Modern child pornography cases are quickly evolving from analog to digital, requiring a depth of knowledge the average person (or defense attorney) may not have to navigate both the law and the case itself.
The trial itselfcan intimidate and erode the defenses of all but the most experienced child porn attorneys.
Almost all child pornography cases now involve the use of an electronic device and the internet. Thanks to commonly available search engines, the "dark web" and file-sharing programs, it's now distressingly common for an average internet user to become the target of a child pornography investigation.
These sophisticated programs and hackers can frame others as the "real" distributor of illegal material, letting them take the legal fall for their actions.
The internet has also led to a democratization of general pornography among the general public.
Constant exposure to free pornography may acclimatize viewers and require them to seek out more dramatic material. Rather than potential treatment of an outright mental disease of addiction, too many of those in law would seek to blindly punish, while legislation has yet to catch up with 21st century norms.
Finally, we've certainly seen how mobile devices have facilitated sexting between young people, leading to underage child pornography distribution charges. And, when those images go further than the person who originally took and sent them intended...
Everyone facing child pornography charges should understand that either the state or federal prosecutor has the burden of showing that you violated federal laws related to child pornography beyond a reasonable doubt.
Therefore, if your attorney introduces reasonable doubt, then you cannot legally be convicted on any charges.
For example, it's possible that the defendant wasn’t aware that they were downloading or looking at child pornography, as it was mixed into or otherwise hidden in legal media.
Since possession of adult pornography is legal, you may have accidentally looked at child pornography material, or mistakenly downloaded the material from a file-sharing website thinking it was a movie or TV show.
If you're ever accused, though, know that there is the possibility of a solid, strong defense, and that there are people who hold prosecutors' work to the light of reason and doubt instead of taking the case verbatim.
Any conviction after that, and you're looking at doubling the sentence: Up to 20 years in prison and fines of up to $50,000.
Beyond these relatively straightforward sentences, Maryland law also requires you to register publicly as a sex offender– for years.
Maryland's sex offender registry is used by the public and law enforcement as a means of exposing an individual to public scrutiny, under the guise of "keeping watch" for recidivism. The sex offender registry means job problems, housing issues, and complications in just about every other meaningful area of your life.
Keep in mind that there are other consequences that a court can assign. However, fines, jail time, and a sex registry are the main ones.
With consequences like these on the line, you can't afford to take a risk on your defense. You get one shot to tell your side of the story, and criminal defense lawyers like the ones you'll find at JC Law will champion your rights and your life in front of judge, jury, and prosecution, no matter what it takes.
If you're worried about possible child porn charges, then schedule a free initial consultation with our criminal defense team. Our account executive will connect you with the best lawyer to speak to concerning your situation. Together, you can map out a strategy that will see you through this legal mess and out the other side.