Crimes involving child pornography carry harsh penalties at both the state and federal levels. Many child pornography crimes are carried out online and often involve illegal images of children that have been downloaded from the internet. Because computer files can be mislabeled and because internet users can be sent to a website they never intended to view, some people are wrongly arrested for child pornography crimes. In this blog, we explain what you need to know about child pornography crimes and how to defend against these charges.
Forms of Child Pornography
Depictions of minors who are engaged in sexually explicit conduct are considered child pornography. Any pictures, videos, and computer-generated content that shows minors performing sexual acts can result in a person being charged for child pornography crimes. This also includes altering an image or video to make the content appear to be a minor engaged in sexual acts. Videos and images that are made for the purpose of artistic, political, literary, or scientific value are not considered child pornography. However, proving that an image meets this criteria is difficult and requires the assistance of a skilled criminal defense lawyer.
In order for a person to be charged for child pornography crimes, prosecutors must prove that the person knowingly possessed, distributed, or received child pornography. This means that the defendant must have a certain level of knowledge and intent to commit the crime. Accidently coming across child pornography is not enough to convict a person for a crime.
Child Pornography Defenses
Not knowing or accidentally downloading or possessing child pornography are the most common defenses used to defend against criminal charges. Because adult pornography is legal and can be easily accessed online, some people accidently or unknowingly come across child pornography when downloading a video or sharing a file.
Another defense that can be used is to argue the child pornography was not downloaded or accessed by the accused. Because some computers are accessed by numerous individuals, it can be argued that the charges have been attributed to the wrong person.
The procedure to carry out the arrest can also be challenged. This includes questioning the methods used to obtain probable cause for a search warrant. If it can be proven that police strayed from the proper arrest procedures, the evidence against you will be inadmissible in court. If you have been accused of a child pornography crime, it is important to hire an attorney who has the resources to determine if the police investigation violated your rights.
Talk to a Child Pornography Defense Lawyer
At the Law Offices of James E. Crawford, Jr. & Associates, we take on all child pornography cases and we are familiar with the legal strategies that produce the best results. Our lawyers will review the details of your situation and determine the best approach to defend against your charges. Let us get to work for you today.
Contact our Baltimore criminal defense attorneys to schedule a free consultation.