Child Pornography Criminal Defense

If you have been charged with possession or distribution of child pornography in Tacoma or elsewhere in western Washington, an experienced sex crimes defense attorney can help. I have protected the rights of defendants accused in criminal cases throughout Washington. Call me now at (253) 201-0406 for a free and confidential consultation to protect your rights and preserve your freedom.

Hunting down alleged violators of federal child pornography laws occupies a substantial amount of law enforcement resources at both the state and federal level. Local police are often joined by the FBI in investigating alleged offenders, and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has also gotten involved. Prosecutors and judges deal very harshly with accusations involving child pornography. The mere accusation can destroy a person’s life and livelihood before a criminal prosecution is even underway. Many accusations of child pornography are based on material allegedly obtained from the Internet. The assistance of a Tacoma child pornography defense lawyer with knowledge of the latest digital technology, who can perform a careful and thorough examination of both your computer and Internet activity, is crucial to defending your case.

What is Child Pornography?

Federal law defines “child pornography” as any visual depiction of a minor engaging in “sexually explicit conduct” that is either “obscene,” using the law’s very vague definition of the word, or that lacks “serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value.” Washington’s criminal laws define it in similar terms. Visual depictions can include photographs, videos, drawings, cartoons, paintings, or even sculptures. Federal and state statutes prohibit the knowing production, distribution, receipt, or possession of such material. Material can violate the statute even if the person or persons depicted do not actually exist.

Prosecutions in the Internet Age

Much of today’s prosecutions for alleged child pornography violations are based on digital evidence, including images or videos obtained over the Internet. A large number of law enforcement investigations rely on sting operations, in which an officer attempts to get a person to accept offending material via the Internet. Alleged offending material could also get on your computer through no fault of your own. Images in pop-up ads, for example, may remain in the temporary files of your web browser unbeknownst to you. Malware, or even hackers, could take control of your computer and leave allegedly offending material behind.

The Ever-Changing Concept of Child Pornography

Law enforcement has expanded the definition of child pornography to include many unexpected examples. As technology increases people’s ability to transmit allegedly sexual images, lawmakers attempt to find new ways to pass laws purportedly to protect children. Around the country, people have faced charges for child pornography possession for their own drawings. Teenagers have been charged with distribution of child pornography for taking photographs of themselves and transmitting them via e-mail or text message, a practice known as “sexting,” while other teens have been prosecuted for receiving such images via text.

Penalties for violations of state and federal child pornography laws can include not only jail or prison time, but also mandatory registration as a sex offender. This can have devastating life-long consequences. Prosecutions in cases like these often turn on technical evidence related to the source of the material and the way a defendant allegedly obtained it. I can focus on examining your computer in order to determine if it was hacked, if the material was placed there by malware, or if the material was ever present at all. Contact my law firm today online or call (253) 201-0406 for a free and confidential consultation.