This is the first post in a series of articles discussing defending against child pornography charges in Peoria, Illinois. Under state and federal laws, it is a crime to produce, disseminate, or possess pornographic materials known to involve minors. The goal of this series is to provide information about the consequences of a conviction and potential defenses against the charges. Another goal is to explain what one may expect should their case proceed to trial. Convictions for child pornography charges carry serious repercussions, including significant jail time, fines, and being labeled a sex offender. It is imperative, therefore, to vigorously defend oneself if charged with a child pornography offense. If you have been charged with violating child pornography laws, contact my office to speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney today.
This series will focus on the following topics:
- Understanding state and federal penalties for child pornography convictions
- Defending oneself for lack of “knowledge” in child pornography cases
- How illegal searches and seizures may impact child pornography cases
- Taking a child pornography case to trial
Those facing child pornography charges should understand these points for several reasons. First, child pornography can be prosecuted as either a state or federal offense. This largely depends upon which agency initiated the investigation and the seriousness of the alleged criminal activity. The penalties for conviction may differ between the federal and state systems. Second, to be guilty of a crime involving child pornography, the accused must be aware that the material involved a person under the age of 18. If the accused can demonstrate a lack of knowledge of this fact, they cannot be convicted. Third, law enforcement investigating alleged activity must conduct their search for evidence in accordance with restrictions established under the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. If their actions constitute unreasonable searches and seizures, it may be possible to exclude the illegally obtained evidence from the case. Finally, should the case proceed to trial, the defendant should know what to expect from the process.
Given the seriousness of child pornography charges and the ramifications of being convicted, I cannot overemphasize the importance of retaining an experienced criminal defense attorney to represent your interests. I am a former prosecutor with over twenty years of experience. I have defended residents in both the state and federal criminal justice systems and am ready to assist you. In addition to Peoria, I serve clients in the cities of Bloomington, Eureka, Galesburg, Morton, Normal, Pekin, Springfield, and Washington. I also serve the counties of Fulton, Knox, LaSalle, Marshall, Mason, McLean, Putnam, Rock Island, Schuyler, Stark, Tazewell, and Woodford.