man on computer looking at child pornography

Three Defenses Against Child Pornography Charges

What is the penalty for possession of child pornography?

Child pornography is a sex crime punished harshly in the state of Arizona.  The crime of child pornography, also referred to as child sexual exploitation, is rather broad.  Per state law, it is a crime to photograph, record, film, develop, or duplicate any visual depiction of a minor engaged in exploitative exhibition or sexual conduct.  Further, possessing, distributing, transporting, receiving, or selling such visual depictions is illegal.  The crime of child pornography is a Class 2 felony in Arizona, with a minimum sentence of 10 years in prison for each image in your possession.  There are several potential defenses you could potentially raise against a charge of child pornography, explained by our Phoenix child pornography defense attorneys below.

1. Lack of Knowledge as to Your Possession

One potential defense against child pornography that you might raise is that of lack of knowledge or unintentional possession.  At times, people will be charged with child pornography that they did not know existed on their computer.  For example, if the computer was shared or purchased second hand, you might not be aware of its existence.  It is also possible for someone else to download pornography on your device if you use an unsecured network.  Your defense attorney can help you to determine if you have a viable unintended possession defense.

2. Illegal Search and Seizure 

The Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution protects citizens against illegal searches and seizures.  If the pornography was seized without a warrant or a recognized exception to the warrant requirement, then you may have a viable challenge to its admissibility in your case.  If the evidence was seized illegally, it cannot be used against you, regardless of your guilt or innocence.

3. The Material is Not Child Pornography 

To be considered illegal, the alleged images or other visual depictions must meet the Arizona definition of child pornography.  The images must depict child exploitation, which can be hard to determine.  A possible defense might be that the individual in the pictures is not in fact a minor.  Another potential defense might be that the content has a recognized purpose, such as a religious or educational purpose.  Your attorney can review the material to look for potential defenses as to its content.