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Jefferson City, MO

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Posted by Christopher Combs on February 23, 2024

Child pornography defense lawyer in Jefferson City, 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 accused of having or distributing child pornography in the Jefferson City, MO area, you could be facing felony charges and mandatory Missouri sex offender registration if convicted. Don’t leave that to chance.

Call the criminal defense attorneys at Combs Waterkotte immediately at (314) 900-HELP or contact 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 Jefferson City, MO?

Despite prevailing stereotypes, child pornography charges can impact individuals from all walks of life in and around Jefferson City, 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 they knowingly or recklessly possess any child pornography of a minor below 18 years old or obscene material portraying what appears to be a minor below 18 years old.

A few examples of specific child pornography charges in the Jefferson City, 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: 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 the Jefferson City, MO area – call Combs Waterkotte right away at (314) 900-HELP or reach out to us online. You need an knowledgeable advocate on your side to protect your reputation, your rights, and your future.

Child Pornography Defense Lawyer in Jefferson City, MO | Jefferson City, MO Criminal Defense | Combs Waterkotte

What Are the Penalties for Child Pornography in Jefferson City, 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 Jefferson City, MO if any of the following conditions apply:

  • Possess over 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

Penalties for Promotion of Child Pornography in Jefferson City, 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:

  • 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.
  • Jefferson City, 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 Jefferson City, MO Area

Charges related to sexual exploitation of a minor are categorized as a class B felony. However, if the child involved was under the age of 14 the charges are elevated 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 Jefferson City, MO and Throughout Missouri

Under 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 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: Individuals in this tier have a lifetime registration requirement and must report to the CLEO in person every 90 days. These offenses include violent acts such as rape, child molestation, sexual assault, as well as repeat offenses.

Penalties for Failing to Register as a Sex Offender in Jefferson City and Throughout Missouri

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 14 years of age, in which case it turns into 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 Jefferson City, MO child pornography lawyers, we provide assistance in the following areas for clients in Jefferson City and anywhere in Missouri:

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

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

The Combs Waterkotte skilled Jefferson City, MO child pornography defense team boasts a collective experience of over 60 years, dedicated to defending clients in Jefferson City, MO in cases similar to yours. While every case is different with unique circumstances, some defense strategies our attorneys 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. 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 Jefferson City, 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 now at (314) 900-HELP or contact 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 Jefferson City and throughout Missouri, have numerous files on your computer you didn’t even know existed.

“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 Jefferson City, MO. Law enforcement can occasionally push the limits on getting a warrant or may search beyond the scope of that warrant. If evidence against you was seized illegally, your child pornography defense lawyer will argue it is inadmissible.

Entrapment

Entrapment can manifest in various circumstances 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. 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 happens more often 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 it isn’t necessarily a winning defense, 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 Jefferson City, MO defense attorney may present various 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 others.

Child Pornography Defense Lawyer Jefferson City, MO | Jefferson City, MO Criminal Defense Attorneys | Combs Waterkotte

Don’t Hesitate – Reach Out to a Jefferson City, 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 Jefferson City, MO. But, as serious as they are, there are defenses available from the skilled and tenacious Combs Waterkotte legal team. Attempting to navigate the uncertainties and intricacies of the legal system in Jefferson City or Missouri along is ill-advised.

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

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