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Lexington, MO

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Posted by Christopher Combs on February 23, 2024

Child pornography defense lawyer in Lexington, MO. Confronting accusations or charges related to the possession or distribution of child pornography poses a substantial risk to your personal and professional reputation. If you find your accused of possessing or distributing child pornography in Lexington, 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.

Call the criminal defense attorneys at Combs Waterkotte immediately at (314) 900-HELP or reach out to 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 Lexington, MO?

Despite prevailing stereotypes, child pornography charges can impact individuals from all walks of life throughout the Lexington, 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, an individual commits the offense of child pornography if they knowingly or recklessly possess any child pornography featuring a minor under 18 years of age or obscene material portraying what appears to be a minor under 18 years old.

A few examples of specific child pornography charges in Lexington and elsewhere in 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: Distributing or selling child pornography to an adult, or promoting adult pornography to a minor.
  • Sexual Exploitation of a Minor: Encompasses filming, photographing, or taking part 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 experienced advocate by your side is crucial to safeguarding your reputation, rights, and future.

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

What Are the Legal Ramifications for Child Pornography in Lexington, 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 Lexington, MO if you:

  • Possess over 20 still images of child pornography
  • Possess over 20 obscene still images
  • Possess child pornography comprised of one motion picture, film, videotape, videotape production, or other moving image
  • Possess obscene material comprised 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 and Around Lexington, 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. 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’s a class D felony and could mean 4 years in prison and fines.

Legal Ramifications for Sexual Exploitation of a Minor in the Lexington, MO Area

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

Who Has to Register as a Sex Offender in Lexington, 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 also breaks down 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 are more for 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. These offenses include violent acts like rape, child molestation, sexual assault, as well as repeat offenses.

Penalties for Failing to Register as a Sex Offender in Lexington, 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 as 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 a leading criminal defense law firm based in St. Louis. In addition to expert legal representation from our skilled Lexington, MO child pornography lawyers, we provide help in the following practice areas for clients in Lexington, MO:

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

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

The Combs Waterkotte skilled Lexington, MO child pornography defense team boasts a collective experience of over 60 years, dedicated to defending clients across the Lexington, MO area in cases similar to yours. While each case presents its own unique circumstances, our attorneys employ various defense strategies, including:

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 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 Lexington, MO could also be considered.

Your knowledgeable Combs Waterkotte defense attorney can establish the most important factor – that you didn’t possess child pornography to your knowledge. Call us today at (314) 900-HELP or contact us online.

An 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 Lexington and throughout Missouri, have numerous files on your computer you didn’t even know existed.

“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. 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 often makes procedural errors violating an individual’s Fourth Amendment rights under the Constitution. The defense team at Combs Waterkotte 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 that 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 contacted you and persuaded you to do so. Officers could also try to 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 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 through participation in a treatment program and probation. Your Combs Waterkotte Lexington, 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 Lexington, MO | Lexington, MO Criminal Defense Attorneys | Combs Waterkotte

Don’t Wait – Contact a Lexington, MO Child Pornography Defense Lawyer Right Away at Combs Waterkotte

Child pornography charges are serious and can cast enduring, if not permanent, shadows on your reputation and future in Lexington, 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 Lexington or Missouri along is risky.

We understand that good people often find themselves in unfortunate circumstances in Lexington and throughout Missouri. We are here to help. Call our accomplished Lexington, MO child pornography defense lawyers right away at (314) 900-HELP or fill out our online contact form to schedule a free, confidential consultation.

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