call for a free consultation 212-300-5196

AS SEEN ON

Attorney Profiles

Todd Spodek (Managing Partner)

Mr. Spodek decided early on in his life to focus his education and experience on trial work. Todd Spodek attended Northeastern University in Boston, MA and majored in criminal justice. This background provided an indispensable tool in the representation of criminal defendants in grand jury investigations, pre-trial hearings, trial, appeals and navigating the corrections process.…

get more information




Todd Spodek - Mentioned in The Media

watch more videos

BLOG

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.

Federal Child Pornography Charges

Federal child pornography charges are some of the most serious charges a person could ever get. If you have found yourself in this position, you need to get a lawyer fast, and you should know the signs of the right lawyer for this situation.

For starters, the first sign would be how serious the attorney takes this case. The attorney should be in contact with you at least three times a week while leading up to the trial. The main reason for this is to see if any new information came into play regarding you being innocent of wrongdoing.

Another sign would be you not sitting in prison until the trial. With these types of charges, prison is the last place you want to be based on how inmates with these types of charges are treated on a daily basis. Regardless of the amount of bail, your attorney will help you come up with a plan to get the money. Furthermore, your attorney will explain to the judge that you need to be out on bail due to safety issues. If this request is denied, the right type of attorney will continue to file motions until you are out of prison.

The right attorney will also explain all of the charges to you in detail. When it comes to federal child pornography charges, you are going to be dealing with strange words, and you are going to have to sign paperwork that can make you or break you. It would be best to find an attorney who can help you break down every single word as it relates to your charges. This is the only way to feel secure about going to trial. You can walk in the courtroom confidently, knowing that you understand everything the prosecutor is going to throw at you.

When it comes to federal child pornography charges, you cannot just hire any lawyer, regardless of how good he/she is in the courtroom. Federal child pornography charges have to do with an electronic device. That’s what makes them federal charges in the first place. Therefore, the attorney you hire is going to have to know all the laws relating to electronic devices and child pornography. This is a rare field for many attorneys, but, sadly, more and more attorneys are practicing this area of law.

One more good sign to look for in finding the right attorney in this field of law would be to find an attorney who is not afraid of the media. Some attorneys are afraid to address the media with their cases because if they lose it will be reported. Furthermore, many attorneys eventually plan to run for public office, so they feel like bringing certain cases before the media can damage their reputation in the future. However, you need an attorney who is going to let everyone know that you are innocent. In some instances, this may even include you going on local daily talk shows. Some attorneys are against their clients talking to the media, but child pornography charges always make the news, and they will be seen by the entire community in one way or another. It might be better for you to tell your side, especially if you plan on going to trial.

There are many attorneys out there claiming that they are perfect for the job, but a lot of these attorneys are more focused on money than your freedom. You need to find an attorney who will put your freedom first, even before their own practice. This is one of the only real ways to be sure that you have acquired the right attorney. Furthermore, as long as you’re out on bail, you will have a decent amount of time to find the right attorney, so there should be no rush at finding a great attorney to take the case, especially when it comes to federal child pornography charges.

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.

Being brought up on charges of federal child pornography can be devastating to many people involved in the situation, including the victims of sexual abuse. The federal guidelines for sentencing a violator of child pornography crimes are harsh due to the nature of the crime, but this does not mean that certain individuals may not be wrongfully accused and prosecuted. For information regarding lawyers who specialize in the defense of those charged with federal child pornography, please visit the United States Federal Child Pornography Sentencing Guidelines Website. This page provides a large amount of useful information about the legality of specific material. Because a harsh stigma can be brought about from simply being charged with this crime, it is best to gather legal advice early on in the process.

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.

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.

Defenses to Federal Child Pornography Charges

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.

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.

Request Free Consultation

Please fill out the form below to receive a free consultation, we will respond to your inquiry within 24-hours guaranteed.

Call Now!