Birmingham Child Pornography Defense Lawyers

If you’re ready to hire a criminal law attorney, there are many ways of getting in touch:

Child Pornography Charges

It’s impossible to exaggerate how serious a child pornography-related criminal charge can be. The current public attitude toward people accused of child sex crimes is extremely hostile. Even an unproven accusation related to child pornography can have permanent effects on a person’s employment, family and personal life. And if it’s proven, those convicted face incredibly steep punishments, including:

  • Years in prison; even decades for very serious charges.
  • Tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines.
  • Lifelong registration requirements as a sex offender.
  • Neighborhood notification requirements.
  • Restriction or elimination of their right to vote or use a firearm legally, even after successfully completing parole.
  • Limitations on where they may live, work and spend their free time.
  • Civil and criminal forfeiture of any money or property the government believes is related to child pornography.
  • In some cases, electronic monitoring and supervision.

All of these are in addition to the social stigma of a child pornography conviction, which can be devastating. Marriages break up, careers are ended and decades of lives are wasted because of child sex charges. That’s why Alabama Criminal Lawyers provides the most vigorous and thorough defense possible for clients charged with child pornography. If you are arrested or believe you will be, don’t say a single word to law enforcement officers until we are by your side.

Contact Alabama Criminal Lawyers today at (205) 994-0616 for a free consultation.

Possession of Child Pornography

In the state of Alabama, possession of child pornography is an aggressively pursued crime, which can result in severe penalties. Even if an individual is never formally charged with the possession of child pornography, being investigated and accused of such a crime also have the potential to make a lasting negative impact on an individual’s life.

Relevant Alabama Law

Alabama law makes it illegal for an individual to possess any obscene material that contains a depiction under the age of seventeen engaged in any act designed to arouse sexual pleasure. The term “possession” extends past individuals who have physical photographs of child pornography.

Some of the other ways that individuals can be found to be in possession of child pornography include individuals who have used file-sharing programs to access such content, stored child pornography in the memory of a computer’s hard drive, searched the internet for child pornography, or exchanged photographs or videos through the use of a phone.

Possession Of Child Pornography Penalties

The possession of child pornography is classified as a Class C felony in the state of Alabama. Class C felonies result in an individual facing between one to ten years in prison and potentially facing a fine of up to fifteen thousand dollars.

For repeat offenders, the resulting fines are often even more severe. An individual’s name might also be posted on a community notification list. Unlike many other charges, an individual convicted of child pornography is unable to receive a lesser charge.

Federal Law Regarding Possession Of Child Pornography

Individuals who are found to have transmitted sexually obscene material across the internet or over state lines will likely also face federal charges for the possession of child pornography. Federal charges resulting from the possession of child pornography are almost always more severe than state charges for the same offense.

An individual charged with the possession of child pornography faces fines and a minimum of fifteen to a maximum of thirty years in prison. Individuals who have prior charges regarding child pornography may receive even more severe penalties.

Special note should be made that individuals can be charged for each image of child pornography, which means that video contains such content frequently result in even more severe consequences.

Potential Defenses

Individuals who are charged with possession of child pornography require the talent of a skilled criminal defense attorney in responding to such a charge. Some of the defenses that an individual might be able to raise include:

  • Evidence was obtained as the result of an unlawful search warrant.
  • The content in question was placed on the defendant’s computer at a time that the individual was not in possession or control of the computer.
  • The individual was not aware that the content was on the computer, which can occur in several situations including when the content is part of a malicious computer virus.
  • A reasonable person would not have known that the actors depicted in the content were under the legal age.

Distribution of Child Pornography

There are many types of child pornography crimes, but one of the most common offenses is when individuals are charged with the distribution of child pornography. Under both federal and state laws, a charge involving the distribution of child pornography results in lifetime registration as a sex offender for individuals. It is also critical that individuals understand the various laws concerning the intent to distribute child pornography.

Federal Law Regarding Distribution of Child Pornography

Federal law regarding child pornography distribution states that it is illegal for anyone to either view or intend to view child pornography that has been mailed or transmitted across state lines. Many times, even though an individual never even intended to distribute or send child pornography, the federal government will make such a charge.

In some cases, individuals use file-sharing programs that require the user to share images while downloading. Federal charges for the distribution of child pornography tend to be much harsher than charges that are made at a state level.

