If you’re facing child pornography charges, you should contact The Criminal Defense Team immediately. This is a serious offense that comes with harsh penalties. Depending on the circumstances of the crime, you could spend up to 40 years in prison if you’re convicted. You shouldn’t leave the fate of your future in the hands of an inexperienced lawyer or overworked public defender. You should allow our legal team to be your advocate and fight for your freedom.
It is hard to think of a crime that can more dramatically impact a person’s life than to be charged with possession of child pornography. These are serious felony crimes prosecuted at both state and federal levels. The consequences of even facing charges like this are dramatic—loss of freedom, of reputation, irreparable damage to professional and personal relationships. If you find yourself in this situation, you need experienced help immediately. You simply cannot wait. These cases do not get better with age.
Knowledge of how to investigate these cases, evaluate the evidence against you, and enlist the help of computer forensic experts in your defense are skills and experience your lawyer must have if you are to have a chance. Were you actually in legal possession? Was the possession unintentional? Was the police search that led to finding the material legal? Do you have a legal defense of entrapment? Do you suffer from a psychological condition or addiction that can be explored and used to help in your defense? Can you win a case like this in front of a jury? How could that possibly be done?
The Criminal Defense Team has the experience and skill to answer all those questions and help you during this difficult time. Call (317) 687-8326 to meet with a Board Certified* lawyer for a free and confidential consultation.
Child Pornography Offenses In Indiana
The sex crime of child pornography is a broad category that includes any form of representation or depiction of a minor under 18 years old, showing them simulating or engaging in sexual acts without a literary, scientific, or educational reason. This could involve:
- Film or negatives
- Photos or digital images
- Computer hardware or software
- Video laser discs
Sexual misconduct could also include exhibiting a child’s uncovered genitals or breasts with the intent to arouse or satisfy the offender’s sexual desire or engaging in sexual intercourse with a minor.
According to Indiana code 35-42-4-4, child pornography and associated crimes can include:
- Possession of child pornography – Knowingly possessing photos, films, or other materials depicting an individual under 18 engaging in sexual conduct.
- Child exploitation – Knowingly presenting, creating, selling, or sending material showing a minor’s genitals, breasts, or sexual acts. This offense can occur through the computer or in person.
- Sale, distribution, or exhibition of child pornography – Knowingly bringing or sending obscene material into the state to sell or distribute or offer to sell or distribute it to another.
- Dissemination of matter or conducting performance harmful to minors – Providing or showing pornographic materials to a minor or performing sexual activity in front of a minor.
- Displaying a child’s obscene performance – Knowingly participating or engaging in, presenting, managing, producing, exhibiting, or sponsoring an obscene performance by a child in film, photograph, or video.
Many of these crimes come with severe penalties, including imprisonment. It’s crucial that you hire an experienced Indiana child pornography defense attorney from The Criminal Defense Team if you’re facing charges. We can immediately begin working on your case and create the right defense strategy to get these charges dropped or your sentence reduced.
Possible Penalties You Could Face for a Child Pornography Conviction in Indiana
Indiana began classifying felonies committed after June 30, 2014, using levels between 1 and 6. Each level comes with a sentencing guideline. These guidelines provide a range for imprisonment and fines based on the circumstances of the case. A judge can use these guidelines when determining the number of months or years the offender should spend in prison for the crime they committed and how much the associated fine should be.
Child pornography and related offenses typically fall under one of the felony levels and come with a specific range of imprisonment. They are:
- Level 1 felony – 20 to 40 years
- Level 2 felony – 10 to 30 years
- Level 3 felony – 3 to 16 years
- Level 4 felony – 2 to 12 years
- Level 5 felony – 1 to 6 years
- Level 6 felony – 6 months to 2 ½ years
When a judge reviews the facts of a case and considers an appropriate sentence, they could use the advisory sentence as a starting point. Each level has an advisory sentence the judge could begin with and then increase or decrease the number of years the defendant should spend in prison for the crime they committed, depending upon the circumstances of the case. These advisory sentences are:
- Level 1 felony – 30 years
- Level 2 felony – 17 ½ years
- Level 3 felony – 9 years
- Level 4 felony – 6 years
- Level 5 felony – 3 years
- Level 6 felony – 1 year
The exploitation of a child is typically a level 5 felony. Level 6 felonies usually include:
- Sale or distribution of child pornography
- Possession of child pornography
- Dissemination of pornography to a minor
- Displaying a child’s obscene performance
Besides prison time, you could also face a fine of up to $10,000 for a felony conviction.
Some child pornography offenses could result in a federal penalty. For example, it’s a federal crime to engage in activities involving foreign or interstate commerce.
