How Is Child Pornography Defined In Illinois?
Child pornography, under Illinois law, is any depiction, either by film, video, or photo, of an individual under 18 who is nude or engaged in a sex act or sexual conduct. It is illegal to produce and distribute child pornography.
It is also illegal to have it; possession can include viewing it on a computer and deleting the image or video. Some sites have categories called ‘Teens.’ These videos do not contain children; they are younger-looking adults of the legal age of consent, usually 18 and up.
Many pornography actors are in their twenties, but they look aged 18-19. For details on child pornography, call our Illinois Child pornography defense lawyer.
Is Child Pornography A State Or Federal Crime?
Suppose a federal agency is investigating you for a child pornography crime. In that case, they will decide whether to charge you with federal or state child pornography charges.
In some cases, if a federal agency investigates somebody who has never been arrested before and the facts and circumstances are mild on the child pornography spectrum, they’d turn that case over to state authorities and let the state charge them in state court.
But large-scale child pornography production and distribution will usually go to federal court. Keep in mind that this differs from legal pornography on sites, which is acceptable to watch as an adult.
What Are The Penalties For Possession And Distribution Of Child Pornography In Illinois?
In Illinois state court, all child pornography cases are felonies. The least serious offense is a class 3 felony, which carries three to five years in prison. Still, most state child pornography cases are class 1 or class X non-probationable offenses.
In state court, very few child pornography charges are eligible for probation. All child pornography offenses would need lifetime sex offender registration upon conviction.
In federal court, the penalties for child pornography cases are much more severe. It is not uncommon for a federal child pornography case to have potential sentences of 10, 20, or 30 or more years in prison. Our child pornography defense lawyer will defend you to their best ability and has satisfied many clients with their best possible outcome.
What Are Some Potential Defenses Used In Child Pornography Cases?
In the age of technology that we live in, most child pornography cases involve computers. They usually involve the Internet and some messaging or email program. Computers are complicated devices, so I generally have experts that help with the defense. The computer expert I have used on several occasions is an ex-federal agent. He’s proved practical and helpful in creating and perfecting defenses in child pornography cases.
Although there are many defenses of a child pornography case, there are a few that I have used more than others. But every case is different and would be determined based on the facts of that case.
One strategy I’ve used that can be effective is calling into question the age of the individual and the photo or film, which we can learn in several ways. For example, sometimes the people portrayed in the film or photo are very young-looking models. These professionals have made a career based on their youthful appearance despite being over 18.
I have also raised the issue of possession, particularly when an image or video has been viewed on a computer but is not saved. Possession is an effective defense. But it requires our computer expert to explain to the judge or jury how an image can still exist on a computer even if someone didn’t save it or if they delete it.
Finally, illegal search and seizure issues often come up in child pornography cases. Our child sex offense lawyer has a strategy that might dismiss the case without any charges. If a search is conducted without a warrant or probable cause, we may be able to suppress the evidence. If the evidence is suppressed, the prosecutor may have to dismiss the case.
For more information on Child Pornography In Illinois, a free initial consultation with our Child Sex Offense Lawyer is your next step. Get the information and legal answers you seek by calling our Frankfort, IL, or Shorewood, IL, offices today at (708) 218-0947.
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