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Federal Child Pornography

Chicago Federal Child Pornography Defense Attorney

Child sit on sidewalk Child pornography includes any pornography involving a minor under the age of 18. Child pornography can be in the form of drawings, film, photos, magazines, and more. Child pornography is illegal at the state and federal level, with most charges being filed in federal court. Federal child pornography charges carry potentially severe criminal sentences. Even first-time offenders can face sentences of between five and thirty years in prison. Aside from the harsh penalties, child pornography charges are also among the most difficult to defend against. Individuals charged with possessing, receiving, or distributing child pornography may feel deeply embarrassed by the charges and will need to overcome negative perceptions of the charge.

At The Law Offices of David L. Freidberg, P.C., we provide experienced representation to clients charged with even the most serious of criminal offenses. We understand that federal charges bring a unique host of challenges and require knowledge in this specific area of criminal defense. Our firm strives to provide our clients with the highest quality of legal representation, seeking to obtain your best possible legal outcome.

Federal Child Pornography Charges

United States Code Section 2256 of Title 18 defines child pornography as any manner of visual depiction, including film, video, photograph, computer, or computer generated image, made by mechanical, visual, or another mean, of sexually explicit conduct, where:

  1. The production of the depiction involves a person under the age of 18 engaging in sexually explicit conduct;
  2. Such visual depiction is a computer or digital image, or computer-generated image, that is indistinguishable from that of a person under 18 engaging in sexually explicit conduct; or
  3. The visual depiction has been created, modified, or adapted to appear that an individual under the age of 18 is engaged in sexually explicit conduct.

Sexually explicit conduct is defined broadly and can include actual sexual intercourse, as well as lascivious exhibitions of the genital region of a minor. Accordingly, a picture of a naked minor may constitute child pornography if it is sufficiently suggestive. Further, the state age of consent is irrelevant to the federal statute. Any depiction of a minor under 18 engaging in sexually explicit conduct is illegal on the federal level.

Under 18 U.S.C. § 2251, 18 U.S.C. § 2252, and 18 U.S.C. § 2252A, it is illegal to produce, possess, distribute, or receive an image of child pornography using or affecting any means or facility of interstate commerce. Section 2251 makes it a crime to induce or entice a minor to engage in sexually explicit conduct for purposes of creating visual depictions of said conduct. Attempting or conspiring to commit any child pornography offense is also illegal under the statute.

Child Pornography and the Internet

Today, most child pornography crimes involve the internet. The internet provides a means of communication and escape for many. Internet users will often place images on the web or create pornographic images believing they are shielded with privacy on the web. Images online will subject an individual to federal jurisdiction.

Penalties for Child Pornography

Sentences for child pornography have skyrocketed in recent years. Sentencing for this crime will vary depending on the exact nature of your charges. Defendants charged with possession of child pornography will not face a mandatory minimum sentence, but could nonetheless receive a lengthy sentence depending on the facts of the case and any priors. Those charged with receipt, distribution, transportation, production, or possession with the intent to distribute child pornography will receive a mandatory minimum sentence of five years, and could be sentenced to far longer if aggravating factors exist. Prosecutors on the federal level are known to request sentences far longer than the minimum for offenders of this particular crime due to the public opinion of child pornography.

Aside from potential prison time, those convicted of child pornography will have a permanent felony conviction on their record, which may limit their ability to find employment, apply for financial aid, and much more. Even further, defendants convicted of child pornography will need to register as a sex offender. Sex offenders must abide by numerous limitations, including where they can live.

Overcoming Stigmas to Defend Against Child Pornography Charges

One of the greatest challenges faced by defendants charged with child pornography is overcoming the negative emotions surrounding the charge. Child pornography is often treated by prosecutors as a pedophile or pervert. In many circumstances, however, defendants charged with this crime are educated and technically skilled individuals. They may have developed an internet habit that delved too far or turned to the internet to escape a difficult situation in real life. The law lumps even people who receive or look at pornographic images in the same category as those who produce or make money by distributing them.

Defending against federal child pornography charges will require a multifaceted approach. Our Chicago criminal defense attorneys will thoroughly research the facts surrounding your charges to uncover your best defense. We may work to humanize you as an individual and not just someone charged with a crime. Our defense may involve forensics, attacks on the element of knowledge, or challenges to the seizure of the evidence. Contact our office as soon as possible for an individualized assessment of your legal defenses and strongest course of action following being charged with child pornography.

Contact Chicago Criminal Defense Lawyer David L. Freidberg To Schedule Your Free Consultation Today!

Federal child pornography charges are some of the most serious criminal charges you can face. If you have been charged with child pornography in federal court, you will need the representation of knowledgeable and experienced criminal defense law firm. For decades, Illinois Criminal Defense Attorney David L. Freidberg has represented clients against a wide variety of criminal charges, including felonies, misdemeanors, state, and federal charges. Attorney David L. Freidberg offers zealous and skilled representation, fighting for the best possible outcome for our value clients. We can also assist you if you charges are located in Indiana or elsewhere. Call the Law Offices of David L. Freidberg, P.C., today at (312) 560-7100 or contact us online to schedule your free consultation.