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Forsyth, MO

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Posted by Christopher Combs on February 23, 2024

Child pornography defense lawyer in Forsyth, MO. Confronting accusations or charges related to the possession or distribution of child pornography poses a substantial risk to your personal and professional standing. If you’re facing charges for possessing or distributing child pornography in Forsyth, MO, you may be confronted with serious felony charges and mandatory Missouri sex offender registration upon conviction. It is vital not to leave your defense to chance in such a critical situation.

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 Forsyth, MO?

While there might be many stereotypes, child pornography charges come up in all walks of life in and around Forsyth, 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, a person is charged with the offense of child pornography if such person knowingly or recklessly possesses any child pornography of a minor less than 18 years of age or obscene material portraying what appears to be a minor less than 18 years of age.

A few specific instances of child pornography charges in Forsyth 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: 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. Having an knowledgeable advocate by your side is crucial to safeguarding your reputation, rights, and future.

Child Pornography Defense Lawyer in Forsyth, MO | Forsyth, MO Criminal Defense | Combs Waterkotte

What Are the Legal Ramifications for Child Pornography in Forsyth, 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 Forsyth, MO if any of the following conditions apply:

  • 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 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 and Around Forsyth, 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 along with fines. Also:

  • 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, leading to imprisonment for a duration of 5-15 years.
  • 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 Forsyth, 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 are elevated 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 Forsyth, MO and Throughout Missouri

Under 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. 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. 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 Forsyth, MO

Failure to register as a sex offender is considered a class E felony unless you are 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 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 Forsyth, MO child pornography lawyers, we provide help in the following practice areas for clients in Forsyth, MO:

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

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

The Combs Waterkotte skilled Forsyth, MO child pornography defense team has a combined 60-plus years of experience defending clients throughout Forsyth, MO in cases just like yours. While each case presents its own unique circumstances, our attorneys employ various defense strategies, including:

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 Forsyth, 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 today at (314) 900-HELP or reach out to 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 Forsyth and throughout Missouri, have numerous files on your computer you didn’t even know existed.

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. 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 Forsyth, MO. If evidence was seized illegally, your Forsyth, MO child pornography defense lawyer will argue its inadmissibility.

Entrapment

Entrapment can manifest in various situations throughout the Forsyth, MO area. 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. 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 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 via a treatment program and probation. Your Combs Waterkotte Forsyth, MO defense attorney may present a variety of mitigating factors, such as 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 Forsyth, MO | Forsyth, MO Criminal Defense Attorneys | Combs Waterkotte

Don’t Wait – Connect With a Forsyth, MO Child Pornography Defense Lawyer Now at Combs Waterkotte

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

We recognize that good people often find themselves caught in unfortunate circumstances in Forsyth and throughout Missouri. We’re here to help. Call our expert Forsyth, MO child pornography defense lawyers as soon as possible at (314) 900-HELP or complete our online contact form to schedule a free, confidential case review.

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