Registering as a Sex Offender
The Indiana Sex Offender Registry includes information about sex offenders residing in the state. Local law enforcement tracks and monitors all convicted sex offenders in the area and makes some of this information available to the public. If you were convicted of a child pornography offense and served a prison sentence, you must register as a sex offender upon your release.
The information you must provide includes:
- Your full name, including any alias or other names previously used
- Height and weight
- Eye color
- Hair color
- Tattoos, scars, or marks
- Social Security number
- Driver’s license number or state ID number
- Identification number, plate number, and description for all vehicles owned or operated regularly
- Principal residence address and other addresses where the registrant spends over seven nights in fourteen days
- Mailing address, if different from the principal residence address
- Description of the convicted offense
- Recent photo
- Employer information
- Electronic mail, messaging, and social networking details
- Any additional information the department requires
The registration period could be for ten years or a lifetime, depending on the circumstances of the offense. If you’re considered to be a sexually violent predator, you would have to register for life.
Anytime there’s a change to your job, principal address, school, or other information required on the registry, you must notify the local police department within three days so they can make the necessary updates.
You could also face restrictions regarding where you reside. Reside means spending over three nights in a residence or specific location (if there is no residence) in any 30-day period. You could be prohibited from residing within 1,000 feet of:
- A public park;
- School property;
- Youth program center; or
- Daycare center.
You are also not permitted to live within one mile of the victim’s residence.
If convicted of violating any of these restrictions, you could face a level 6 felony and up to 2 ½ years in prison.
Defenses We Might Use in Your Child Pornography Case
Facing possible prison time can be stressful and overwhelming. If you’re convicted, it could ruin your reputation, family, and future. If you have to register as a sex offender, you could have trouble finding a job or place to live. At The Criminal Defense Team, our Indiana child pornography defense attorneys will explore all options to determine the right strategy to use in your case.
The most common legal defenses used in child pornography cases are:
- Innocent – Probably the most basic defense is that you are not guilty of this crime. We would need to establish a solid alibi placing you somewhere else. This would show that you couldn’t have possibly committed the offense because you were nowhere near the victim or location of the offense when it occurred.
- False accusation – Sometimes, there are reasons for people to falsely accuse another of a sex crime, such as child pornography. We would need to present substantial evidence of the child’s motive to seek revenge against you. For example, during a custody battle, the child or parent might implicate you in this type of crime to gain primary custody.
- Illegal search or seizure – We could file a motion to suppress evidence if law enforcement obtained incriminating evidence against you without a warrant. The jury would not be allowed to see or hear about this evidence during the trial.
- Mistaken identity – It’s possible that a witness to the crime could have mistaken you for the actual perpetrator. Additionally, there are circumstances where the investigator might influence a witness’s testimony to secure an arrest.
- Possession – We could question whether you actually possessed the child pornography material in question. Sometimes, internet browsers automatically save online activity in the cache. It could also be a situation where there was spam or malware, placing the illegal images on your computer.
- Material belongs to someone else – A friend or family member might have used your computer and accessed pornographic images or materials. A forensic expert could review the activity and any similar activity on that person’s personal computer for evidence that the material found on your computer could have been theirs.
- Content isn’t child pornography – Some images are for educational or scientific purposes. We could show proof that the content you looked at falls under exemptions issued by the Motion Picture Association of America.
- Lack of knowledge – It’s possible that you did not know the person in the image or film was under 18 years old. Expert testimony could explain why you would believe the “actor” appeared to be of legal age.
You can depend on the Indiana child pornography defense attorneys of The Criminal Defense Team to protect your rights and fight to secure your freedom. You should not face harsh penalties for a crime you didn’t commit. Our legal team will exhaust all our resources and develop a plan that meets your needs and achieves your goals.
If getting your case dismissed isn’t possible or the prosecution has sufficient evidence against you, it might be in your best interest to agree to a plea deal. The steps we take in your case will depend on various factors, and we will guide you through the entire process.
Contact The Criminal Defense Team for Your Free Consultation
When you’re facing an uncertain future, it can upend your entire life. After an arrest for a child pornography offense, you could lose your job and the support of your family and friends. Child pornography is a severe crime in Indiana that the state punishes harshly. You should have a dedicated and knowledgeable legal team on your side during this difficult time in your life.
At The Criminal Defense Team, our Indiana child pornography defense attorneys will fight hard to protect you. Our goal is to present the best possible case and to reach a positive outcome. We want to ensure you don’t have to face the maximum prison term, if possible. We will tirelessly work to get these charges reduced, or the entire case dismissed.
If you’re facing child pornography charges, do not hesitate to contact The Criminal Defense Team to discuss your legal options. Call (317) 687-8326 for a free initial consultation.