Accidental Child Porn Distribution: How to Protect Yourself

Imagine one day, the police are knocking down your door and accusing you of crazy things – such as downloading child porn. If that seems hard to believe, well, it happens more often than you could think.

Even if you didn’t download child porn, you’ll need to take the accusations seriously. After all, there are so many ways that child pornography can be accidentally downloaded or planted on your computer. Accidents happen, and they should not put you in jail.

If you ever find yourself accused of child pornography possession or distribution, you should know:

3 Possible Ways Child Pornography Accidentally Gets On Your Computer

If you find yourself under suspicion of possession of child pornography, then know that our Firm’s first thought does not jump to intentional downloading or possession.

That’s because there are so many sneaky ways that websites and people hide child porn in other, perfectly legal downloadable files. Or, hackers can just download them straight to your computer without your knowledge so that you get the blame.

Typically, the best ways to prove your innocence and defend yourself includes:

  • Mistaken identity
  • No criminal intent
  • No knowledge of content

>>READ MORE ON CRIMINAL DEFENSE OF CHILD PORNOGRAPHY CHARGES<<

Child Porn Defense #1: Mistaken Identity

“Mistaken identity” means that it wasn’t actually you who committed the alleged crime. Possible scenarios include:

  • The alleged crime happened when you were on a public computer at the library who logged in to your session while you ran to the bathroom;
  • The child porn was found on a computer in the living room that a visitor to the house accessed without your knowledge; or
  • Someone stole your IP address by changing the VPN, to make it look like you were using a computer when you did not.

By using a public computer and proving someone hacked into your computer, you can easily prove yourself innocent to the authorities.

Child Porn Defense #2: No Criminal Intent

“No criminal intent” means that you admit that you did consume – that is, view or otherwise purposefully watch – the media you are accused of, but were led to believe the individuals depicted in the media were of age.

If you had reason to believe the media did not violate any federal laws, then you have no reason to be accused of criminal intent.

Let’s say that someone browses a pornographic site for videos. They select one that says the actors within the video are over the age of 18, and they certainly look like it.

However, it turns out the filmed individuals were actually 14 or 15 years old at the time.

Should you really go to jail if you were misled and had no reason to believe that they weren’t the age claimed?

Child Porn Defense #3: No Knowledge of Content

Finally, “no knowledge of content” is when harmful players hide child porn in other files or otherwise on your computer to be accessed by others.

For example, there are many file sharing sites out there, such as Torrent or Uplex. When you want to watch a movie or listen to a CD, files are downloaded to your device to share. Other hidden files may be downloaded at the same time without your knowledge – only to be discovered when law enforcement is knocking at your door.

You may even host files as part of the software access, so others may download from your computer. If you manage to host the wrong set of externally acquired files – or if a hacker places them there – then you may be accidentally distributing child pornography, too, which is yet another set of serious charges.

Again, this is in no way your fault, and should not require you to register as a sex offender for years.

Disproving Child Pornography Allegations

Although the earlier defenses to child pornography accusations seem like a great way to get yourself acquitted, these may not work for everyone.

Let’s say that you don’t hire a criminal defense lawyer experienced in child pornography charges right off the bat. By the time the lawyer gets your computer and devices to a specialist for examination, the evidence of the hack may have been erased remotely.

And, the judgment of whether someone “knew” that the material depicted underage minors is extremely personal. Features that look “adult” to one person may be childlike to someone else. You’ll need expert witnesses and a solid defense lawyer to make sure that your innocence is proven out.

As said before, child pornography is serious and can ruin more than just your reputation. A federal crime on your record can ruin your relationships, keep you from getting your dream job, and can even keep you from moving into the neighborhoods with your dream home since you’ll have to register as a sex offender.

A lawyer can help you put together the exact argument that will fit your situation and get you the life you deserve.

As soon as you are accused – and after you hire a lawyer – the best thing to do is exercise your Fifth Amendment right and refuse to talk about your case without your lawyer present.

Remember: The police and prosecutors can – and will! – use anything you do or say against you in court, no matter what reassurances they offer in the moment. You are not and cannot legally incriminate yourself just because you “plead the Fifth.”

It is your best defense until your lawyer arrives to help you navigate the ensuing investigation for child porn possession and distribution charges.

[CHECKLIST] If you need a criminal defense lawyer in Maryland, learn the 8 questions you must ask before retaining.

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