Columbus & Central Ohio Criminal Defense Attorney

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 Columbus, OH 43215

Child Pornography Defense Attorney

 

Defense of Child Porn Charges in Columbus, Ohio

 

Attorney for Defense of Child Pornography Charges in Columbus, OhioUnder Federal and Ohio Law, child pornography related offenses are some of the most zealously punished cases in the criminal justice system. Dramatic changes in the speed of home internet access and the amount of storage space available on personal computers and related devices have greatly facilitated the commission of child pornography crimes. In particular, "peer-to-peer" (P2P) file sharing via the internet has resulted in significant changes in the manner in which offenses are committed in just the past decade. P2P file sharing, which can be done in a anonymous manner and without any financial cost to users, has made distribution conduct typical of child pornography cases today. These technological changes have result in exponential increases in the volume and ready accessibility of child pornography.

 

With more offenses, in theory, being committed, Prosecutors have increased dramatically. The number of federal cases prosecuted increased from 50 per year in the '90s to almost 1700 in fiscal year 2011. During that time, sentencing for these offenses, have unfortunately also increased to an outrageous level. In fact, may federal judges are currently expressing concern and even outrage over not only the statutory mandatory minimums but also the recommendation of the Federal Sentencing Guidelines for non production and especially simple possession cases. See U.S.S.G. § 2G2.2. This concern at the federal level will likewise filter down to the state level with hopes of more reasonable sentences for non production offenses under Ohio law.

 

If you are charged with a child pornography offense, you need to contact a Columbus, Ohio attorney experienced in defending child pornography charges to ensure that you are represented zealously and all your legal rights are protected.

 

Child Pornography Charges and Federal Law

Federal law separates child pornography offenses into 3 categories: 1) Simple possession, 18 U.S.C. § 2252, 18 U.S.C. § 2252A; 2) Distribution,  18 U.S.C. § 2252 & 2252(A); and 3) Sexual exploitation of children, 18 U.S.C. § 22521 (known as production).

 Possession of child pornography is defined as knowingly possessing images of videos that contain a minor engaging in sexually explicit conduct. For a first time offender, a conviction for possession of child pornography carries a sentence of 0-10 years with no statutory mandatory minimum. This means that the offender will receive a sentence under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, and although straight probation is difficult though to receive, sentences under a year are possible with confinement in a half way house or home detention as alternatives to federal prison.

 

Charged With Distribution of Child Pornography

Distribution of child pornography is defined in 18 U.S.C. § 2252(A) as knowingly disseminating child pornography through the mail or transporting it via interstate commerce. The prohibited conduct is met when child pornography is mailed to a recipient, posted in a chat room, or downloaded from the defendant's computer through a peer to peer network. Distribution carries a mandatory maximum sentence for the first time offender and a maximum sentence of 20 years.

 The key point if charged with child pornography offense at the federal level is the following: approximately one half, i.e. 48 percent, of offenders charged with possession or distribution of child pornography receive a lower sentence than what the sentencing guidelines recommend for someone who commits that offense. But federal courts rarely depart on their own. To fall within that 48%, the offender's lawyer must make all the appropriate objections to the presentence report and file all the necessary motions with the sentencing court. As such, if charged with such an offense then the need to hire an experienced lawyer is crucial in achieving the best possible result.

 

Charged With Child Pornography in Ohio

Ohio Revised Code § 2907.323 describes the crime of illegal use of a minor in nudity-oriented material or performance (child pornography) as: 1) photographing any minor who is not the person's child or ward in a state of nudity, or create, direct, produce, or transfer any material or performance that shows the minor in a state of nudity; 2) consent to the photographing of the person's minor child or ward, or photograph the person's minor child or ward, in a state of nudity or consent to the use of the person's minor child or ward in a state of nudity in any material or performance, or use or transfer a material or performance of that matter; 3) possess or view any material or performance that shows a minor who is not the person's child or ward in a state of nudity. The first two violations are felonies of the second degree punishable by up to eight years in prison. Those convicted will also have to register as a sex offender and follow the strict rules for where a sex offender can live, work, travel, etc. The third violation is a felony of the third degree punishable by up to sixty months in prison.

 

Provocative Pictures of Minors

As one can see, the law governing child pornography is lengthy and complex. For example, a 16 year old girl sends a provocative picture to her 18 year old boyfriend. The boyfriend proceeds to show the pictures to friends and teammates. Unfortunately, in the age of modern technology, this is probably not an unusual situation, but it can lead to a charge of child pornography and pandering obscenity for the boyfriend. The boyfriend proceeds to show the pictures to friends and teammates. However, there are several defenses available to a person who finds themselves charged with child pornography, one example is, having written permission from the parents of the child to take or disseminate the photographs.

 

A person may also face criminal charges for knowingly distributing, recreating, selling, displaying, transporting or otherwise promoting material that contains a minor in the above described manner. This is often referred to as pandering obscenity involving a minor and is a felony of the second degree punishable by up to eight years in prison. Even purchasing such material is a felony of the fourth degree. If the person was previously convicted of a similar offense, the charge becomes a felony of the third degree and there is no longer a presumption of community control.

 

 

The complexity of the law and severity of the penalties involved necessitate contacting an experienced criminal defense attorney immediately.  However, the culture of sentencing for non production defendants, i.e. those guilty of simple possession and/or distribution, is changing and judges are more agreeable to considering lower sentences with even the possibility of probation. An offender must take advantage of all possible factors to mitigate the offense and receive the best possible sentence. If you find yourself charged with a crime relating to child pornography, call criminal defense attorney Joe Edwards at 614-309-0243.

