It’s hard to find a more highly stigmatized crime than that of child pornography. Individuals who are accused of this often face an incredible amount of public backlash whether they’re ultimately found guilty or not, and it can seem like a losing battle to even attempt to defend against the charges. A Pennsylvania attorney experienced with cases involving the possession of child pornography, however, can help build the strongest case possible to help make sure that your rights are upheld during court. It is vitally important that you retain legal counsel as soon as possible in this kind of case, however, in order to secure the best outcome possible.
Is there a defense to the possession of child pornography?
It can seem like even just the accusation of the possession of child pornography in Pennsylvania can mean an immediate “guilty” verdict, however the truth is that there are defenses to be made. One important note is that the information investigators find must have been obtained legally in order to be used against you. If it was not found legally, it can be suppressed in court. That means that it cannot be referenced or used to secure a conviction against you. You can see how important it is, then, that you do everything in your power to fully understand exactly how the evidence being leveraged against your freedom was found.
The way in which the material in question was accessed by the accused is also important. Not everyone who sees child pornography was looking for it, and not every computer that has images on it was used intentionally to store said material. There are certain viruses, for example, that could lead to child pornography images being loaded on your computer. In these instances, the defense is that not only did you not search for the material, but you probably had no idea it was even downloaded to your computer. Additionally, it can be difficult to determine exactly to whom the images belonged. Electronic storage is inherently mobile and might be used by a variety of different people, including neighbors, family, and friends as well as housemates.
When federal agents or law enforcement officers are searching through your computer, the experienced legal team at James H. Bonner, Esquire, can help. Mr. Bonner is well-versed in criminal law and understands how best to ensure that your rights are upheld – and given the highly controversial nature of the charges in question, you absolutely need someone with your best interests in mind fighting on your side. Whether your case ends up in a courtroom or settled via some other means, an attorney is a vital part of the process.
Child Pornography Laws in Pennsylvania
In the state of Pennsylvania, it is considered a crime to distribute, produce, download, or view child pornography. That means that even watching child pornography can lead to a serious charge, let alone downloading or distributing it. Keep in mind, too, that the charges in question here are felonies. If you are found guilty of the possession of child pornography, you could face life-changing consequences.
With all of the above said, accidentally viewing child pornography might not be a crime depending upon the circumstances involved. If the error was genuine and your actions were not intentional, then there might be a defense to be had here. Simply claiming that you believed the actor to be an adult, however, will not ensure that your charges are dropped.
Child Pornography and Federal Charges
Federal law views essentially anything related to child pornography as illegal. That means that the federal government claims jurisdiction in child pornography-related charges and you can face serious federal consequences if you are convicted. The government is able to do this because the majority of child pornography has somehow impacted or traveled through foreign or interstate commerce, over which they have the jurisdiction to regulate. Because both federal and state governments have the right to prosecute cases involving child pornography, individuals could find themselves facing federal or state penalties.
If you, or someone you love, are facing charges related to the possession of child pornography, it is important that you reach out to an experienced attorney as quickly as possible. The importance of having educated, professional help in this situation cannot be overstated and the consequences for failing to secure such aid can be catastrophic. With that in mind, reach out to attorney James H. Bonner, Esquire, for more information about your case and how he can help.
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