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Putnam County, MO

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Posted by Christopher Combs on February 23, 2024

Child pornography defense lawyer in Putnam 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 charged for having or distributing child pornography in the Putnam County, MO area, you could be facing a felony charge and mandatory Missouri sex offender registration if convicted. Don’t leave your defense to chance.

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 Putnam County, MO?

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

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 below 18 years old.

A few examples of specific child pornography charges in Putnam County and elsewhere in Missouri are:

  • Possessing Child Pornography: Having child pornography in your possession, regardless 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: Filming, photographing, or taking part in any aspect of the creation process of child pornography.

If you are facing charges or have been questioned regarding any of these examples – or any other child pornography charges in Putnam County, MO – call Combs Waterkotte right away at (314) 900-HELP or reach out to us online. You need an knowledgeable advocate on your side to protect your reputation, rights, and future.

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

What Are the Legal Ramifications for Child Pornography in Putnam 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 Putnam 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
  • Prior conviction for an offense under this section

Penalties for Promotion of Child Pornography in Putnam County, MO

The promotion of child pornography to an adult is a class C felony, punishable by up to 7 years in prison and fines. Also:

  • 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 – 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 Putnam 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 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.

Who Has to Register as a Sex Offender in Putnam County, 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 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 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. Offenses in this category may 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 including rape, child molestation, sexual assault, as well as repeat offenses.

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

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

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

The Combs Waterkotte skilled Putnam County, MO child pornography defense team boasts a collective experience of more than 60 years, dedicated to defending clients in Putnam County, MO 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 Putnam County, MO could also be considered.

Your Combs Waterkotte defense lawyer can establish the most important factor – that you didn’t possess child pornography to your knowledge. Give us a call now 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 Putnam County 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 material in question involves anyone under the age of 18. Additionally, 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 Putnam County, 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 situations throughout the Putnam County, MO area. 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. 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 it isn’t necessarily a winning defense, claiming a psychological addiction to child pornography is a possible means to minimize your sentence or, in some cases, avoid imprisonment via a treatment program and probation. Some mitigating factors your Combs Waterkotte Putnam 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 Putnam County, MO | Putnam County, MO Criminal Defense Attorneys | Combs Waterkotte

Don’t Hesitate – Contact a Putnam County, MO Child Pornography Defense Lawyer Right Now at Combs Waterkotte

Child pornography charges are serious and can cast enduring, if not permanent, shadows on your reputation and future in Putnam 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 Putnam County or Missouri legal system on your own.

We understand that good people often find themselves in unfortunate circumstances in Putnam County and throughout Missouri. We are here to help. Call our expert Putnam County, MO child pornography defense lawyers today at (314) 900-HELP or complete our online contact form to schedule a free, confidential consultation.

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