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Barton County, MO

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Posted by Christopher Combs on February 23, 2024

Child pornography defense lawyer in Barton County, MO. Facing allegations of or charges for the possession or distribution of child pornography threatens to destroy both your reputation and your future. If you have been charged for having or distributing child pornography in or around Barton County, MO, you could be facing a felony charge and mandatory Missouri sex offender registration if convicted. Don’t leave your defense to chance.

Call the criminal defense attorneys at Combs Waterkotte immediately at (314) 900-HELP or reach out to us online for a free, no-obligation case review. Our expert child pornography defense lawyer will meet with you one-and-one, discuss the specifics of your case, and provide guidance on next steps.

What Can Lead to Child Pornography Charges in Barton County, MO?

While there might be many stereotypes, child pornography charges come up in all walks of life in and around Barton County, MO. Missouri Revised Statute § 573.010 defines child pornography as any obscene material or performance depicting sexual conduct, contact, or sexual performance, including a minor under 18 years old as a participant or portrayed observer of the material.

According to RSMo § 573.037, an individual is charged with the offense of child pornography if they knowingly or recklessly possess any child pornography of a minor less than 18 years old or obscene material portraying what seems to be a minor less than 18 years of age.

A few specific instances of child pornography charges in Barton County and across the state of Missouri are:

  • Possessing Child Pornography: Having child pornography in your possession, regardless of the quantity or form – digital, physical, etc.
  • Promoting Child Pornography: Involves distributing or selling child pornography to an adult, or promoting adult pornography to a minor.
  • Sexual Exploitation of a Minor: Filming, photographing, or participating in any aspect of the creation process of child pornography.

If you’re facing charges or have been questioned regarding any of these examples – or any other child pornography charges in the Barton County, MO area – call Combs Waterkotte right away at (314) 900-HELP or reach out to us online. You need an experienced advocate on your side to protect your reputation, rights, and future.

Child Pornography Defense Lawyer in Barton County, MO | Barton County, MO Criminal Defense | Combs Waterkotte

What Are the Legal Ramifications for Child Pornography in Barton County, MO?

From a statutory perspective, as outlined in RSMo § 573.037, the offense of child pornography is considered a class D felony when possessing just one still image of child pornography or one still image considered obscene. The severity of the offense escalates to a class B felony in Barton County, MO if any of the following conditions apply:

  • Possess more than 20 still images of child pornography
  • Possess over 20 obscene still images
  • Possess child pornography comprised of one motion picture, film, videotape, videotape production, or other moving image
  • Possess obscene material in the form of one motion picture, film, videotape, videotape production, or other moving image
  • Prior conviction for an offense under this section

Penalties for Promotion of Child Pornography in Barton County, MO

The promotion of child pornography to an adult is a class C felony, punishable by up to 7 years in prison along with fines. Moreover:

  • Knowingly promoting child pornography to a minor or distributing obscene material featuring a child under the age of 14 could escalate the charges to a class B felony – punishable by 5-15 years imprisonment.
  • If you have had a previous child pornography conviction, wholesale promotion of child porn, or promoting child porn to a minor in Missouri, it’s a class D felony and could mean 4 years in prison and fines.

Legal Ramifications for Sexual Exploitation of a Minor in the Barton County, MO Area

Charges related to sexual exploitation of a minor are categorized as a class B felony. However, if the child involved was under the age of 14 the charges increase to a class A felony, which carries a minimum prison sentence of 10 years with a maximum of life in prison.

Who Has to Register as a Sex Offender in Barton County, MO and Throughout Missouri?

According to RSMo § 589.400, any individual charged with the following crimes is required to register with the Missouri Sex Offender Registry within three days of their conviction or release from jail, prision, or probation:

  • Possessing and/or promoting child pornography
  • Using children in sexual performances
  • Promoting sexual performance by children
  • Sexually exploiting a minor
  • Public display of sexually explicit material
  • Promoting pornography for minors
  • Promoting obscenity
  • Coercing others to accept obscene materials
  • Promoting prostitution
  • Sexual contact with nursing home residents

Missouri classifies offenders into different tiers for sex offender registration requirements, including:

  • Tier I Offenders: These individuals have a 15-year registration requirement and must report to the Chief Law Enforcement Officer (CLEO) in person once a year. These offenses do not include child pornography, and are for misdemeanor sexual offenses or minor statutory offenses.
  • Tier II Offenders: Offenders in this tier face a 25-year registration requirement and must report to the CLEO in person semiannually. Offenses in this category may include possession of child pornography, indecent exposure, and other nonviolent sexual crimes against minors.
  • Tier II Offenders: Individuals in this tier have a lifetime registration requirement and must report to the CLEO in person every 90 days. These offenses include violent acts including rape, child molestation, sexual assault, as well as repeat offenses.

