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What to Do When Charged With Child Pornography
State and federal laws governing sexual exploitation of a minor are clear and very strict. If you are charged with the crime of child pornography, you should put your best interests in mind and immediately contact a criminal defense lawyer who has represented people in your position.
A conviction of child pornography means not only prison, but a criminal history and severe consequences that will follow you throughout your life. Even if you did nothing wrong and feel that the child pornography charge was a mistake, you should always err on the side of a strong defense.
Understanding Arizona’s Sex Crimes Laws Governing Child Pornography
When can you be charged with sexual exploitation of a minor in Arizona? According to Arizona law, this particular crime occurs if you create a visual image of a minor in a suggestive, sexual, or exploitative context. It also occurs if you are caught selling, giving, showing, buying, or otherwise engaging a minor’s sexual or exploitative image.
The penalty for conviction includes many years of incarceration, determined by the type of sex crime, prior criminal history, and other considerations. Anyone who is convicted of sexual exploitation of a minor must also register as a sex offender potentially for life. Being listed as a registered sex offender comes with a host of issues, as well as limitations.
Remember that both federal and state laws cover this subject. Therefore, you could be charged under federal child pornography laws or state child pornography laws.
When Can Someone Be Charged With Child Pornography?
You do not have to manufacture child pornography, be involved with the distribution of child pornography, or even purchase it to be charged with the crime. Mere possession of child pornography, such as downloaded images you received from a friend or colleague, can be used against you. For example, images of child pornography found on your computer, even if they were put there by your brother-in-law when he borrowed your phone or laptop, may be attempted to be used by law enforcement to connect you to a child pornography crime.
Essentially, any digital or paper images and videos found by someone with a properly executed search warrant can be used to make a case against you. It is extremely important that you consult with an attorney before providing statements to law enforcement or attempting to explain anything related to the images.
How a Sex Crime Conviction Can Affect You and Your Family
Having a record as someone convicted of owning, distributing, or simply possessing sexually explicit visual depictions of children will have life altering consequences. If you are able to avoid a lengthy prison sentence, you will certainly still not be able to work in a profession that requires you to have with any contact with minors, such as being a teacher. You may not even be able to live in certain areas if they are near schools or playgrounds. Every aspect of your life will be altered.
Having any criminal record can make getting jobs, loans, and housing very challenging. Your record will be available to anyone who conducts a background check. Your sex offender status will be available to anyone who researches your name online, including family members, future romantic partners, colleagues, and friends.
Do Not Ignore a Charge of Child Pornography
Even if you feel you did nothing wrong, you should move quickly to meet with an attorney to discuss your child pornography charge. In Arizona, criminal defense attorney Bobbi Berry has helped clients for more than 25 years and has immense experience handling these kinds of cases. Contact our office to schedule a consultation.
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