Defense Strategies When You Are Facing a Child Pornography Possession Charge
In the United States, it is illegal for an individual under the age of 18 to appear in pornographic material. It is also illegal for a consumer to intentionally purchase, possess, create, transport, distribute, or share pornographic material that features individuals under 18.
Any interaction with child pornography is a sex crime that can have steep penalties for an individual convicted under Illinois or federal law.
Sometimes, an innocent individual faces a child pornography possession charge and can be subject to these steep penalties if he or she is convicted. There are many viable defenses to a child pornography charge, and the right one for you depends on the nature of your alleged offense.
The first step to building a strong defense is knowing your rights: you do not have to consent to a search of your property if the officer does not have a valid search warrant. You also do not have to answer their questions and may refuse to speak to law enforcement until you have a lawyer present. Consider the following potential defense strategies for your case.
The Content was Not Pornographic in Nature
Sometimes, images and videos have sexual tones without being pornographic. When a child is featured in a manner that could be perceived as sexual, but is not explicitly sexual in nature, the content may be deemed child erotica instead of child pornography. This can include a child or adolescent in a sexually suggestive pose or in a provocative piece of clothing.
Evidence to Support the Charge was Collected Illegally
Evidence that was taken from you or your home without your consent or a valid search warrant cannot be used to support a criminal charge. In a similar vein, your defense could involve demonstrating that you were a victim of entrapment, meaning that you were lured or enticed into obtaining the illegal material and otherwise, would not have sought or consumed such material.
The Pornography in Question Depicts Adults
When pornography features a young adult who appears to be a teenager or an adult who appears to be a child due to a physical condition, there is nothing illegal about possessing that content. Your defense strategy could involve demonstrating that the individuals depicted in the pornographic material you possess were 18 or older at the time of its production or that you made a “bona fide inquiry” to determine that they were adults and reasonably believed the information you received.
You Did Not Intentionally Possess the Pornographic Material
Sometimes, collections of legal pornography include illegal images and videos. In other cases, computers are hacked and pornography is downloaded without the owner’s knowledge. If either of these is applicable to your situation, they could be part of your defense strategy.
Work with an Experienced Geneva Child Pornography Attorney
If you are charged with the possession of child pornography, start working with an experienced Naperville criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. Contact our team at Law Office of Glenn M. Sowa, LLC today to schedule your initial consultation in our office.