Child Pornography Defense Lawyer in Utah
If you have been charged with or arrested for any crime involving child pornography in Utah, don’t wait. You’ll need a comprehensive defense that takes time to create. The consequences of a conviction extend far beyond simple jail time or fines; they could destroy your chances for a normal life. If you are convicted for child pornography, you’ll be registered as a sex offender and that charge will follow you for the rest of your life; every time you move, apply for a job, volunteer or even work out, your conviction could come back to haunt you. Only an aggressive defense mounted by an experienced child pornography lawyer can avert the disaster that looms ahead. Don’t delay; contact Wasatch Defense Lawyers for a FREE case review right away.
Consequences for Child Pornography in Utah
If you are found guilty of producing, creating or distributing child pornography in Utah, you face a variety of penalties in Utah under the State’s Sexual Exploitation Act. Child pornography crimes are considered second degree felonies and punishable with imprisonment and fines. You could go to jail for anywhere from six months to 15 years if you are charged with child pornography in the state. Fines can be assessed of up to $10,000 for a conviction as well.
It is important to note that an offender can face multiple charges in Utah; each child featured in a piece of explicit material is a separate charge, and each instance or peeve of material is charged separately, even if they depict the same minor.
If you are convicted, even after you serve time or pay fines you’ll have a hard time finding a place to live, a place to work or even volunteering; consequences can be lifelong and have a significant impact on your future. You’ll have to register as a convicted sex offender and update your address whenever you move.
The best way to avoid these devastating consequences is to speak with a child pornography attorney right away.
What is a Child Pornography Attorney Charge in Utah?
Utah has a broad description of what it considers to be child pornography. Broad reaching definitions are designed to protect children and cover not only traditional but emerging media and delivery methods as well. Live performances, photographs, film and video and photos of any type are child pornography under Utah law. The law also includes computer created or generated images, computer altered pictures and pictures containing any type of sexual or explicit content, including:
- Any depiction in any media of a child or minor engaging in sexually explicit acts, poses or content
- Production of images of any type that contain a minor engaging in sexually explicit acts or conduct
- Modified images or other media made to suggest a child was involved or engaged in sexual acts
In addition to the things defined above, you can be legally charged for any number of reasons, including but not limited to:
- Owning or possessing child pornography
- Creating or producing child pornography
- Sale, sharing or distribution of child pornography
- Federal child pornography charges
- Internet sites, images or other content with child pornography
- Videos featuring child pornography
- Pornography featuring vulnerable adults including those with disabilities
- Peer to Peer (P2P) sharing via torrent or other file sharing sites
- Possessing or sharing obscene material featuring minors
Distribution of Child Pornography and Intimate Images
The distribution of child pornography in Utah includes the selling, displaying, exhibiting, giving or otherwise transferring any form of child pornography either with or without consideration.
The distribution of child pornography in Utah is a second-degree felony. Penalties include imprisonment for 1-15 years and/or fines of up to $10,000.
Individuals charged with the distribution of child pornography may also be charged with distribution of intimate images. The legal definition of an intimate image in the State of Utah is a visual depiction of genitals, female breast or an individual engaged in sexually explicit conduct with less than an opaque covering.
The distribution of an intimate image in Utah is a class A misdemeanor that may be elevated to a third-degree felony with the conviction of a subsequent offense.
Child Pornography Manufacturing
Child pornography manufacturing is the invention or fabrication of any visual depiction of a minor (under the age of 18) involved in sexually explicit conduct. This includes photographs, videos, film or computer-generated images or pictures produced mechanically, electronically or by any other means. In some instances, charges of child pornography possession may be inappropriately charged with manufacturing because of an over-zealous crackdown on child pornography that rationalizes a downloaded file is a copy that did not exist before the download.
The creation or manufacturing of child pornography in Utah is a charged as a second-degree felony. A child pornography manufacturing conviction may result in penalties that include both fines of up to $10,000 and imprisonment for 1-15 years. The degree of the offense and penalties may increase depending on the severity of the offense(s).
Possession of Child Pornography
Viewing or storing child pornography on your computer is considered possession and is a federal crime and a punishable offense under Utah criminal code 76-5b-103. Both federal and state investigators have increased efforts since the emergence of the internet to prosecute individuals in possession of any visual depiction of explicit sexual conduct involving a minor (under the age of 18) to include video, pictures, computer-generated images or live performance.
The possession of child pornography is a second-degree felony punishable by fines of up to $10,000 and a maximum of 15 years imprisonment. Penalties may increase with subsequent offenses.
It is vital for anyone facing possession of child pornography charges for digital images, files or tangible pornographic materials like photos or videos to obtain aggressive legal representation to protect your legal rights and your reputation. In some cases, the integrity of evidence gathering through entrapment investigative methods may work in the accused individual’s favor. In some instances, the possession of child pornography may be discovered with the following circumstances that require the specialized experience of a sex crimes defense lawyer:
- A computer virus or spyware containing files that are linked to child pornography that lead to unknowing third-party possession of child pornography.
- Online sting operations that border actions of entrapment to lead to an arrest.
- Seized evidence that may have been obtained illegally.
Defense Strategies Used in Child Pornography Cases
When you are charged with having or distributing child pornography or any other crime, the prosecution much prove that you did something wrong; the right approach to defense holds prosecutors to the highest possible standards. Lack of knowledge of the law or awareness of the child’s age is not a legitimate defense. Some potential defenses used for child pornography cases may include:
- Mistaken identity; someone else used your Wi-Fi connection to download the troubling images
- Someone else was to blame, in your workplace, dorm, home or other location
- Entrapment by law enforcement
- Illegal actions were undertaken by law enforcement to obtain evidence
A Utah Child Pornography Lawyer Can Protect Your Freedom and Your Future
If you’ve been charged with either distribution or possession of child pornography, it is essential that you secure the services from an experienced child pornography attorney right away. At Wasatch Defense Lawyers, we understand how difficult this time is and know you are innocent until proven guilty; we bring our considerable skills and experience to mount an aggressive defense on your behalf. We understand the steps needed to fully investigate your charges and case and have the assets and ability to thoroughly do so.