Charges alleging something as serious as possessing sexually explicit images of underage persons could affect your entire life. It can also be stressful taking the full brunt of law enforcement on your own.
Consider hiring a Charleston child pornography charges lawyer to help protect your rights and reputation despite the accusations against you. An experienced criminal defense attorney could help you understand the extent of the charges against you and how to best defend them.
Possession of Child Pornography in Charleston
The law is clear that it is illegal for an individual to be in possession of sexually explicit images of minors. Congress has outlawed possession of child porn to protect children from sexual predators. Those in possession of child pornography are considered a danger to the public in the eyes of the law. While there are a number of experts who study this field who say that people who just look at images are not a danger to act on them, there are Charleston lawmakers who say otherwise.
For child porn possession to be charged, there does not need to be a physical, hard copy of the porn. If someone has a file on their computer with underage images, that is clearly a violation. There could be someone in a family who has viewed sexually suggestive or explicit pictures of underage people and erased the images after viewing. Even though that file was erased, there could be remnants left on the computer and whoever was responsible could be prosecuted if those remnants are found.
Attempt to Commit a Child Porn Offense
Attempting to commit a child porn offense means that the prosecution believes they can prove beyond a reasonable doubt that someone took affirmative steps to gain custody of or access to child pornography. Conspiracy would refer to someone who was in a group of people exchanging these images or they were the aiding someone’s possession in some way. If they participated in a group that was sharing, keeping, or passing around any images, and some of those photos may be of an underage person, they could be charged even if they were not actively viewing any of the images
Ways a Person Could Get Charged for Child Pornography
There are many ways people can get charged with a child pornography offense. There could be a crackdown of various alleged groups who were sharing images, and behind a secured password-protected and encrypted walls. Sometimes, people are arrested and accused of possession of child pornography in airports while coming into the country. There is also the old-fashioned way of charging people who allegedly have materials in their house or in their private possessions.
A common way child pornography is charged in Charleston is when there are groups that share images in a password-protected site, and some of those images are alleged to be underage children. For example, there was just someone related to President Trump’s investigation recently who was arrested coming into the country. He had information spread across three different phones, so the custom agents had to piece the evidence together.
Nowadays, most of the federal cases are going to be computer-oriented prosecutions. Anytime there is a search warrant, or an investigator hacks an individual’s computer property, they are going to be searching for potentially incriminating information.
Could Someone be Convicted of Child Pornography if They Never Downloaded it?
A person in Charleston can be charged with child pornography just for browsing on the internet, even if they never downloaded anything. If it can be proven that a person knowingly participated and engaged in the viewing of child porn, they could be charged. However, a lot of people look at adult pornography nowadays. If a person is on an adult pornography site and they get infected with a virus that causes an image resembling child porn to pop up, they would not be guilty of anything, because there was no intent to view the picture.
If an individual intently views an image of adolescent sexual content, a lot of times the computer will store the information and it could be recovered through a forensic evaluation. The evidence in child pornography cases is very similar to other computer crimes cases. It is very technical, and a lot of IT experts are involved.
Concurrent Criminal Charges
It is common to be charged with other offenses alongside child pornography in Charleston. An individual may be charged with anything that relates to the investigation. Sometimes, the feds are investigating other things and they stumble upon child pornography, and that becomes an add-on charge.
Other times, if there is also identity theft or computer manipulation in which the accused created different names and identities, they could have other charges that go along with it. If it is part of a money scheme where they are sharing images or trying to sell images back to somebody, they could face extortion or money laundering charges as well.
Contact an Attorney Familiar with Child Pornography Charges Now
The biggest mistake for someone to avoid when being investigated for underage sexual images is consenting to anything or talking before they have had a chance to discuss the facts of the case with their legal representative. A Charleston child pornography charges lawyer can help you make the right decisions to handle the situation effectively. Call today to get started protecting your rights.