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Clinton County, MO

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Posted by Christopher Combs on February 23, 2024

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

Reach out to the criminal defense attorneys at Combs Waterkotte as soon as possible by calling (314) 900-HELP or contacting us online to schedule a complimentary, no-strings-attached case review. Our skilled child pornography defense lawyer is ready to meet with you personally, analyze the details of your case, and offer insights on the appropriate course of action.

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

Despite prevailing stereotypes, child pornography charges can impact individuals from all walks of life throughout the Clinton 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 old as a participant or portrayed observer.

As per RSMo § 573.037, an individual commits the offense of child pornography if they knowingly or recklessly possess any child pornography featuring a minor below 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 the Clinton 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 being involved in any aspect of the creation process of child pornography.

If you are facing charges or have been questioned regarding any of these examples – or any other child pornography charges in Clinton County, MO – call Combs Waterkotte right away at (314) 900-HELP or reach out to us online. Having an experienced advocate by your side is crucial to safeguarding your reputation, rights, and future.

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

What Are the Penalties for Child Pornography in Clinton 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 Clinton County, MO if any of the following conditions are met:

  • Possess more than 20 still images of child pornography
  • Possess over 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 in the form 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 and Around Clinton County, MO

The promotion of child pornography to an adult is a class C felony, carrying potential penalties of 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, leading to imprisonment for a duration of 5-15 years.
  • Clinton 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.

Penalties for Sexual Exploitation of a Minor in the Clinton 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 14 years of age the charges increase to a class A felony, which carries a minimum prison sentence of 10 years and a maximum of life in prison.

Mandatory Sex Offender Registration in Clinton County, 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 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: These have a 25-year registration requirement and must report to the CLEO in person semiannually. These offenses 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 such as rape, child molestation, sexual assault, as well as repeat offenses.

Penalties for Failing to Register as a Sex Offender in Clinton 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 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 Clinton County, MO child pornography lawyers, we provide assistance in the following areas for clients in Clinton County, MO:

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

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

The Combs Waterkotte skilled Clinton County, MO child pornography defense team boasts a collective experience of over 60 years, dedicated to defending clients across the Clinton County, MO area in cases similar to yours. While each case presents its own unique circumstances, our attorneys employ various defense strategies, including:

An Unintentional Possession Defense

Also known as “unintended possession,” this defense argues that you did not intend to possess child pornography in or around Clinton County, MO, or that the material did not 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 Clinton County, MO.

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

An Accidental Possession Defense

The internet poses various threats, and your computer may be exposed to viruses, spyware, malware, spam, or other elements without your knowledge. These intrusions could include child pornography or other obscene materials. Many individuals throughout Clinton 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 the subject of the material in question was under 18 years of age. 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 may make procedural errors, violating an individual’s Fourth Amendment rights under the Constitution. The Combs Waterkotte defense team is vigilant in safeguarding your rights, future, and best interests. If evidence was seized illegally, your Clinton County, MO child pornography defense lawyer will argue its inadmissibility.

Entrapment

Entrapment can occur in a variety of scenarios throughout the Clinton 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 occurs more frequently than we might know – particularly when law enforcement runs a child porn sting operation which may round up a multitude of 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 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 Clinton 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 Clinton County, MO | Clinton County, MO Criminal Defense Attorneys | Combs Waterkotte

Don’t Hesitate – Reach Out to a Clinton County, MO Child Pornography Defense Lawyer Right Away at Combs Waterkotte

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

We know that good people often find themselves caught in bad situations in Clinton County and throughout Missouri. We are here to help. Call our expert Clinton County, MO child pornography defense lawyers as soon as possible at (314) 900-HELP or complete our online contact form to arrange a free, confidential case review.

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