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Christian County, MO

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Posted by Christopher Combs on February 23, 2024

Child pornography defense lawyer in Christian 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 the Christian County, MO area, you could be looking at felony charges 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 contact us online for a free, no-obligation consultation. 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 Christian County, MO?

Despite prevailing stereotypes, child pornography charges can impact individuals from all walks of life throughout the Christian County, MO area. 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, a person is charged with the offense of child pornography if they knowingly or recklessly possess any child pornography of a minor under 18 years old or obscene material portraying what appears to be a minor below 18 years of age.

A few specific instances of child pornography charges in the Christian County, MO area are:

  • Possessing Child Pornography: The act of having child porn in one’s possession, irrespective 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: Encompasses 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 right now at (314) 900-HELP or reach out to us online. You need an experienced advocate on your side to protect your reputation, your rights, and your future.

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

What Are the Legal Ramifications for Child Pornography in Christian County, 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 Christian County, MO if you:

  • Possess over 20 still images of child pornography
  • Possess more than 20 obscene still images
  • Possess child pornography comprised 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
  • Prior conviction for an offense under this section

Legal Ramifications for Promotion of Child Pornography in Christian County, MO

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

  • If you knowingly promote child porn to a minor, or promote obscene material of a child under 14 years of age, you could be facing a class B felony – punishable by 5-15 years imprisonment.
  • Christian County, MO residents with a prior child pornography conviction, engaging in widespread promotion of child pornography or promoting it to a minor, may face a class D felony, punishable by 4 years in prison and fines.

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

If you are facing sexploitation charges, you are facing a class B felony. However, if the child involved was under 14 years of age the charges increase to a class A felony, carrying a minimum prison sentence of 10 years with a maximum of life imprisonment.

Who Has to Register as a Sex Offender in Christian 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 also breaks down offenders into different tiers for sex offender registration requirements. Those include:

  • 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 typically include 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: These have a lifetime registration requirement and must report to the CLEO in person every 90 days. Offenses in this category usually involve violent acts like rape, child molestation, sexual assault, as well as repeat offenses.

Penalties for Not Registering as a Sex Offender in Christian County, MO

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 as an unclassified felony, a class A or B felony, or a felony involving a child under the age of 14, in which case it is elevated to a class D felony.

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

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

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

The Combs Waterkotte skilled Christian County, MO child pornography defense team boasts a collective experience of over 60 years, dedicated to defending clients in Christian County, MO 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 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 Christian County, MO.

Your knowledgeable Combs Waterkotte defense attorney will work to establish that you were not aware of possessing child porn. Give us a call today at (314) 900-HELP or reach out to us online.

Accidental Possession Defense

The internet poses various threats, and your computer is susceptible to viruses, spyware, malware, spam, or other elements without your knowledge. These intrusions could include child pornography or other obscene materials. Many individuals throughout Christian County and Missouri have files on their computers that they are in the dark about. An accidental possession defense argues that you did not knowingly possess child pornography, emphasizing the unintentional nature of its presence on your device.

A “Not Child Porn” Defense

This defense challenges the prosecution’s burden to prove that material in question involves any individual under the age of 18. If the material serves a scientific, religious, or educational purpose, it may be argued that it should not be classified as 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 is vigilant in safeguarding your rights, future, and best interests. If evidence was seized illegally, your Christian County, MO child pornography defense lawyer will argue its inadmissibility.

Entrapment

Entrapment can manifest in various circumstances throughout Missouri. This defense asserts that you would not have committed the offense if law enforcement hadn’t initiated contact with you and persuaded you to do so. Officers could also try to 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 people, not all of whom are guilty.

Psychological Addiction/Mitigating Circumstances

While not guaranteed to result in acquittal, claiming a psychological addiction to child pornography is a possible means to minimize your sentence or, in some cases, avoid imprisonment via a treatment program and probation. Your Combs Waterkotte Christian 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 more.

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

Don’t Hesitate – Contact a Christian County, MO Child Pornography Defense Lawyer Now at Combs Waterkotte

Child pornography charges are serious and can cast enduring, if not permanent, shadows on your reputation and future in Christian 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 Christian County or Missouri legal system on your own.

We know that good people often find themselves caught in unfortunate circumstances in Christian County and throughout Missouri. We are here to help. Call our accomplished Christian County, MO child pornography defense lawyers as soon as possible at (314) 900-HELP or fill out our online contact form to schedule a free, confidential consultation.

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