Michigan’s child pornography laws are stringent. A conviction of child pornography charges can get a person up to 25 years in federal prison and fines of up to $125,000, depending on the prevailing circumstances.
These laws exist to protect children from sexual exploitation through the production and distribution of child pornography. Besides the prison time and fines, individuals involved in child pornography cases face having to register as a sex offender upon conviction, making it important to work with skilled criminal defense lawyers who focus on Sex Crimes.
CHILD PORNOGRAPHY DEFINITIONS:
- CHILD SEXUALLY ABUSIVE ACTIVITY – Child sexual abuse activity is defined as a minor engaging in any sexual act listed in the law
- CHILD SEXUALLY ABUSIVE MATERIAL – Child sexually abusive material is defined in law as any depiction made or produced through any means of a minor or appears to contain a minor engaging in sexually explicit conduct. The depiction could be either electronic or any other means, including picture, slide, film, video, developed or undeveloped photograph, electronic visual image, computer-generated image, or an audio recording. Additionally, it may include images on a magazine, book, computer storage device, computer, or in other print or printable medium, or sound recording.
THE THREE CHILD PORNOGRAPHY CHARGES IN MICHIGAN:
1. PRODUCTION OF CHILD SEXUALLY ABUSIVE ACTIVITY OR MATERIAL
Any person who coerces entices, induces, or knowingly causes a minor to engage in child sexually abusive activity, or knowingly allows a minor to engage in the said behavior, with the intended purpose being the production of pornographic material; or an individual who arranges for, makes, copies, produces, finances, or conspires to do the same for distributional, personal or for any purpose, while the person knows, has reason to know, or is expected to have reasonably known that the said minor was a minor, or that the material in question constituted child pornography, and that the person didn’t take reasonable caution to verify the age of the minor in question, shall be guilty of production of child sexually abusive activity or material.
Upon conviction with the offense, a sex offender will be guilty of a felony punishable by imprisonment of a maximum of 20 years, a fine not exceeding $100,000, or both.
However, if the child pornography: involves a minor below 13, involves sadomasochistic abuse or bestiality, or includes video or more than 100 images, the sex offender will be guilty of a felony punishable by imprisonment for a period not exceeding 25 years, a fine not exceeding $125,000, or both.
Defending the production of child pornography can be very challenging and calls for working with an experienced child pornography lawyer. When faced with the above crime, your criminal defense attorneys could argue it is not child pornography where the victim’s age cannot be established.
2. DISTRIBUTION OR PROMOTION OF CHILD SEXUALLY ABUSIVE MATERIAL
Any person who promotes, distributes, or supports the distribution of child pornography financially, or received child pornography to distribute and promote, or if the person conspires, prepares, or attempts to receive, distribute, finance, or promote child pornography, while that person knows, had reason to know, or should have reasonably known that the minor in question was a minor and that the material depicted child pornography, and that the defendant failed to take reasonable caution to verify the age of the minor in question, will be guilty of distribution of child sexually abusive material.
Upon conviction, a person charged with distribution of child pornography shall be guilty of a felony and could face a maximum of seven years in prison, a fine not exceeding $50,000, or both.
However, if the child pornography: involves a minor below 13, involves sadomasochistic abuse or bestiality, or includes video or more than 100 images, the sex offender will be guilty of a felony punishable by imprisonment for a period not exceeding 15 years, a fine not exceeding $75,000, or both.
The offense of distribution and promotion of child pornography falls under Michigan criminal law 750.145c.
Although the distribution of child pornography is a lesser crime than production, it can be challenging to defend and calls for working with a skilled sex crimes attorney. Possible defense for the distribution or promotion of child pornography could include “not child pornography,” where the victim’s age can not be ascertained, or “not for distribution,” which could see you charged with a lesser offense.
3. POSSESSION OF CHILD SEXUALLY ABUSIVE MATERIAL/CHILD PORNOGRAPHY
Any person who knowingly possesses, or seek to access child pornography, while the person knows, had reason to know, or is reasonably expected to know that the minor in question is a minor, and that the sexually-explicit material depicts child pornography, and that the defendant failed to exercise reasonable care to establish the age of the minor in question, shall be guilty of possession of child sexually abusive material.
Of all possible child pornography charges, possession of child pornography is the least severe of them. Upon conviction, an individual charged with possession of child pornography will be guilty of a felony punishable with imprisonment for a maximum of four years in prison, a fine not exceeding $10,000, or both.
However, if the child pornography: involves a minor below 13, involves sadomasochistic abuse or bestiality, or includes video or more than 100 images, the sex offender will be guilty of a felony punishable by imprisonment for a period not exceeding ten years, a fine not exceeding $50,000, or both.
The offense of possession of child pornography material falls under MCL 750.145c(4).
Defending this offense can be challenging and should always be handled by an experienced child pornography defense attorney. When defending the possession of child pornography, your criminal defense attorney(s) could use “not child pornography,” accidental possession, entrapment by state and federal law enforcement officers, or illegal search as a defense. Additionally, your criminal defense lawyer could use addiction to child pornography as a defense; however, addiction does not absolve guilt from the accused, but it can lower the sentences.
FEDERAL CHILD PORNOGRAPHY CHARGES
Besides being a state crime, child pornography is also a federal crime, and an accused can be charged in a federal court. Federal child pornography charges may be brought against an accused if the allegations facing the accused cross state lines, or national borders, and involve federal law enforcement agencies. When facing federal criminal charges, you must work with a child pornography defense attorney well-versed in federal criminal justice laws.
The standards set for a conviction with pornography involving minors are very high. For a conviction to happen, the prosecution must prove that the offense in question was committed beyond a reasonable doubt. It takes working with a skilled criminal defense lawyer to destroy the prosecution’s case and avoid conviction, which has far-reaching consequences.
Child Pornography Lawyer
CONTACT NICOLE BLANK BECKER – THE BEST MICHIGAN CHILD PORNOGRAPHY ATTORNEY
If you face any case related to child pornography in Michigan, Nicole Blank Becker of Blank Law, PC is the criminal defense attorney to contact.
Nicole has over two decades of experience in federal and Michigan criminal law, and she solely focuses on sex crimes. In her twenty years, Nicole has served in the prosecutor’s office as a deputy prosecutor in Macomb County, which allows her to look at each case from the two sides of the law.
Additionally, Nicole has worked as the chief of the Sex Crimes Unit and Child Abuse Unit, where she amassed tremendous experience in child pornography cases.
Since your future may depend on the outcome of your case, having the best child pornography attorney to defend your charges should be a priority. To contact criminal defense attorney Nicole Blank Becker, give us a call or contact us online today.
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