Defending Charges of Child Pornography: You Can Depend On Austin Sex Crimes Lawyer Charles Johnsonr-Charles-Johnson by austincriminallawyer

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									                    Defending Charges of Child Pornography:
          You Can Depend On Austin Sex Crimes Lawyer Charles Johnson



Austin    Sex    Crimes     Lawyer    Charles    Johnson
aggressively defends clients charged with a sexual offense.
He handles all sexual offense charges, whether
in state or federal court, and whether the sex crime
allegations are against children or adults. These charges
include:


       Production of child pornography
       Distribution of child pornography
       Possession of child pornography
       Use of child pornography
       Sexual assault
       Sex with a minor


Parties in contentious divorce or custody proceedings have been known to encourage children to say the other
parent “touched” them a certain way or otherwise imply molestation. Child care workers, pastors, teachers,
coaches, and others are frequently falsely accused. Parents have even been known to target individuals for
extortion by coaching children. They may be coached by well-meaning social service and health care
professionals, law enforcement officers, and prosecuting attorneys who want to make sure they obtain a
conviction regardless of the truth.


Allegations of sex crimes are taken very seriously in Texas, and across the nation. With more stringent
penalties being imposed, a false claim unchallenged or a single error in judgment can require you to be a
lifelong member of the sex offenders’ registry and database. Before your reputation is devastated, invoke
your right to an attorney and your right to remain silent. Contact Austin Criminal Lawyer Charles
Johnson for a free phone consultation when you are under investigation for sex crimes or if charges have
been brought against you for anything from possession and distribution of child pornography to sexual assault
and rape. Attorney Johnson can be reached personally around the clock, 365 days/year at 512-832-
1200.


How is Child Pornography Defined?

Federal and state laws make it a crime to produce, possess, distribute, or sell pornographic materials that
exploit or portray a minor. Increasingly, child pornography laws are being utilized to punish use of computer
technology and the Internet to obtain, share, and distribute pornographic material involving children, including
images and films.


Under federal law (18 U.S.C. §2256), child pornography is defined as any visual depiction, including any
photograph, film, video, picture, or computer or computer-generated image or picture, whether made or
produced by electronic, mechanical, or other means, of sexually explicit conduct, where




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       the production of the visual depiction involves the use of a minor engaging in sexually explicit
        conduct; or
       the visual depiction is a digital image, computer image, or computer-generated image that is, or is
        indistinguishable from, that of a minor engaging in sexually explicit conduct; or
       the visual depiction has been created, adapted, or modified to appear that an identifiable minor is
        engaging in sexually explicit conduct. Federal law (18 U.S.C. §1466A) also criminalizes knowingly
        producing, distributing, receiving, or possessing with intent to distribute, a visual depiction of any
        kind, including a drawing, cartoon, sculpture or painting, that
       depicts a minor engaging in sexually explicit conduct and is obscene, or
       depicts an image that is, or appears to be, of a minor engaging in graphic bestiality, sadistic or
        masochistic abuse, or sexual intercourse, including genital-genital, oral-genital, anal-genital, or oral-
        anal, whether between persons of the same or opposite sex and such depiction lacks serious literary,
        artistic, political, or scientific value.


Sexually explicit conduct is defined under federal law (18 U.S.C. §2256) as actual or simulated sexual
intercourse (including genital-genital, oral-genital, anal-genital, or oral-anal, whether between persons of the
same or opposite sex), bestiality, masturbation, sadistic or masochistic abuse, or lascivious exhibition of the
genitals or pubic area of any person.


Who Is a Minor?

For purposes of enforcing the federal law (18 U.S.C. §2256), “minor” is defined as a person under the age of
18.


Is Child Pornography a Crime?

Yes, it is a federal crime to knowingly possess, manufacture, distribute, or access with intent to view child
pornography (18 U.S.C. §2252). In addition, all 50 states and the District of Columbia have laws criminalizing
the possession, manufacture, and distribution of child pornography. As a result, a person who violates these
laws may face federal and/or state charges.


Where Is Child Pornography Predominantly Found?

Child pornography exists in multiple formats including print media, videotape, film, CD-ROM, or DVD. It is
transmitted on various platforms within the Internet including newsgroups, Internet Relay Chat (chatrooms),
Instant Message, File Transfer Protocol, e-mail, websites, and peer-to-peer technology.


What Motivates People Who Possess Child Pornography?

Limited research about the motivations of people who possess child pornography suggests that child
pornography possessors are a diverse group, including people who are


       sexually interested in prepubescent children or young adolescents, who use child pornography for
        sexual fantasy and gratification
       sexually “indiscriminate,” meaning they are constantly looking for new and different sexual stimuli
       sexually curious, downloading a few images to satisfy that curiosity



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       interested in profiting financially by selling images or setting up web sites requiring payment for
        access


Who Possesses Child Pornography?

