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Polk County, MO

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Posted by Christopher Combs on February 23, 2024

Child pornography defense lawyer in Polk 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 or around Polk County, MO, you could be looking at 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 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 Polk County, MO?

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

According to RSMo § 573.037, a person commits the offense of child pornography if such person knowingly or recklessly possesses any child pornography featuring a minor less than 18 years old or obscene material portraying what appears to be a minor less than 18 years old.

A few examples of specific child pornography charges in the Polk County, MO area are:

  • Possessing Child Pornography: Having child pornography in your possession, regardless 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 now at (314) 900-HELP or reach out to us online. Having an knowledgeable advocate by your side is crucial to safeguarding your reputation, your rights, and your future.

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

What Are the Penalties for Child Pornography in Polk County, 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 Polk County, MO if any of the following conditions apply:

  • Possess more than 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 Polk County, MO

Engaging in the promotion of child pornography to an adult is classified as a class C felony, carrying potential penalties of up to 7 years in prison along with 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 – 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 is a class D felony and could mean 4 years in prison and fines.

Legal Ramifications for Sexual Exploitation of a Minor in the Polk County, 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 are elevated to a class A felony, which carries a minimum prison sentence of 10 years and a maximum of life in prison.

Who Has to Register as a Sex Offender in Polk 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 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 are 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. Offenses in this category usually involve violent acts like rape, child molestation, sexual assault, as well as repeat offenses.

Penalties for Failing to Register as a Sex Offender in Polk County, 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 turns into 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 Polk County, MO child pornography attorneys, we provide assistance in the following areas for clients in Polk County, MO:

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

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

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

Unintentional Possession Defense

Also known as “unintended possession,” this defense argues that you did not intend to possess child pornography in or around Polk County, MO, or that the material didn’t 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 Polk County, MO.

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

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 Polk County 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 challenges the prosecution’s burden to prove that material in question involves anyone under the age of 18. Also, if the material 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 defense team at Combs Waterkotte always has your rights, your future, and your best interests in mind in Polk County, MO. If evidence was seized illegally, your Polk County, MO child pornography defense lawyer will argue its inadmissibility.

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. 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 occurs more frequently 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 is a possible means to reduce your sentence or, in some cases, avoid imprisonment through participation in a treatment program and probation. Some mitigating factors your Combs Waterkotte Polk 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 Polk County, MO | Polk County, MO Criminal Defense Attorneys | Combs Waterkotte

Don’t Wait – Contact a Polk County, 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 Polk County, MO. However, even in the face of such severity, there exist defenses that can wield effectively by the adept and relentless Combs Waterkotte legal team. Attempting to navigate the uncertainties and intricacies of the legal system in Polk County or Missouri along is ill-advised.

We recognize that good people often find themselves caught in bad situations in Polk County and throughout Missouri. We are here to help. Call our accomplished Polk County, MO child pornography defense lawyers today at (314) 900-HELP or complete our online contact form to schedule a free, confidential case review.

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