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Bowling Green, MO

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Posted by Christopher Combs on February 23, 2024

Child pornography defense lawyer in Bowling Green, 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’ve been charged for having or distributing child pornography in or around Bowling Green, MO, you could be looking at felony charges and mandatory Missouri sex offender registration if convicted. Don’t leave that 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 Bowling Green, MO?

Despite prevailing stereotypes, child pornography charges can impact individuals from all walks of life in and around Bowling Green, MO. As outlined in Missouri Revised Statute § 573.010, child pornography is defined as any material or performance that is obscene and depicts sexual conduct, contact, or sexual performance, involving a minor under 18 years of age as a participant or portrayed observer.

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 appears to be a minor under 18 years of age.

A few specific instances of child pornography charges in Bowling Green and elsewhere in 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 are confronted with charges related to any of these instances or other child pornography charges, it is imperative to contact Combs Waterkotte now at (314) 900-HELP or reach out to us online. Having an knowledgeable advocate by your side is crucial to safeguarding your reputation, rights, and future.

Child Pornography Defense Lawyer in Bowling Green, MO | Bowling Green, MO Criminal Defense | Combs Waterkotte

What Are the Legal Ramifications for Child Pornography in Bowling Green, MO?

Statutorily, under RSMo § 573.037, the offense of child pornography is a class D felony if you possess only one still image of child pornography or one obscene still image. The offense becomes a class B felony in Bowling Green, MO if you:

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

Legal Ramifications for Promotion of Child Pornography in and Around Bowling Green, MO

Engaging in the promotion of child pornography to an adult is classified as a class C felony, carrying potential penalties of up to 7 years in prison and fines. Additionally:

  • 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.

Penalties for Sexual Exploitation of a Minor in the Bowling Green, 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 are elevated to a class A felony, which carries a minimum prison sentence of 10 years with a maximum of life imprisonment.

Who Has to Register as a Sex Offender in Bowling Green, MO and Throughout Missouri?

According to RSMo § 589.400, individuals charged with specific crimes are obligated 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 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 more for misdemeanor sexual offenses or minor statutory offenses.
  • Tier II Offenders: These have 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 Bowling Green and Throughout Missouri

Failure to register as a sex offender is 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 14 years of age, in which case it turns into a class D felony.

Combs Waterkotte is an award-winning criminal defense law firm based in St. Louis. In addition to expert legal representation from our skilled Bowling Green, MO child pornography lawyers, we provide assistance in the following areas for clients in Bowling Green and anywhere in Missouri:

Child Pornography Defense Lawyer Bowling Green, MO | Criminal Defense Law Firm in Bowling Green, MO | Combs Waterkotte

What Are Common Defenses Against Child Pornography Charges in Bowling Green, MO?

The Combs Waterkotte skilled Bowling Green, MO child pornography defense team boasts a collective experience of more than 60 years, dedicated to defending clients across the Bowling Green, MO area in cases similar to yours. While every case is different with unique circumstances, some defense strategies our attorneys have used include:

An 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 did not belong to you. It could be applicable if child pornography was found on a shared computer or hard drive or on a device accessible to individuals other than yourself without your knowledge. An unintentional download through an unsecured network or the malicious actions of a vengeful ex-spouse or someone else in Bowling Green, MO could also be considered.

Your Combs Waterkotte defense lawyer will work to establish that you were not aware of possessing child porn. Call us now at (314) 900-HELP or contact us online.

Accidental Possession Defense

The internet can be a treacherous environment. Your computer is continuously susceptible 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 Bowling Green and throughout Missouri, have numerous files on your computer you didn’t even know existed.

“Not Child Porn” Defense

This defense is based on the prosecution’s burden to prove that material in question involves any individual under the age of 18. Also, 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 may make procedural errors, violating an individual’s Fourth Amendment rights under the Constitution. The Combs Waterkotte defense team always has your rights, your future, and your best interests in mind in Bowling Green, 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 circumstances throughout Missouri. The defense is rooted in the fact that you would not have committed the offense if law enforcement hadn’t initiated contact with 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 realize, especially in instances where law enforcement conducts child porn sting operations, rounding up multiple 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 through participation in a treatment program and probation. Your Combs Waterkotte Bowling Green, MO defense attorney may present a variety of 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 Bowling Green, MO | Bowling Green, MO Criminal Defense Attorneys | Combs Waterkotte

Don’t Hesitate – Reach Out to a Bowling Green, MO Child Pornography Defense Lawyer Now at Combs Waterkotte

Child pornography charges are serious and can have lasting, if not permanent, implications on your reputation and future in Bowling Green, MO. However, even in the face of such severity, there exist defenses that can wield effectively by the adept and relentless Combs Waterkotte legal team. Attempting to navigate the uncertainties and intricacies of the legal system in Bowling Green or Missouri along is risky.

We understand that good people often find themselves in unfortunate circumstances in Bowling Green and throughout Missouri. We’re here to help. Call our expert Bowling Green, MO child pornography defense lawyers today at (314) 900-HELP or complete our online contact form to arrange a free, confidential case review.

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