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Miller County, MO

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Posted by Christopher Combs on February 23, 2024

Child pornography defense lawyer in Miller County, 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 Miller County, MO area, you could be facing felony charges and mandatory Missouri sex offender registration if convicted. Don’t leave that to chance.

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 Miller County, MO?

While there might be prevalent stereotypes, child pornography charges come up in all walks of life throughout the Miller County, MO area. 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 is charged with the offense of child pornography if such person knowingly or recklessly possesses any child pornography of a minor below 18 years old or obscene material portraying what seems to be a minor below 18 years old.

A few examples of specific child pornography charges in the Miller County, 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 participating 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 knowledgeable advocate by your side is crucial to safeguarding your reputation, rights, and future.

Child Pornography Defense Lawyer in Miller County, MO | Miller County, MO Criminal Defense | Combs Waterkotte

What Are the Penalties for Child Pornography in Miller County, 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 Miller County, 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 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 and Around Miller County, 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:

  • 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 – 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 Miller County, 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 of age the charges are elevated to a class A felony, which carries a minimum prison sentence of 10 years and a maximum of life in prison.

Mandatory Sex Offender Registration in Miller County, 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 also breaks down 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 are more 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. 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. Offenses in this category usually involve violent acts including rape, child molestation, sexual assault, as well as repeat offenses.

Penalties for Failing to Register as a Sex Offender in Miller County and Throughout Missouri

Failure to register as a sex offender is a class E felony unless the individual is 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 is elevated to 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 Miller County, MO child pornography attorneys, we provide help in the following practice areas for clients in Miller County, MO:

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

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

The Combs Waterkotte skilled Miller County, MO child pornography defense team has a combined 60-plus years of experience defending clients throughout Miller County, MO in cases just like yours. While every case is different with unique circumstances, some defense strategies our attorneys have used include:

An Unintentional Possession Defense

Also known as “unintended possession,” this defense argues that you did not intend to possess child pornography in or around Miller County, MO, 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 Miller County, MO.

Your Combs Waterkotte defense attorney can establish the most important factor – that you didn’t possess child pornography to your knowledge. Call us now at (314) 900-HELP or reach out to 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 Miller County and throughout Missouri, have numerous files on your computer you didn’t even know existed.

A “Not Child Porn” Defense

This defense is based on the prosecution’s burden to prove that material in question involves anyone 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 often makes procedural errors, violating an individual’s Fourth Amendment rights under the Constitution. The Combs Waterkotte defense team always has your rights, your future, and your best interests in mind in Miller County, MO. If evidence was seized illegally, your Miller County, MO child pornography defense lawyer will argue its inadmissibility.

Entrapment

Entrapment can occur in a variety of situations throughout Missouri. 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. 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 a multitude of 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 reduce your sentence or, in some cases, avoid imprisonment through participation in a treatment program and probation. Some mitigating factors your Combs Waterkotte Miller County, 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 more.

Child Pornography Defense Lawyer Miller County, MO | Miller County, MO Criminal Defense Attorneys | Combs Waterkotte

Don’t Wait – Reach Out to a Miller County, 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 Miller County, MO. But, as serious as they are, there are defenses available from the skilled and tenacious Combs Waterkotte legal team. Don’t try to navigate the uncertainties and complexities of the Miller County or Missouri legal system alone.

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

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