Situations That Can Lead to Criminal Charges for Possession of Child Pornography
Most often, the child pornography cases we see are peer-to-peer network download cases where you may have used Ares or Bit Torrent or Nutella, etc. and where you are either purposely or accidentally downloading child pornography. Another possibility is that you are out there on the dark web purchasing it. Somehow, someway, someone stumbles over child pornography (or what they believe is child porn) either being downloaded or on one of your digital devices.
Alternatively, we are seeing an increasing number of cases from clients who have nude pictures of an underage girlfriend or ex-girlfriend on their phone or computer or in the cloud. These clients are often unaware of the seriousness of their offense since the photos were taken as part of a private relationship and not publicly distributed.
Key Points to Remember if You’re Facing Criminal Charges for Possessing Child Pornography
We encourage you to request a copy of our free guide, Fighting the Guilt Machine, to learn how sex crimes are prosecuted in Oklahoma. This informative resource was created to help our clients understand what they’re up against. It outlines what to expect when you’re facing a sex crimes charge, including two key points that relate to child pornography offenses in Oklahoma.
Preserve Your Rights
Exercise your right to remain silent and avoid discussing the details of your case with anyone except your attorney. Stay off social media, don’t talk about the case to your friends, and don’t attempt to contact anyone who may be involved in the investigation. Additionally, promptly seek legal representation from a qualified criminal defense attorney who specializes in handling cases related to child pornography.
Law enforcement will try to gather evidence against you during the investigation. It is vital to refrain from providing any statements, written or oral, without the presence of your attorney. Anything you say or write can be used against you in court. Cooperate with law enforcement regarding procedural matters, such as providing identification, but avoid discussing the details of the case.
Build a Valid Defense With the Help of an Experienced Tulsa Sex Crimes Attorney
Child pornography cases are exceptionally difficult. The vast majority of the time, when they are set upon us, the client believes their goose is cooked. Sometimes they are right. Sometimes law enforcement has just got them. There are plenty of situations where the client has confessed to the crime, and I cannot get the confession suppressed. Other times the DA has all of the digital evidence they need, along with a confession and the client’s “fingerprints” all over it. The client is convinced their case is over before it even starts. But again, what is the analysis? What is the examination?
When charged with possessing child pornography, it is crucial to seek legal representation from a skilled sex crimes attorney who can help build a strong defense strategy. Some potential defenses that may apply to your case include illegal search and seizure, lack of knowledge, constitutional violations, or entrapment.
Illegal Search and Seizure
If law enforcement obtained the evidence through an unlawful search or seizure, it may be possible to challenge the admissibility of the evidence in court.
Lack of Knowledge
Child pornography is a specific intent crime. Your conduct in possessing that child pornography must be willful. You must know the nature and character of the images, files, and videos, but not necessarily the exact content of the files or that you even actually viewed the file. If you were unaware that the material in question was child pornography, or if you can demonstrate that you lacked intent or knowledge of its presence, it may be a viable defense.
We may explore whether any constitutional rights were violated during the investigation, such as improper handling of evidence or violations of your right to due process.
If law enforcement induced or coerced you into possessing child pornography, an entrapment defense may be applicable.
The Berlin Law Firm Is Here for You
You're in a difficult situation, but there's still hope. The Berlin Law Firm focuses on representing clients charged with sex crimes in Tulsa and the surrounding areas. Our proprietary defense system is based on my experience as a prosecutor at the Tulsa DA's office and has been shown to help clients achieve the best possible outcome for their cases.
Some of the questions I’ll ask as part of my investigation include:
- How was the evidence preserved?
- Where were the images found? Were they found in the unallocated space or the allocated space? Was there any evidence of deletion?
- What was the number of downloads that were supposedly made?
- What percentage of all of the pornography that's found on the computer, what percentage of it is child pornography in relation to regular pornography?
- What are the ages of the children? Is the state going to employ medical experts to actually prove these individuals in the photographs are underage?
- Do the photos or videos even depict a real child?
- How did the defendant receive the images or the file? Was it from a bulk download or an individual search that they did off of, let's say, Bit Torrent?
- Is the actual exhibition of that person's body and genitals considered lewd? Do the images have the purpose of sexual stimulation to the viewer?
Does all of this mean that we will not be able to keep the client out of prison? Absolutely not. Time and time again, we have these very cases where through the ruthless execution of my exclusive defense system, combined with my unique practice and my client’s trust, I have been able to secure either straight probation plea recommendations or short periods of incarceration that seemed impossible when the client first came in to see me. My defense system does not guarantee an outcome, but I am convinced there is no better way to squeeze the best possible outcome out of a seemingly impossible situation for my clients.