Image

St. Charles County, MO

Verified Content

Posted by Christopher Combs on February 23, 2024

Child pornography defense lawyer in St. Charles County, 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 find your accused of possessing or distributing child pornography in St. Charles County, 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 situation.

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 St. Charles County, MO?

While there might be many stereotypes, child pornography charges come about in all walks of life in and around St. Charles 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 of a minor less than 18 years old or obscene material portraying what appears to be a minor under 18 years old.

A few specific instances of child pornography charges in St. Charles County and across the state of Missouri 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: Encompasses filming, photographing, or participating 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 St. Charles County, MO – call Combs Waterkotte now at (314) 900-HELP or reach out to us online. You need an experienced advocate on your side to protect your reputation, your rights, and your future.

Child Pornography Defense Lawyer in St. Charles County, MO | St. Charles County, MO Criminal Defense | Combs Waterkotte

What Are the Penalties for Child Pornography in St. Charles 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 St. Charles County, 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 St. Charles County, MO

The promotion of child pornography to an adult is 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, leading to imprisonment for a duration of 5-15 years.
  • 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.

Legal Ramifications for Sexual Exploitation of a Minor in the St. Charles County, 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 increase to a class A felony, carrying a minimum prison sentence of 10 years with a maximum of life in prison.

Who Has to Register as a Sex Offender in St. Charles 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 also breaks down 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 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: These 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 St. Charles County, MO

Failure to register as a sex offender is 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 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 St. Charles County, MO child pornography lawyers, we provide help in the following practice areas for clients in St. Charles County, MO:

Child Pornography Defense Lawyer St. Charles County, MO | Criminal Defense Law Firm in St. Charles County, MO | Combs Waterkotte

What Are Common Defenses Against Child Pornography Charges in St. Charles County, MO?

The Combs Waterkotte skilled St. Charles County, MO child pornography defense team boasts a collective experience of over 60 years, dedicated to defending clients across the St. Charles County, MO area in cases similar to yours. While every case is different with unique circumstances, some defense strategies our attorneys have used include:

An 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 St. Charles 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. 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 susceptible 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 St. Charles 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 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 defense team at Combs Waterkotte always has your rights, your future, and your best interests in mind in St. Charles County, MO. Law enforcement can occasionally push the limits on getting a warrant or may search beyond the scope of said warrant. If evidence against you was seized illegally, your child pornography defense lawyer will argue it is inadmissible.

Entrapment

Entrapment can manifest in various scenarios throughout the St. Charles County, MO area. The defense is rooted in the fact 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 multiple 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 is a possible means to reduce your sentence or, in some cases, avoid imprisonment via a treatment program and probation. Your Combs Waterkotte St. Charles County, MO defense attorney may present various mitigating factors, such as 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 St. Charles County, MO | St. Charles County, MO Criminal Defense Attorneys | Combs Waterkotte

Don’t Wait – Connect With a St. Charles 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 St. Charles 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. Don’t try to navigate the uncertainties and complexities of the St. Charles County or Missouri legal system on your own.

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

View Service Areas
Open Video
Image

Featured Results:

Client Review, DUI Case

Play video
Image

Get In Touch:

St. Louis

Main Office

(314) 900-HELP

Get Directions

Clayton

By Appointment Only

(314) 900-HELP

Get Directions