Child pornography is a heinous offense against children, and nothing is more important than our kids. It’s easy to understand why prosecutors can be overzealous when pursuing kid pornography suspects. But what if you’re charged with possessing kid pornography because you accidentally downloaded images onto your computer, maybe without even realizing it? What if someone else had access to your computer and downloaded – on purpose or accidentally – the images you’re accused of possessing? In the New York City area, if you’re accused of possessing child pornography, it’s imperative to obtain legal help at once. Contact an experienced Long Island criminal defense attorney immediately.

What are Child Pornography Charges?

You may face child pornography charges if you knowingly possess, produce or traffic images of children engaged in sexual behaviors. In the eyes of the law, the word “children” is defined as any individual under the age of 18.

New York law states that possession of a “sexual performance by a child” under the age of 16 is a felony. Promotion of a sexual performance by a kid under the age of 17 is a felony, too.

If you are facing child pornography charges in the state of New York, contact an experienced Long Island criminal defense attorney for legal assistance.

How is Child Pornography Prosecuted?

Those who are accused or convicted on kid pornography charges may be confused as to how the police even began to investigate them. It’s important to remember that nothing you do on the computer is private—even if it’s your own, personal computer at home.

Law enforcement agencies aggressively investigate and prosecute kid pornography cases. Almost everything that you do on the internet is recorded somewhere. Interactions that you have with websites or with other people online can easily be turned over to the authorities. In some situations, the interaction that you have online can even be with an undercover police officer.

Law enforcement agencies have computer crime departments which focus on prosecuting crimes such as child pornography possession and distribution. The people who work in these departments typically work with cable and internet providers to determine if any computer users are downloading illegal porn from file-sharing websites.

If a law enforcement officer detects that you are downloading kid pornography to your computer, they may ask for a search warrant to go through your files. If any files are found, they can obtain an arrest warrant for the owner of the computer.

Most of the time, authorities will attempt to get confession and a search warrant before bringing cases to court, however this is not always the case.

Child Pornography Consequences

A conviction for any crime related to child pornography can have severe long-term ramifications including a lengthy prison sentence. Substantial civil penalties and fines can also be required from those convicted of kid pornography crimes. If you are accused of producing, distributing, or possessing child pornography on Long Island or anywhere in the five boroughs, you are going to need high-quality legal representation immediately. Contact an experienced Long Island criminal defense lawyer as quickly as possible.

The federal sentencing guidelines for kid pornography convictions are quite complicated, but even without prior convictions, a convicted suspect will probably face a minimum of 27 months in prison. Prior convictions and other aggravating factors can significantly increase the length of that sentence.

When you are convicted on kid pornography charges, you will also have to register as a sex offender. When you register as a sex offender, this title will follow you around for the rest of your life. Make no mistake—the consequences of a child pornography charge are nothing to take lightly.

However, an arrest is not necessarily the equivalent of a conviction. If you possess questionable pornographic images, it’s possible you downloaded them unwittingly onto your computer; malware or a computer virus could also be the reason for child pornography on your computer. If you can prove that you had no knowledge of the images and no malicious intent, you can’t be convicted. You also cannot be convicted for child pornography if you can prove that the persons in the pictures are young-looking adults but not minors. 

Apart from the considerable criminal penalties, a conviction for possession of kid pornography can catastrophically damage your reputation, your family, your career, and your future. Jobs can be lost, reputations can be ruined, and families can be destroyed. Merely the accusation of possessing child pornography is bad enough, but in many cases a good criminal defense lawyer may be able to clear your name. If police officers violated your rights to gather evidence, it’s possible the charge can be dropped. If you don’t have a great deal of computer experience, tapping the wrong key and downloading the wrong item could happen to almost anyone. If you’re the victim of an overzealous prosecution, it’s imperative to have aggressive defense representation.

Hire A Long Island Criminal Defense Attorney

When you’re online, you should always be extremely cautious. Child pornography laws are aggressively enforced because child pornography abuses and exploits real children. If you are convicted on a child pornography charge, no leniency will be forthcoming from the courts. You’ll need a criminal defense lawyer with some computer knowledge – someone who’s handled kid pornography cases in the past and who knows how easy it is to make mistakes online or download something that you didn’t mean to download. If you are investigated for child pornography or charged with the crime, you’ll need aggressive defense representation immediately. You’ll need to speak with an experienced Long Island criminal defense lawyer.

It can be terrifying to face this kind of criminal charge, especially when you didn’t mean to break any law or hurt anyone. The sooner you retain the services of a good criminal defense lawyer, the sooner that lawyer can get to work clearing your name. In New York City or Long Island, if you are charged with child pornography possession now or in the future, speak at once with an experienced Long Island criminal defense attorney.