Defending Against Child Pornography Charges – Illinois Sexual Crimes Defense Attorneys
There are few crimes that elicit more of a negative reaction than being charged with possession, distribution, or production of child pornography. The State of Illinois punishes severely those possessing or otherwise involved with prurient images of children. It is dangerously easy to end up with materials considered pornography within your control. You open an e-mail, receive a text, or download a file and do not realize that this opens the door to severe penalties, including fines and prison time. A person can face criminal charges when he or she did not realize that the images that he or she had were those of a minor. The penalties increase with the level of involvement in the possession, distribution, or production of pornography, but what is certain is that somebody being investigated for or charged with such a crime needs the assistance of a very experienced criminal defense attorney.
Providing an Aggressive Defense against Child Pornography Charges
David L. Freidberg has spent more than eighteen years protecting the rights of his clients and defending against criminal charges. As a Chicago-based attorney, Mr. Freidberg has represented defendants in many different criminal cases, but sexual-based crimes involving children are amongst the most difficult to defend because of the negative scrutiny, regardless of whether the accused is actually guilty or not. Mr. Freidberg offers a non-judgmental environment in which to share your situation. Whether the charges arise from a mistake, the wrongful act of another, or some other circumstance, we can help. Our attorneys work with experienced computer forensic specialists, able to discover information to refute the facts being presented by the prosecution. We investigate every part of the case in order to determine if rights were violated. It is critical for our attorneys to become involved in the representation as soon as possible to minimize the damage to your reputation and your life. We are prepared to offer the best possible defense to defeat the charges or minimize the impact.
What is Child Pornography?
Child pornography involves the visual depiction of minors under eighteen (18) years old who are engaging in any activity of a sexual nature. It also may include a visual portrayal of minors displaying lewd or erotic behavior with the intent to arouse or sexually gratify the viewer. There are many different actions that can result in a charge related to child pornography. These include:
- Sending a sexually explicit text message or image to a person under the age of eighteen (18) years or encouraging a minor to send you sexually explicit photographs;
- Possession of images of a person under the age of 18 years that are considered pornographic in nature in either hard copy or on a computer hard drive;
- Downloading or sending materials that are classified as child pornography using the Internet;
- Distribution of child pornography through the mail, in person, or over the Internet;
- Selling child pornography; or
- Production of child pornography in any medium, including photographs, videos, or digital media for sale on the Internet.
As more attention has focused on child pornography, the federal government has become increasingly involved in the pursuit of alleged perpetrators. Federal authorities are focusing resources and creating task forces to capture people involved in any aspect of this industry.
Penalties for Charges of Child Pornography
The penalties for a conviction on this charge are severe. These possible sentences include:
- Possession of child pornography can result in a sentence with a mandatory minimum of four (4) to fifteen (15) years in prison, which usually is dependent on the volume of child pornography in the accused’s possession and the nature of the images; this sentencing range can be increased to thirty (30) years in prison if the child depicted is under the age of thirteen (13);
- Distribution of child pornography has a minimum mandatory sentence of ten (10) years in prison and prison terms of much longer time periods are possible;
- Production of child pornography charges that lead to a conviction will result in a minimum prison term of ten (10) years and may result in a twenty (20) year sentence.
Due to the involvement of the federal government, defending against these charges might involve state, federal, and even international law.
If you are under investigation for or charged with child pornography, there are some things that you should do:
- First, do not volunteer anything – Investigating officers and prosecutors will attempt to convince you that everything will be easier if you cooperate. This is not true. Do not answer any questions without an attorney present and do not hand anything over without a properly issued search warrant.
- Second, bring an attorney into all aspects of the process – If you face charges for child pornography and there are children in your household, the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) may get involved. It is important to have representation when dealing with this situation as well as the criminal matter.
- Third, do not agree to a plea without legal advice – Accepting a plea in a child pornography case likely will require that you become a registered sex offender. Once you are on that registry, it is nearly impossible to get off of it. This will impact your job prospects, your personal life, and even where you are able to live for the remainder of your life, in many cases.
Law Enforcement Focusing on International Child Pornography Trafficking
As the Internet changes the world that we live in, it also changes the means through which this material is produced and distributed. Law enforcement has increased its focus on the international aspects of child pornography, working with task forces to catch people who distribute and receive child pornography across international borders. It is critical for someone accused of this crime to have an attorney who understands every facet of the law and how it impacts the accused.
David L. Freidberg Will Zealously Defend against Child Pornography Charges
After more than 20 years as an attorney, David L. Freidberg has seen everything and knows that things often are not what they first appear to be. Defending against a child pornography charge means that a spotlight is going to be shown on every aspect of a defendant’s life, making even someone with no culpability feel exposed and vulnerable. Our skilled attorneys are aware of this and know how to work with a client to present the most effective defense while doing everything possible to minimize the intrusion into his or her personal affairs. Our attorneys understand that law enforcement officers often jump to conclusions without having all the facts, take shortcuts and trample on constitutional rights, and overlook exculpatory evidence. We will work with computer experts to uncover information that could exonerate our client and defend the case with the utmost diligence to ensure the best possible outcome. To schedule a free and confidential consultation, please email or call us at (312) 560-7100. We are available 24/7 for your convenience.