It is difficult to describe a “typical” child pornography possessor because there is not just one type of person
who commits this crime.


In a study of 1,713 people arrested for the possession of child pornography in a 1-year period, the possessors
ran the gamut in terms of income, education level, marital status, and age. Virtually all of those who were
arrested were men, 91% were white, and most were unmarried at the time of their crime, either because they
had never married (41%) or because they were separated, divorced, or widowed (21%).3


Forty percent (40%) of those arrested were “dual offenders,” who sexually victimized children and possessed
child pornography, with both crimes discovered in the same investigation. An additional 15% were dual
offenders who attempted to sexually victimize children by soliciting undercover investigators who posed online
as minors.4


Who Produces Child Pornography?

Based on information provided by law enforcement to the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children’s
Child Victim Identification Program, more than half of the child victims were abused by someone who had
legitimate access to them such as parents, other relatives, neighborhood/family friends, babysitters, and
coaches.


What is the Nature of These Images?

The content in these illegal images varies from exposure of genitalia to graphic sexual abuse, such as
penetration by objects, anal penetration, and bestiality.


Of the child pornography victims identified by law enforcement, 42% appear to be pubescent, 52% appear to
be prepubescent, and 6% appear to be infants or toddlers.


Possible Punishment for Sexual Exploitation of a Minor/Child Pornography

If the photographs include children who are fourteen (14) years of age or younger, it is a Dangerous Crimes
Against Children (DCAC) and carries a very severe penalty. A first offense carries the following punishment for
each and every conviction: ten (10) years minimum in prison; seventeen (17) years presumptive in prison;
twenty-four (24) years maximum incarceration.


If convicted of one previous predicate felony (which includes a prior DCAC, among other serious felonies), the
range of punishment increases to a minimum twenty-one (21) years, presumptive twenty-eight years (28),
and maximum thirty-five (35) years. Because this is a DCAC, 100% of the prison time must be served before
being eligible for release. In addition, if the person is convicted of two (2) counts, they must be run
consecutive to each other (i.e., the minimum is now twenty (20) years in prison, and all other ranges double).
This is why these charges are sometimes referred to as “life enders”.



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The maximum penalty on a Sexual Exploitation charge actually carries more time than the maximum penalty
on a Second Degree Murder charge. A conviction will require you to register as a Sex Offender for the rest of
your life, and you are not allowed to have any contact with anyone under the age of eighteen (18) (this
includes your own children), without going through numerous testing procedures and only with the consent
of your Probation Officer.


If the child was ages fifteen – seventeen (15-17), it is not sentenced pursuant to the DCAC statute. A first
offense class two (2) felony, carries punishment of probation with zero (0) days in jail up to one (1) year in
jail, or prison of three (3) years to twelve and one half (12.5) years of incarceration. If the person has one (1)
allegeable historical prior conviction, then the “prison only” range is four and one half (4.5) years to twenty-
three and one quarter (23.25) years in prison. If the person has two (2) allegeable historical prior convictions,
then the “prison only” range is ten and one half (10.5) to thirty-five (35) years of incarceration.


Possible Defenses for Sexual Exploitation of a Minor/Child Pornography

The critical defenses to Child Porn charges involve showing that the person did not“knowingly” possess,
receive, or do any of the listed actions with the images. One way of asserting this defense is by
presenting evidence that the defendant was not the person who accessed the images. If it can be shown that
there were multiple users who had access to the computer, and who did in fact use the computer often, then
it is much more difficult for the State to prove the defendant actually accessed the images, rather than some
other person. This defense is especially appropriate when the defendant lacks any other sexual crime
convictions. In order to assert this defense, we need to present a variety of our own evidence to contradict
whatever has been presented by the prosecution. Typically, the State would normally have executed a search
warrant and confiscated the computer involved, then searched for the “IP address” and passwords that were
used to trace the activates to a particular time, date, and user. Before they do any of this they will have
“cloned” the hard drive in order to avoid any accusations that they have somehow tampered with the
computer by adding images.


Another typical defense is that the defendant inadvertently came across the images on his computer, and thus
it was not a “knowing” exchange. It is an affirmative defense to Child Pornography charges if a person timely
reports that they have received unsolicited images on their computer. Usually, reporting within three (3) days
of discovering the child pornography is considered to be “timely reporting.”


At the Charles Johnson Law Firm, we handle a very high percentage of “Sex Crimes” cases. We have
one of the largest libraries with research materials devoted to challenging accusations involving sex crimes.
Registering as Sex Offender has drastic consequences and leaves a black mark on your record; do not
underestimate the potential severity of this charge.


