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Joplin, MO

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Posted by Christopher Combs on February 23, 2024

Child pornography defense lawyer in Joplin, 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 Joplin, MO area, you could be facing felony charges and mandatory Missouri sex offender registration if convicted. Don’t leave your defense 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 Joplin, MO?

While there might be prevalent stereotypes, child pornography charges come up in all walks of life in and around Joplin, 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 of age as a participant or portrayed observer of the material.

According to RSMo § 573.037, an individual commits 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 seems to be a minor under 18 years old.

A few specific instances of child pornography charges in Joplin 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: 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 Joplin, MO – 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 Joplin, MO | Joplin, MO Criminal Defense | Combs Waterkotte

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

  • Possess more than 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
  • Have previously been found guilty of an offense under this section

Penalties for Promotion of Child Pornography in Joplin, MO

Engaging in the promotion of child pornography to an adult is classified as a class C felony, punishable by up to 7 years in prison and fines. Moreover:

  • 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.

Penalties for Sexual Exploitation of a Minor in the Joplin, MO Area

If you are facing sexploitation charges, you are facing a class B felony. However, if the child involved was under 14 years old the charges increase to a class A felony, which carries a minimum prison sentence of 10 years with a maximum of life imprisonment.

Mandatory Sex Offender Registration in Joplin, 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 classifies offenders into different tiers for sex offender registration requirements. Those include:

  • 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 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: Individuals in this tier 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 Not Registering as a Sex Offender in Joplin 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. In addition to expert legal representation from our skilled Joplin, MO child pornography attorneys, we provide help in the following practice areas for clients in Joplin and anywhere in Missouri:

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

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

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

Unintentional Possession Defense

Also known as “unintended possession,” this defense argues that you did not intend to possess child pornography in or around Joplin, MO, or that the material didn’t belong to you. It could 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 Joplin, MO could also be considered.

Your knowledgeable Combs Waterkotte defense lawyer will work to establish that you were not aware of possessing child porn. Call us now at (314) 900-HELP or contact us online.

Accidental Possession Defense

The internet can be a treacherous environment. Your computer is continuously subjected 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 Joplin 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. Also, 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 protecting 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 occur in a variety of scenarios throughout the Joplin, MO area. This defense asserts that you would not have committed the offense if law enforcement hadn’t initiated contact with 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 occurs more frequently than we might realize, especially in instances where law enforcement conducts child porn sting operations, rounding up multiple 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 reduce your sentence or, in some cases, avoid imprisonment via a treatment program and probation. Your Combs Waterkotte Joplin, 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 more.

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

Don’t Hesitate – Contact a Joplin, 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 Joplin, 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 Joplin or Missouri along is risky.

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

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