Los Angeles Child Pornography Lawyers
WHAT IS YOU BEST STRATEGY IF YOU HAVE A CHILD PORNOGRAPHY CASE PENDING IN FEDERAL OR STATE COURT?
The simple answer to this all important question is to hire a federal criminal defense attorney that has been handling federal child pornography cases since they were first introduced as a crime, and has had success in achieving results that take into consideration their client’s prior good acts and their life circumstances. In the course of my many years of defending clients in this area of law I realize there are many strategies that can be employed to put my clients in the best possible position. Once you understand what the government attorney and judge are considering when they deal with these cases, then you can tackle the issue of what you can do to obtain a result you can live with!
Internet child pornography is a relatively new offense as compared to other crimes that have been prosecuted for many years. It was and continues to be spurred on by a political uprising that is centered around protecting young people. Not surprisingly the punishments attached to child pornography cases are extreme and head and shoulders above those charges linked to other crimes. However, many federal court judges are realizing that not all persons charged with a child pornography cases deserve to go to prison for a long time. They are considering reports from professional doctors related to whether the subject person is likely to re-offend. Further, they will also look at the person’s background and what led them to engage in this type of conduct before passing judgment on them. The point is, that it is not a forgone conclusion that you will be whisked away for many years in federal prison based solely on being charged with this crime. And, it is my firm believe that a prepared and seasoned attorney can make a difference in your case and your life!
WHAT ARE SOME OF STRATEGIES THAT CAN BE EMPLOYED IF YOU HAVE A CHILD PORNOGRAPHY CASE PENDING IN COURT?
There are many different factors that prosecutors and judges look at when deciding how harshly to deal with a person charged with a federal sex crime. To name a few, the person’s prior criminal record (specifically, do they have any prior convictions for sex related activity), whether there is any indication the charged person actually was planning on going to meet with a child versus just viewing child pornography on the internet, the person’s age and background, whether the person has a family and good career, how many images the person viewed and the type of images being viewed. This is not an exhaustive list, but give you an idea of what you are up against.
Of course, the most crucial element that must be dealt with is will the offender likely be a re-offender or worse yet, become involved in further steps related to the behavior they are charged with. Getting a detailed report from a professional doctor that is respected in the community is definitely something that should be utilized when dealing with this type of offense. These doctors are able to employ testing and their experience to educate the judge on the person they are going to sentence and really give them a feel for whether the person is likely to do this again or whether they pose a danger to society.
Having defended many of these cases, I believe I have a good feel for what you are up against and what can be done in your particular set of circumstances to achieve a successful result. I suggest you call and set up a face to face consultation with me, so we can begin the process of getting a game plan together to help you.
PENAL CODE 311.1(a) & (b) – Child Pornography
To prove that a party is guilty of Possession/Distribution of Child Pornography, the government must prove that:
1. The party sent/brought/showed/possessed/published/produced/printed or duplicated obscene material in California; AND
2. When the party acted, they knew the matter showed a person under the age of 18 years who was personally participating in or simulating sexual conduct.
When it comes to prosecution of child pornography cases, the least serious charge in this area of the law is straight possession. Once the government starts to talk about receipt of child pornography and distribution, this triggers a five year mandatory minimum at the federal level and the judges and prosecutors deal with defendants to share child pornography with others in a much more harsh manner than they do someone who only possesses it. Therefore it is crucial, if a person is going to plea guilty to a child pornography case, that they plead to a straight possession of child pornography versus a receipt or distribution charge.
In evaluating whether they want a person to receive a five year mandatory minimum sentence, the government will look at the person’s criminal record, how many images they downloaded and the serious nature of the images or videos that were found in the case. If the subject child pornography involved thousands of images and videos and the victims in the images were of a very young age, there is a good chance that the government will seek a severe sentence for the defendant. They will also look to what is being depicted in the images and how serious the conduct is in the videos or photographs. The more serious the conduct, the more likely the government will seek a sentence that involves a mandatory minimum sentence and the longer the sentence they will argue for in the case.
The government describes obscene material as content that:
1. Shows or describes sexual conduct in an obviously offensive way;
2. A reasonable person would conclude that it lacks serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value; AND
3. An average adult person, applying contemporary statewide standards, would conclude it appeals to a shameful or morbid interest in nudity, sex, or excretion.
If there is any question whether the subject content is obscene, then the government will likely not prosecute that case. It must be clear that the subject material is child pornography and that the person in possession of it is the one who downloaded it. Also, the government will usually not get involved with a child pornography prosecution unless there are a substantial number of images and videos that they have seized in the criminal case.