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Scotland County, MO

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Posted by Christopher Combs on February 23, 2024

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

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

Despite prevailing stereotypes, child pornography charges can impact individuals from all walks of life in and around Scotland County, 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.

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

A few specific instances of child pornography charges in Scotland County 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: Filming, photographing, or being involved in any aspect of the creation process of child pornography.

If you’re facing charges or have been questioned regarding any of these examples – or any other child pornography charges in the Scotland County, MO area – call Combs Waterkotte now 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 Scotland County, MO | Scotland County, MO Criminal Defense | Combs Waterkotte

What Are the Legal Ramifications for Child Pornography in Scotland 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 Scotland County, MO if any of the following conditions apply:

  • Possess more than 20 still images of child pornography
  • Possess more than 20 obscene still images
  • Possess child pornography in the form 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

Penalties for Promotion of Child Pornography in Scotland County, MO

The promotion of child pornography to an adult is a class C felony, carrying potential penalties of 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 is a class D felony and could mean 4 years in prison and fines.

Legal Ramifications for Sexual Exploitation of a Minor in the Scotland 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 of age the charges increase 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 Scotland County, MO and Throughout Missouri?

Under 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. Those include:

  • Tier I Offenders: These individuals 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 typically include 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: 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 Scotland County and Throughout Missouri

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 is elevated to 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 Scotland County, MO child pornography lawyers, we provide assistance in the following areas for clients in Scotland County, MO:

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

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

The Combs Waterkotte skilled Scotland County, MO child pornography defense team has a combined 60-plus years of experience defending clients throughout Scotland County, MO in cases just like yours. While each case presents its own unique circumstances, our attorneys employ a variety of 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 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 Scotland County, MO.

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

An Accidental Possession Defense

The internet poses various threats, and your computer may be exposed to viruses, spyware, malware, spam, or other elements without your knowledge. These intrusions could include child pornography or other obscene materials. Many individuals throughout Scotland County and Missouri have files on their computers that they are unaware of. 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 is based on the prosecution’s burden to prove that material in question involves any individual 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 may make 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 Scotland 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 Missouri. This defense asserts 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 that 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 individuals, 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 can serve as a strategy to reduce your sentence or, in some cases, avoid imprisonment through participation in a treatment program and probation. Your Combs Waterkotte Scotland County, MO defense attorney may present a variety of mitigating factors, like 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 Scotland County, MO | Scotland County, MO Criminal Defense Attorneys | Combs Waterkotte

Don’t Hesitate – Connect With a Scotland County, MO Child Pornography Defense Lawyer Right Away at Combs Waterkotte

Child pornography charges are serious and can have lasting, if not permanent, implications on your reputation and future in Scotland 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 Scotland County or Missouri along is ill-advised.

We recognize that good people often find themselves in unfortunate circumstances in Scotland County and throughout Missouri. We are here to help. Call our expert Scotland County, MO child pornography defense lawyers as soon as possible at (314) 900-HELP or fill out our online contact form to arrange a free, confidential case review.

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