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Kansas City, MO

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Posted by Christopher Combs on February 23, 2024

Child pornography defense lawyer in Kansas 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 charged for having or distributing child pornography in the Kansas City, MO area, you could be facing a felony charge 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 consultation. 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 Kansas City, MO?

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

According to RSMo § 573.037, an individual is charged with the offense of child pornography if they knowingly or recklessly possess any child pornography featuring a minor below 18 years of age or obscene material portraying what seems to be a minor less than 18 years of age.

A few examples of specific child pornography charges in Kansas City 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 participating in any aspect of the creation process of child pornography.

If you’re 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. You need an experienced advocate on your side to protect your reputation, your rights, and your future.

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

What Are the Legal Ramifications for Child Pornography in Kansas 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 Kansas City, MO if any of the following conditions are met:

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

Legal Ramifications for Promotion of Child Pornography in Kansas City, 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 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, 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 is a class D felony and could mean 4 years in prison and fines.

Legal Ramifications for Sexual Exploitation of a Minor in the Kansas 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 and a maximum of life in prison.

Mandatory Sex Offender Registration in Kansas City, 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 classifies 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 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. These offenses include violent acts including rape, child molestation, sexual assault, as well as repeat offenses.

Penalties for Not Registering as a Sex Offender in Kansas City 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 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 Kansas City, MO child pornography lawyers, we provide assistance in the following areas for clients in Kansas City, MO:

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

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

The Combs Waterkotte skilled Kansas City, MO child pornography defense team boasts a collective experience of more than 60 years, dedicated to defending clients across the Kansas City, MO area in cases similar to 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 did not 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 Kansas City, MO could also be considered.

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

An Accidental Possession Defense

The internet poses various threats, and your computer is susceptible to viruses, spyware, malware, spam, or other elements without your knowledge. These intrusions could include child pornography or other obscene materials. Many individuals throughout Kansas City 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 material in question involves any individual under the age of 18. If the material serves a scientific, religious, or educational purpose, it may be argued that it should not be classified as child pornography.

Illegal Search and Seizure

Law enforcement may make 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 Kansas City, MO. 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 situations throughout Missouri. 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. 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 multiple 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 reduce your sentence or, in some cases, avoid imprisonment via a treatment program and probation. Your Combs Waterkotte Kansas 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 more.

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

Don’t Wait – Connect With a Kansas City, MO Child Pornography Defense Lawyer Right Away at Combs Waterkotte

Child pornography charges are serious and can have lasting, if not permanent, implications on your reputation and future in Kansas 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 Kansas City or Missouri along is risky.

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

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