 

 

 

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Columbus, Ohio  43215

 

 

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Child Pornography Defense Attorney

 

Defense of Child Porn Charges in Columbus, Ohio

 

Attorney for Defense of Child Pornography Charges in Columbus, OhioUnder Federal and Ohio Law, child pornography related offenses are some of the most zealously punished cases in the criminal justice system. Dramatic changes in the speed of home internet access and the amount of storage space available on personal computers and related devices have greatly facilitated the commission of child pornography crimes. In particular, "peer-to-peer" (P2P) file sharing via the internet has resulted in significant changes in the manner in which offenses are committed in just the past decade. P2P file sharing, which can be done in a anonymous manner and without any financial cost to users, has made distribution conduct typical of child pornography cases today. These technological changes have result in exponential increases in the volume and ready accessibility of child pornography.

 

With more offenses, in theory, being committed, Prosecutors have increased dramatically. The number of federal cases prosecuted increased from 50 per year in the '90s to almost 1700 in fiscal year 2011. During that time, sentencing for these offenses, have unfortunately also increased to an outrageous level. In fact, may federal judges are currently expressing concern and even outrage over not only the statutory mandatory minimums but also the recommendation of the Federal Sentencing Guidelines for non production and especially simple possession cases. See U.S.S.G. § 2G2.2. This concern at the federal level will likewise filter down to the state level with hopes of more reasonable sentences for non production offenses under Ohio law.

 

If you are charged with a child pornography offense, you need to contact a Columbus, Ohio attorney experienced in defending child pornography charges to ensure that you are represented zealously and all your legal rights are protected.

 

Child Pornography Charges and Federal Law

Federal law separates child pornography offenses into 3 categories: 1) Simple possession, 18 U.S.C. § 2252, 18 U.S.C. § 2252A; 2) Distribution,  18 U.S.C. § 2252 & 2252(A); and 3) Sexual exploitation of children, 18 U.S.C. § 22521 (known as production).

 Possession of child pornography is defined as knowingly possessing images of videos that contain a minor engaging in sexually explicit conduct. For a first time offender, a conviction for possession of child pornography carries a sentence of 0-10 years with no statutory mandatory minimum. This means that the offender will receive a sentence under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, and although straight probation is difficult though to receive, sentences under a year are possible with confinement in a half way house or home detention as alternatives to federal prison.

 

Charged With Distribution of Child Pornography

Distribution of child pornography is defined in 18 U.S.C. § 2252(A) as knowingly disseminating child pornography through the mail or transporting it via interstate commerce. The prohibited conduct is met when child pornography is mailed to a recipient, posted in a chat room, or downloaded from the defendant's computer through a peer to peer network. Distribution carries a mandatory maximum sentence for the first time offender and a maximum sentence of 20 years.

 The key point if charged with child pornography offense at the federal level is the following: approximately one half, i.e. 48 percent, of offenders charged with possession or distribution of child pornography receive a lower sentence than what the sentencing guidelines recommend for someone who commits that offense. But federal courts rarely depart on their own. To fall within that 48%, the offender's lawyer must make all the appropriate objections to the presentence report and file all the necessary motions with the sentencing court. As such, if charged with such an offense then the need to hire an experienced lawyer is crucial in achieving the best possible result.

 

Charged With Child Pornography in Ohio

Ohio Revised Code § 2907.323 describes the crime of illegal use of a minor in nudity-oriented material or performance (child pornography) as: 1) photographing any minor who is not the person's child or ward in a state of nudity, or create, direct, produce, or transfer any material or performance that shows the minor in a state of nudity; 2) consent to the photographing of the person's minor child or ward, or photograph the person's minor child or ward, in a state of nudity or consent to the use of the person's minor child or ward in a state of nudity in any material or performance, or use or transfer a material or performance of that matter; 3) possess or view any material or performance that shows a minor who is not the person's child or ward in a state of nudity. The first two violations are felonies of the second degree punishable by up to eight years in prison. Those convicted will also have to register as a sex offender and follow the strict rules for where a sex offender can live, work, travel, etc. The third violation is a felony of the third degree punishable by up to sixty months in prison.

 

Provocative Pictures of Minors

As one can see, the law governing child pornography is lengthy and complex. For example, a 16 year old girl sends a provocative picture to her 18 year old boyfriend. The boyfriend proceeds to show the pictures to friends and teammates. Unfortunately, in the age of modern technology, this is probably not an unusual situation, but it can lead to a charge of child pornography and pandering obscenity for the boyfriend. The boyfriend proceeds to show the pictures to friends and teammates. However, there are several defenses available to a person who finds themselves charged with child pornography, one example is, having written permission from the parents of the child to take or disseminate the photographs.

 

A person may also face criminal charges for knowingly distributing, recreating, selling, displaying, transporting or otherwise promoting material that contains a minor in the above described manner. This is often referred to as pandering obscenity involving a minor and is a felony of the second degree punishable by up to eight years in prison. Even purchasing such material is a felony of the fourth degree. If the person was previously convicted of a similar offense, the charge becomes a felony of the third degree and there is no longer a presumption of community control.

 

 

The complexity of the law and severity of the penalties involved necessitate contacting an experienced criminal defense attorney immediately.  However, the culture of sentencing for non production defendants, i.e. those guilty of simple possession and/or distribution, is changing and judges are more agreeable to considering lower sentences with even the possibility of probation. An offender must take advantage of all possible factors to mitigate the offense and receive the best possible sentence. If you find yourself charged with a crime relating to child pornography, call criminal defense attorney Joe Edwards at 614-309-0243.

 

 

 

Attorney for Defense of Child Pornography Charges in Columbus, Ohio