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DeKalb County, MO

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Posted by Christopher Combs on February 23, 2024

Child pornography defense lawyer in DeKalb 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 accused of having or distributing child pornography in the DeKalb 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 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 DeKalb County, MO?

Despite prevailing stereotypes, child pornography charges can impact individuals from all walks of life in and around DeKalb County, 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.

As per RSMo § 573.037, a person is charged with the offense of child pornography if such person knowingly or recklessly possesses any child pornography featuring a minor less than 18 years of age or obscene material portraying what appears to be a minor below 18 years of age.

A few specific instances of child pornography charges in DeKalb County and across the state of Missouri 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: Filming, photographing, or being involved 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 experienced advocate by your side is crucial to safeguarding your reputation, your rights, and your future.

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

What Are the Penalties for Child Pornography in DeKalb 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 DeKalb 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 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

Penalties for Promotion of Child Pornography in DeKalb 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. Additionally:

  • 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.
  • If you have had a previous child pornography conviction, wholesale promotion of child porn, or promoting child porn to a minor in Missouri, it is a class D felony and could mean 4 years in prison and fines.

Legal Ramifications for Sexual Exploitation of a Minor in the DeKalb 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 old the charges increase to a class A felony, carrying a minimum prison sentence of 10 years with a maximum of life in prison.

Mandatory Sex Offender Registration in DeKalb 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, 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 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: 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 Failing to Register as a Sex Offender in DeKalb 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 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 becomes a class D felony.

Combs Waterkotte is an award-winning criminal defense law firm based in St. Louis. Along with expert legal representation from our skilled DeKalb County, MO child pornography attorneys, we provide help in the following practice areas for clients in DeKalb County and anywhere in Missouri:

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

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

The Combs Waterkotte skilled DeKalb County, MO child pornography defense team boasts a collective experience of more than 60 years, dedicated to defending clients in DeKalb County, MO in cases similar to 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. It may 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 DeKalb County, MO could also be considered.

Your Combs Waterkotte defense attorney can establish the most important factor – that you didn’t possess child pornography to your knowledge. Call us today at (314) 900-HELP or contact 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 DeKalb 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.

“Not Child Porn” Defense

This defense is based on 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 Combs Waterkotte defense team always has your rights, your future, and your best interests in mind in DeKalb County, MO. If evidence was seized illegally, your DeKalb County, MO child pornography defense lawyer will argue its inadmissibility.

Entrapment

Entrapment can occur in a variety of situations throughout Missouri. The defense is rooted in the fact that you would not have committed the offense if law enforcement hadn’t contacted 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 occurs more frequently 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 through participation in a treatment program and probation. Some mitigating factors your Combs Waterkotte DeKalb County, MO defense lawyer can present could include 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 DeKalb County, MO | DeKalb County, MO Criminal Defense Attorneys | Combs Waterkotte

Don’t Wait – Connect With a DeKalb County, 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 DeKalb County, 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. Don’t try to navigate the uncertainties and complexities of the DeKalb County or Missouri legal system on your own.

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

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