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Warrensburg, MO

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Posted by Christopher Combs on February 23, 2024

Child pornography defense lawyer in Warrensburg, MO. Confronting accusations or charges related to the possession or distribution of child pornography poses a significant risk to your personal and professional reputation. If you find your accused of possessing or distributing child pornography in Warrensburg, MO, you may be confronted with serious felony charges and mandatory Missouri sex offender registration upon conviction. It is crucial 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 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 Warrensburg, MO?

While there might be many stereotypes, child pornography charges come up in all walks of life throughout the Warrensburg, MO area. 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 below 18 years of age or obscene material portraying what seems to be a minor under 18 years old.

A few specific instances of child pornography charges in the Warrensburg, MO area 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: Encompasses filming, photographing, or participating in any aspect of the creation process of child pornography.

If you’re 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. You need an knowledgeable advocate on your side to protect your reputation, your rights, and your future.

Child Pornography Defense Lawyer in Warrensburg, MO | Warrensburg, MO Criminal Defense | Combs Waterkotte

What Are the Penalties for Child Pornography in Warrensburg, MO?

Statutorily, under RSMo § 573.037, the offense of child pornography is a class D felony if you possess only one still image of child pornography or one obscene still image. The offense becomes a class B felony in Warrensburg, MO if you:

  • 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

Legal Ramifications for Promotion of Child Pornography in and Around Warrensburg, 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:

  • 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.
  • Individuals 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.

Legal Ramifications for Sexual Exploitation of a Minor in the Warrensburg, MO Area

Charges related to sexual exploitation of a minor are categorized as 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 with a maximum of life imprisonment.

Mandatory Sex Offender Registration in Warrensburg, 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. 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. 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. Offenses in this category usually involve violent acts including rape, child molestation, sexual assault, as well as repeat offenses.

Penalties for Not Registering as a Sex Offender in Warrensburg, 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 is elevated to a class D felony.

Combs Waterkotte is an award-winning criminal defense law firm based in St. Louis. Along with expert legal representation from our skilled Warrensburg, MO child pornography lawyers, we provide help in the following practice areas for clients in Warrensburg and anywhere in Missouri:

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

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

The Combs Waterkotte skilled Warrensburg, MO child pornography defense team boasts a collective experience of more than 60 years, dedicated to defending clients in Warrensburg, MO in cases similar to 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 Warrensburg, 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 Warrensburg, 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 reach out to us online.

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 Warrensburg 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 challenges the prosecution’s burden to prove that material in question involves any individual 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 Combs Waterkotte defense team always has your rights, your future, and your best interests in mind in Warrensburg, 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 manifest in various scenarios 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. Officers could also try to 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 know – particularly when law enforcement runs a child porn sting operation which may round up numerous 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 can serve as a strategy to minimize your sentence or, in some cases, avoid imprisonment via a treatment program and probation. Your Combs Waterkotte Warrensburg, 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 others.

Child Pornography Defense Lawyer Warrensburg, MO | Warrensburg, MO Criminal Defense Attorneys | Combs Waterkotte

Don’t Hesitate – Reach Out to a Warrensburg, MO Child Pornography Defense Lawyer Right Away at Combs Waterkotte

Child pornography charges are serious and can cast enduring, if not permanent, shadows on your reputation and future in Warrensburg, 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 Warrensburg or Missouri along is risky.

We know that good people often find themselves in unfortunate circumstances in Warrensburg and throughout Missouri. We’re here to help. Call our accomplished Warrensburg, MO child pornography defense lawyers as soon as possible at (314) 900-HELP or fill out our online contact form to schedule a free, confidential case review.

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