Additionally, because our law firm fights conviction from all angles, we would assert a wide range of defenses
and challenges to constitutional violations that apply in all criminal cases. The possibilities are numerous and
diverse. One of those we frequently assert is a“Miranda rights violation.” In Texas, the standard of
whether any incriminating statement (i.e., a statement which tends to admit guilt) is admissible into evidence
is based upon a “voluntariness” standard. If we can demonstrate that the police coerced you (i.e., intimidated
or tricked you) into making a confession or inculpatory statement, or that they did not properly read you your
Miranda Rights, then we can suppress those statements and any evidence gathered as a direct result of those
statements.



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In addition, the “denial of right to Counsel” is another common defense which is often raised. This occurs
when a suspect is in custody and requests to speak to their attorney, but is denied and questioning continues.
Other defenses may include challenging the validity of any search warrant, or whether there were any
“forensic flaws” during the investigation of your case. Depending on what else you have been charged with,
this could include exposing flawed procedures regarding blood, breath, and urine testing; fingerprints
analysis; DNA testing; computer analysis/cloning hard drive procedures; forensic financial accounting reviews;
etc. Lastly, one of the most common defense tactics is exposing sloppy or misleading police reports which
include everything from misstatements, false statements, flawed photo line-ups and inaccurate crime scene
reconstruction. It is important to hire a skilled lawyer to defend you who has knowledge of all the possible
defenses to assert in your case.


Do Not Make Statements. Obviously, the best defense begins before a defendant is ever charged. Often, in
a misguided attempt to help law enforcement, defendants make statements that are twisted and turned into
prosecutorial evidence. It is important to remember not to allow yourself be interviewed government agencies
without an attorney present.


Any interview will be sent to the police and the county attorney’s office and can be used against you. An
obvious corollary is do not let yourself be interviewed again by the police without your attorney
present.


Computerized Evidence. Internet child pornography is a growing offense across the nation. Often files can
be downloaded to a computer without the user knowing the content of the download. In such cases the
electronic file will often include tell tale electronic evidence about the file, where it came from and its date of
download. Using this evidence or challenging law enforcement’s sloppy investigation and acquisition of
potentially exculpatory information is the best way for a defense lawyer to prove actual innocence.


Examine Prosecution Expert’s Background. An important part of every case is the ability to counter the
reports and testimony of computer professionals, caseworkers and “experts” who examine pornographic
evidence. To effectively counter a prosecution expert, the defense attorney must be well educated on the
expert’s education, work history, published works and testimony in prior cases.


Use a Polygraph. When it is advantageous to the defense against a sexual assault, defense attorneys should
obtain a credible polygraph examination from a respected professionals.


Texas Sex Offender Registration

In addition to the prison terms and fines one can face when convicted of any of these offenses, you may be
required to register as a sex offender. This means you will be tracked for the rest of your life.


Knowing where to turn when facing charges as dark as these can be difficult. You have likely already
seen people turn their backs on you because of the charges and you haven’t even gone to trial. You need
someone in your corner fighting for your good name.


You are innocent until proven guilty. With my help we will see to it that you get the best possible results on
your day in court.




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Austin Child Pornography Defense Lawyer: The Charles Johnson Law Firm

Attorney Charles Johnson defends against sexual assault allegations throughout Texas, no matter
how small or large the city. He has developed a unique understanding of the dynamics of these very
serious cases. His competent, aggressive and thorough representation has made him a leading criminal
defense attorney in dealing with sex and pornography related criminal charges.


Defending in these areas is a very specialized area of criminal defense. Unfortunately, the very accusations
themselves are often treated as conclusive proof of criminal activity. If Austin Lawyer Charles Johnson is
retained at an early stage in the investigation, he is sometimes able to avoid charges altogether. At
a minimum he is often able to avoid the trauma and embarrassment of his client being arrested at home or at
the workplace by contacting law enforcement and the court in order to make the necessary arrangements.


Depending on the facts of your case and the evidence against you, Austin Child Pornography Lawyer
Charles Johnson will work to help you beat a false accusation or try to lessen the punishment. We
understand your freedom is at stake and that a conviction of possession of child pornography may result in
lifetime registration as a sex offender. To protect your rights and liberty, we conduct thorough investigations
to prepare for trial or to minimize the consequences or sentence.


Austin Sex Crimes Lawyer Charles Johnson can be reached 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Call us at 512-832-1200 or toll free at 877-308-0100.
Major Credit Cards Accepted.

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Original article may be found at:
Defending Charges of Child Pornography: You Can Depend On Austin Sex Crimes Lawyer Charles
Johnson


Austin Lawyer Charles Johnson
Solving Problems...Every Day®

http://www.austinlawyer.com/

111 Congress, Suite 400
Austin, TX 78701

E-Mail: charlesjohnson@austinlawyer.com

Phone: (512) 832-1200
Toll-Free: (877) 308-0100

Map to Office




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