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Hillsboro, MO

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Posted by Christopher Combs on February 23, 2024

Child pornography defense lawyer in Hillsboro, MO. Confronting accusations or charges related to the possession or distribution of child pornography poses a significant risk to your personal and professional reputation. If you’re facing charges for possessing or distributing child pornography in Hillsboro, 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 scenario.

Reach out to the criminal defense attorneys at Combs Waterkotte immediately 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 Hillsboro, MO?

Despite prevailing stereotypes, child pornography charges can impact individuals from all walks of life throughout the Hillsboro, 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.

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

A few examples of specific child pornography charges in the Hillsboro, MO area 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’re facing charges or have been questioned regarding any of these examples – or any other child pornography charges in the Hillsboro, MO area – call Combs Waterkotte right away at (314) 900-HELP or reach out to us online. You need an experienced advocate on your side to protect your reputation, rights, and future.

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

What Are the Penalties for Child Pornography in Hillsboro, 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 Hillsboro, 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 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 Hillsboro, MO

The promotion of child pornography to an adult is a class C felony, punishable by up to 7 years in prison and 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’s a class D felony and could mean 4 years in prison and fines.

Penalties for Sexual Exploitation of a Minor in the Hillsboro, 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 imprisonment.

Mandatory Sex Offender Registration in Hillsboro, 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 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. 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. These offenses include violent acts like rape, child molestation, sexual assault, as well as repeat offenses.

Penalties for Not Registering as a Sex Offender in Hillsboro, MO

Failure to register as a sex offender is 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 14 years of age, in which case it becomes 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 Hillsboro, MO child pornography lawyers, we provide help in the following practice areas for clients in Hillsboro and anywhere in Missouri:

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

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

The Combs Waterkotte skilled Hillsboro, MO child pornography defense team boasts a collective experience of more than 60 years, dedicated to defending clients in Hillsboro, 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 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 Hillsboro, MO.

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

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 Hillsboro and Missouri have files on their computers that they are unaware of. 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 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 is vigilant in safeguarding your rights, future, and best interests. Law enforcement can occasionally push the limits on getting a warrant or may search beyond the scope of said warrant. If evidence against you was seized illegally, your child pornography defense lawyer will argue it is inadmissible.

Entrapment

Entrapment can manifest in various scenarios throughout the Hillsboro, 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 that 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 know – particularly when law enforcement runs a child porn sting operation which may round up numerous people, not all of whom are guilty.

Psychological Addiction/Mitigating Circumstances

While it isn’t necessarily a winning defense, claiming a psychological addiction to child pornography can serve as a strategy to reduce your sentence or, in some cases, avoid imprisonment through participation in a treatment program and probation. Some mitigating factors your Combs Waterkotte Hillsboro, 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 others.

Child Pornography Defense Lawyer Hillsboro, MO | Hillsboro, MO Criminal Defense Attorneys | Combs Waterkotte

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

Child pornography charges are gravely serious and can cast enduring, if not permanent, shadows on your reputation and future in Hillsboro, 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 Hillsboro or Missouri along is ill-advised.

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

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