Penalties for Not Registering as a Sex Offender in Barton County and Throughout Missouri

Failure to register as a sex offender is considered a class E felony unless the individual is required to register after being charged with an offense in chapter 566 which was an unclassified felony, a class A or B felony, or a felony involving a child under the age of 14, in which case it becomes a class D felony.

Combs Waterkotte is a leading criminal defense law firm based in St. Louis. In addition to expert legal representation from our skilled Barton County, MO child pornography attorneys, we provide help in the following practice areas for clients in Barton County and anywhere in Missouri:

Child Pornography Defense Lawyer Barton County, MO | Criminal Defense Law Firm in Barton County, MO | Combs Waterkotte

What Are Common Defenses Against Child Pornography Charges in Barton County, MO?

The Combs Waterkotte skilled Barton County, MO child pornography defense team has a combined 60-plus years of experience defending clients throughout Barton County, MO in cases just like yours. While every case is different with unique circumstances, some defense strategies our lawyers have used include:

Unintentional Possession Defense

The basis of this defense, also commonly referred to as “unintended possession,” is that you didn’t mean to have child porn in your possession, or that the material didn’t belong to you. You also may not have even been aware of the existence of child porn. This may be used if child porn was discovered on a computer or hard drive that is shared, or to which individuals other than you may have had access without your knowledge. You also could have used an unsecured or shared network which enabled another individual to download child porn. An angry co-worker, employee, friend, ex-spouse, or other revengeful individual may be motivated to download child porn on your computer or hard drive in order to frame you in Barton County, MO.

Your knowledgeable Combs Waterkotte defense attorney can establish the most important factor – that you didn’t possess child pornography to your knowledge. Give us a call now at (314) 900-HELP or contact us online.

Accidental Possession Defense

The internet can be a treacherous environment. Your computer is continuously subjected to viruses, spyware, malware, spam, or various other inputs without your knowledge or consent. These intrusions could easily include child pornography or other obscene materials. You, like many other individuals in Barton County and throughout Missouri, have numerous files on your computer you didn’t even know existed.

“Not Child Porn” Defense

This defense challenges the prosecution’s burden to prove that the subject of the material in question was under 18 years of age. Additionally, if the material in question serves a scientific, religious, or educational purpose it should not be considered child pornography.

Illegal Search and Seizure

Law enforcement often makes procedural errors violating an individual’s Fourth Amendment rights under the Constitution. The defense team at Combs Waterkotte always has your rights, your future, and your best interests in mind in Barton County, MO. Law enforcement can occasionally push the limits on getting a warrant or may search beyond the scope of that warrant. If evidence against you was seized illegally, your child pornography defense lawyer will argue it is inadmissible.

Entrapment

Entrapment can occur in a variety of situations throughout the Barton County, MO area. This defense asserts that you would not have committed the offense if law enforcement hadn’t contacted you and persuaded you to do so. In some cases, officers may induce individuals to purchase content which wasn’t clearly labeled or believed to be child porn, only to arrest them for buying child porn. Entrapment happens more often than we might know – particularly when law enforcement runs a child porn sting operation which may round up a multitude of individuals, not all of whom are guilty.

Psychological Addiction/Mitigating Circumstances

While not guaranteed to result in acquittal, claiming a psychological addiction to child pornography can serve as a strategy to minimize your sentence or, in some cases, avoid imprisonment via a treatment program and probation. Your Combs Waterkotte Barton County, MO defense attorney may present various mitigating factors, like mental health issues, a history of abuse or neglect, extreme stress or anxiety, family conflict, lack of guidance as a child, and others.

Child Pornography Defense Lawyer Barton County, MO | Barton County, MO Criminal Defense Attorneys | Combs Waterkotte

Don’t Hesitate – Connect With a Barton County, MO Child Pornography Defense Lawyer Right Away at Combs Waterkotte

Child pornography charges are serious and can cast enduring, if not permanent, shadows on your reputation and future in Barton County, MO. But, as serious as they are, there are defenses available from the skilled and tenacious Combs Waterkotte legal team. Don’t try to navigate the uncertainties and complexities of the Barton County or Missouri legal system on your own.

We recognize that good people often find themselves in unfortunate circumstances in Barton County and throughout Missouri. We are here to help. Call our accomplished Barton County, MO child pornography defense lawyers right away at (314) 900-HELP or complete our online contact form to schedule a free, confidential case review.

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