. However, for many first offenders with no aggravating factors are sentenced to probation.

In other words, you’re more likely to receive a serious penalty if the federal government is involved.

Disproving Child Pornography Accusations

An individual who commits a child porn crime can be prosecuted. Anyone who attempts or conspires to commit a child pornography offense is also subject to prosecution. But individuals may also be falsely accused.

Some defenses that can prevent prosecution include:
• Mistaken identity – Someone else downloaded, watched, received or distributed child porn on your computer or stole your IP address by changing the VPN.
• No criminal intent – The creator of the material stated that participants were 18 or older, and you had no reason to believe otherwise.
• No knowledge – You didn’t know that you possessed any child porn content.

However, committing child pornography crimes is serious. In many cases, declaring that you viewed questionable materials but weren’t aware of the age of the individuals involved is not a solid defense.

Child pornography is a serious offense. If the crime attracts federal attention, it could lead to decades of jail time, fines and a lifetime on the sex offender registry. If you have been accused of a crime that involves child pornography, contact a lawyer immediately. Authorities will use anything that you say against you. Protect yourself by working with an experienced attorney.

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.

Child pornography is one of the worst, most heinous crimes throughout the United States. It is also one that can be prosecuted both on the state and federal levels. Child pornography is a sex crime that involves photographing, videotaping, possessing or distributing sexual content that depicts children under the age of 18. In many instances, the crime is committed when a person downloads files from the Internet that contain images or video of children engaged in sexual activity.

It can be challenging for a person to prove their innocence if it is discovered that they possess child pornography on their computer. As a result, it’s important to better understand the elements of this crime and how best to defend against it with the assistance of an experienced criminal defense attorney.

What is Child Pornography?

The term “child pornography” includes anything that shows a minor or a person who appears to be a minor involved in any type of sexual activity or conduct. It can include images, videos and even computer generated materials. If a video or photo has been modified to make it look like a child has been included and looks to be involved in a sex act therein, this can also be considered child pornography. The same goes for any pornographic content that shows a child in a sex act that is only simulated and not real. The only exception to this would be if an image is art that has a scientific, political, artistic or literary purpose, such as an image in an anatomy book describing the anatomy of a child.

How Can a Person Receive Federal Child Pornography Charges?

In order for a person to receive federal child pornography charges, they must knowingly possess, receive or distribute the content. In other words, there must be some level of knowledge involved, and the person must intend on possessing, receiving or distributing the content as well. If a person accidentally encounters child pornography, that is not enough to convict them of the crime.

In some cases, there may be an honest mistake of a person downloading child pornography onto their computer. For example, certain illegal torrent websites that allow people to download video content contain viruses and rouge content that is essentially thrown into a download. If a person used one of those sites to download a TV show and child pornography was thrown in and they had no knowledge of it, they could not be convicted of a crime.

Penalties and Sentences for Federal Child Pornography Crimes

If a person has been convicted of a first offense of child pornography, the penalties are still severe due to the horrific nature of the exploitation of children. Someone who created child pornography would receive 15 to 30 years in prison. Possessing and distributing such content can result in a person receiving 15 to 20 years in prison. Additionally, the individual would be required to register as a sex offender for the rest of their lives.

Possible Defenses to Child Pornography Charges

One of the basic defenses against child pornography charges is to argue that the defendant didn’t know they were accessing or downloading such content or that they accidentally stumbled upon the material. There must be a sense of knowledge and intent in order for the prosecution to successfully prove that the defendant is guilty of federal child pornography crimes.

Another tactic the defense attorney can use is to argue that although the content was found on the individual’s computer, they did not download it. This is a defense that can potentially work if the computer in question is a shared device and another person or persons have access to it.

If the police did not have a search warrant and searched the defendant’s computer, that can also throw out the case. It would be inadmissible in court.

A person who has federal child pornography charges placed against them should know that it is a very serious situation. Such charges require the assistance of an experienced criminal defense attorney to defend them in their case.