Possible Defenses Against Child Pornography Charges
Being charged with or investigated for a child pornography offense is a terrifying experience. Life as you know it hangs in the balance. One potential outcome is that you move forward and have a chance to rebuild your reputation; the other is you are labeled a convicted sex offender and required to register on Wisconsin’s sex offender registry for the rest of your life.
Fortunately, there are defenses available that a skilled criminal defense attorney can employ. At Birdsall Obear & Associates, we have decades of experience defending against Class D felonies such as possession of child pornography. We understand the stakes and what it takes to limit exposure to the criminal penalties and collateral consequences of a conviction.
The Burden of Proof Remains on the State
The general public may view those accused of sex crimes as guilty, but the burden is on the prosecution to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. Any one of the following defenses – on their own or together – can undercut the prosecution’s evidence in a child pornography case:
- You did not know that you possessed the materials; perhaps they were on a computer in your home that other family members or acquaintances have access.
- You did not know the “character and content” of the offending material.
- It was not reasonable for you to have known that the person in the material was under 18.
- The digital images in question had been manipulated; perhaps they are not images of real people or in their original form.
- The images did not depict sexually explicit content. Simply being a nude photo of someone is not enough to make it explicit.
- The prosecution’s evidence was gathered in a way that violates your 4th amendment rights against illegal search and seizure.
The specific defenses used will always be based on the facts of the case and available evidence. Therefore, it is important to involve a defense lawyer as soon as you are accused of a child pornography offense or find out you are being investigated.