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O’Fallon, MO

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Posted by Christopher Combs on February 23, 2024

Child pornography defense lawyer in O’Fallon, MO. Confronting accusations or charges related to the possession or distribution of child pornography poses a substantial risk to your personal and professional standing. If you’re facing charges for possessing or distributing child pornography in O’Fallon, MO, you may be looking at 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 scenario.

Call the criminal defense attorneys at Combs Waterkotte immediately at (314) 900-HELP or contact us online for a free, no-obligation consultation. 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 O’Fallon, MO?

Despite prevailing stereotypes, child pornography charges can impact individuals from all walks of life in and around O’Fallon, 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 old 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 less than 18 years of age or obscene material portraying what appears to be a minor less than 18 years of age.

A few specific instances of child pornography charges in O’Fallon 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: Involves distributing or selling child pornography to an adult, or promoting adult pornography to a minor.
  • Sexual Exploitation of a Minor: Encompasses 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 O'Fallon, MO | O'Fallon, MO Criminal Defense | Combs Waterkotte

What Are the Legal Ramifications for Child Pornography in O’Fallon, 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 O’Fallon, MO if any of the following conditions are met:

  • Possess over 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 O’Fallon, 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:

  • 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.
  • O’Fallon, 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 O’Fallon, 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 with a maximum of life imprisonment.

Who Has to Register as a Sex Offender in O’Fallon, 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. These offenses 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 O’Fallon, MO

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 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 O’Fallon, MO child pornography lawyers, we provide help in the following practice areas for clients in O’Fallon and anywhere in Missouri:

Child Pornography Defense Lawyer O'Fallon, MO | Criminal Defense Law Firm in O'Fallon, MO | Combs Waterkotte

What Are Common Defenses Against Child Pornography Charges in O’Fallon, MO?

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

An Unintentional Possession Defense

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

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 contact 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 O’Fallon 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.

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. 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 Combs Waterkotte defense team always has your rights, your future, and your best interests in mind in O’Fallon, 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 occur in a variety of scenarios throughout the O’Fallon, MO area. 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 realize, especially in instances where law enforcement conducts child porn sting operations, rounding 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 via a treatment program and probation. Some mitigating factors your Combs Waterkotte O’Fallon, 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 O'Fallon, MO | O'Fallon, MO Criminal Defense Attorneys | Combs Waterkotte

Don’t Wait – Contact a O’Fallon, MO Child Pornography Defense Lawyer Right Now at Combs Waterkotte

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

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

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