Defending your rights in the face of child pornography charges.
Child pornography cases are more common in Connecticut than you may think. Any criminal charge involving child pornography is serious, and a conviction can haunt you for the rest of your life. Too many people lack the defense representation they need in their child pornography cases and receive a much harsher result than was necessary or deserved. If you have been arrested and accused of any offense related to child pornography, you should call the highly experienced defense team at Duffy Law as soon as possible.
Child Pornography Laws in CT
Child pornography includes any images, videos, or other depictions of a minor engaging in sexually explicit conduct. This can include simulated or actual intercourse, masturbation, the exhibition of genitals in a gratuitous manner, and more. The laws regarding charges and penalties for child pornography in Connecticut are particularly harsh. In addition, it is possible for someone to be charged with possessing child pornography when he had no idea that he had ever downloaded such files from the internet. In any situation, it’s important to have a defense attorney who fully understands child pornography laws in Connecticut and how to defend against this type of charge.
There are different charges set out in our state that apply to various circumstances involving alleged child pornography:
- Possessing child pornography in the third degree – This is a Class D felony and applies if you are accused of possessing fewer than 20 images of child pornography.
- Possessing child pornography in the second degree – This is a Class C felony and applies if you are accused of possessing 20 to 49 images of child pornography.
- Possessing child pornography in the first degree – This is a Class B felony and applies if you are accused of possessing more than 50 images of child pornography. This charge can also apply if materials depict any bodily injury to a child, more than one child, or multiple sexual acts by a child.
- Importing child pornography – This is a Class B felony and involves importing three or more images of child pornography into the State of Connecticut with the intent to promote child pornography.
Importing child pornography can result from downloading material from the internet, since it is often across state lines. While this charge also requires the “intent to promote” child pornography, such intent can often be alleged if an image is emailed, texted, or published for anyone else to view. This is a very serious charge with a maximum sentence of $15,000 in fines and 20 years in state prison.
All child pornography charges in Connecticut can result in prison time, fines, and a felony conviction on your record if you are convicted. Additionally, you will likely be required to register with the state as a sex offender. This registry is public and anyone who searches online can view your personal information and your convictions. Being on the sex offender registry can substantially limit your opportunities and negatively affect your reputation, relationships, employment, and more. To minimize or eliminate the consequences of your case, please discuss your charges with Duffy Law today.
Child Pornography Arrests
If police see a person selling drugs or driving drunk, they can arrest her on the spot. However, arrests for child pornography don’t often happen this way. After all, police can’t legally watch what you do inside your own home and so they can’t catch anyone viewing child pornography in real time. Instead, these cases often involve an investigation prior to an arrest.
Detectives investigating sex crimes can monitor the activity of file-sharing websites that may include pornographic images involving children. They track which IP addresses may be downloading and/or sharing these images or videos. Police can then get a search warrant to enter your home and seize your computers and other devices. Forensic detectives then search your devices and if any such images are found, police can arrest you. The files found on your computer, in opened emails or texts, and other sources can be used as evidence to justify certain child pornography charges.
Defending against Child Pornography Charges
Just because certain files were found on your computer or device does not mean that you should be convicted of importing or possessing child pornography. Our attorneys know that many of these charges are wrongful and we will find any possible way to defend against them. The prosecutor must prove that you knowingly possessed the child pornography files.
First, you may live in a home with others who share your computer, iPad, or other electronics. If you weren’t the only person using or accessing that device, the prosecutor should not be able to prove that it was you who downloaded, stored, or viewed the images in question. In addition, some people believe they are simply downloading legal files when it actually results in child pornography downloads. File-sharing websites can involve misleading file names or implement technology that results in the rapid-fire download of many files that you didn’t intend to load. Unfortunately, these days, there are many ways that people downloading files from the internet can unintentionally end up with child pornography files on their hard drives.
While police and prosecutors may not be receptive to your explanations that you never intentionally downloaded or stored child pornography files, the defense attorneys at Duffy Law are here to listen to your side of the story. We know how common this situation can be and we have the resources to conduct our own investigations to determine how those files actually ended up in your possession.
In addition, we can identify whether the police gathered evidence in violation of your 4th amendment rights or if your charges should be reduced based on the specifics of Connecticut child pornography laws. These are only some of the ways we can help in this type of case.
There are also affirmative defenses to possession of child pornography. For instance, if you discovered that you had three or fewer child pornography images on your computer, did not know that you had downloaded them and then either delete the images or alert law enforcement and turn the images over to them, you cannot be convicted of possession of child pornography. Also, if the images are of a nude person under the age of sixteen, but are possessed for “a bona fide artistic, medical, scientific, educational, religious, governmental or judicial purpose” you cannot be convicted of possession of child pornography.
Contact a Connecticut Child Pornography Defense Law Firm as Soon as Possible
The attorneys at Duffy Law have extensive experience in the state and federal criminal justice systems and we don’t shy away from serious cases involving charges like child pornography. If the police are investigating you or have seized your computer or if you’ve already been arrested, call us right away at 203-946-2000 or contact us online today.