Child pornography defense strategies hinge on intent

Child pornography defense strategies hinge on intent

Any charge brought against a defendant that’s related to child pornography is serious. This type of crime can be charged at both a state and federal levels and can result in severe fines and jail time if convicted. First-time offenders can face 15-20 years in prison, and be required to participate in supervised sex offender release programs. Typically, a conviction means that a defendant will also end up being registered in a sex offender database. The long-term impacts on your life can be significant.

Possessing child pornography is considered a felony most of the time, and additional charges can be added if those images are transported or distributed in any way.

The primary defense used in most child pornography cases rests on the concept of intent. It is up to the prosecutor in a case to show that the defendant had the intent to possess child pornography. This means they must also demonstrate that the defendant knew what the image was and that it was illegal to possess it. A defense team can counter with the claim of ignorance, attempting to show that the defendant believed the image did not depict an underage person or persons.

Intent can also be argued if an image resides on a person’s computer, but they did not intend to possess the picture. For example, if a person downloads a large batch of images, they may not know that one or more of those images in the large batch are child pornography. A prosecutor must be able to show a direct cause that the defendant purposely sought out and downloaded explicit child pornography images.

Decker & Jones serves clients in Denver, Golden and communities throughout Jefferson County, Colorado.