Federal charges for the distribution of child pornography result in a minimum of five years and up to forty years in federal prison and a maximum $250,000 fine.

State Charges For Distributing Child Pornography

Alabama law describes child pornography as any material that contains a depiction of a person under the age of seventeen engaged in sexual conduct. Under Alabama law, it is considered a Class B felony for an individual to knowingly possess with intent to disseminate child pornography.

It should be noted that possession of three or more copies of the same image of child pornography satisfies the requirement for a distribution charge. As a Class B felony, the distribution of child pornography penalties in the state of Alabama result in no less than two years up to twenty years in state prison and fines up to $10,000.

Defenses To A Child Pornography Distribution

Fortunately, there are several strategies that individuals can use to defend against a child pornography charge:

  • The Distribution Was Not Done Knowingly. Law enforcement must demonstrate that an individual has satisfied all of the elements of child pornography distribution in order to convict an individual. If law enforcement fails to demonstrate that an individual knowingly distributed pornographic content, an individual can raise the defense that the individual did not knowingly commit the act in question.
  • The Individual Was Unaware That The Individual Depicted Was Below The Age Of Eighteen. Another element of a distribution crime is that an individual knows the person or persons depicted in the material were under the legal age. Individuals might be able to successfully defend against child pornography distribution charges if the individual can demonstrate that the individual was not aware that the subjects in the material were under the age of eighteen.
  • The Material In Question Was Seized As Part Of An Illegal Search And Seizure. If law enforcement violates an individual’s constitutional rights while seizing child pornography, an individual can argue that the evidence was part of an illegal search and greatly weaken the prosecution’s case.

Defending Against Child Porn Charges

Child pornography charges are taken extremely seriously in the state of Alabama. Local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies have departments devoted exclusively to tracking down and prosecuting individuals who commit this type of crime.

If you have been accused, you need to speak with an attorney who has the experience, dedication, and drive to help you overcome the serious charges you are facing. At Alabama Criminal Lawyers, we defend people throughout the state of Alabama who have been accused or charged with a child pornography-related offense, such as:

  • Possession
  • Possession with intent to disseminate
  • Disseminating or publicly displaying
  • Producing or creating
  • Knowingly allowing a child to participate in the production of pornography
  • Forcing a child to participate in the production of pornography
  • Accepting
  • Exporting
  • Selling or buying a child for the purpose of creating pornography

We take child pornography-related charges very, very seriously. When defending a new client, our first priority is always to look for flaws and mistakes in the prosecution’s case.

Because child pornography convictions are high-publicity, career-making cases for law enforcement, investigators aren’t always as thorough or as careful as they should be. A serious error can destroy the prosecution’s case entirely, or allow us to negotiate substantially reduced charges for clients. Flaws and legal errors that we will seek out and vigorously challenge in our clients’ cases include:

  • Law enforcement didn’t read you your rights or otherwise violated your civil rights.
  • Improper interrogation after you requested a lawyer.
  • The “child” in question does not appear to be under 17 (as required by Alabama law) or is not under 18 (under federal law).
  • Your property was improperly searched or seized.
  • You were not the person who put the material on your computer.
  • Entrapment — law enforcement tricked you into doing something you wouldn’t otherwise have done and weren’t prepared to do.
  • In federal cases, lack of federal jurisdiction.
  • In Alabama state cases, you didn’t have the requisite intent or knowledge of the crime.

If a trial is appropriate, we are prepared to mount a vigorous defense in court. Child pornography cases can be highly technical, with evidence depending on testimony from computer, psychiatric or law enforcement experts. We are prepared to take these and other extra measures to force the prosecution to prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt.

Contact A Top Birmingham Sex Crime Attorney

Being charged with a child pornography crime can have devastating, lifelong consequences. Those convicted face onerous sex offender registration and monitoring requirements as well as an overwhelming social stigma.

Nobody should be unfairly charged or convicted, and nobody should have to face this type of charge without the help of an experienced, aggressive Alabama child pornography defense lawyer.

If you face child pornography charges, do not hesitate to contact an experienced criminal defense attorney at Alabama Criminal Lawyers. Contact us today at (205) 994-0616 for a free consultation.