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Understanding Federal Child Pornography Laws

We are different from other law firms. We successfully defend many clients against child pornography charges. It is one of our specialties. Give us a quick call at (800) 459-2500 and speak with an attorney who can help you solve your problem, as we did with the two clients shown here:

Important Basic Definitions Federal Child Pornography Law contains several definitions that are important to understand and some that do not mean what they sound like. Here are the important ones that appear in the Federal Child Pornography Statutes:

Sexually Explicit Conduct As most people know, a Justice once said, “I know pornography when I see it.” If your case involves depictions that include obvious sex acts, this section applies and you need read no further. However, if your case involves “nudist, solo, “selfie” or other borderline images, and want to know more about this topic Sexually Explicit Conduct Defined. The Dost test for one category of sexually explicit conduct.

Knowingly This requires that Defendant have “knowledge” that the person depicted in the image is both underage and engaged in “sexually explicit conduct.” In most cases, the images themselves are enough for the inference that a person who viewed them would have knowledge of their contraband nature. However, in some cases, the “knowingly” requirement can provide a defense.More on knowingly in Federal Child Pornography cases.

Affecting Interstate Commerce Many Defendants mistakenly get caught up in thinking that this phrase can be helpful because they never left the state. That is not the case. Jurisdiction in Federal Court is based on “commerce”and is virtually always present. (Though I believe a constitutional mistake was made in the 1800's, this is firmly the established law). Example: A picture taken on a camera which contained parts that were made out of state is sufficient as is any use of the mail, a phone or a computer. Ignore this.

Visual Depiction This can be a still image or a video in any format, including the digital bytes that can be reconstructed into the image. It has also been held to include the display on a computer screen, just web surfing)even if the defendant does not know that “surfing” stores files on his computer automatically (Internet Cache).

Important Basic Definitions Federal Child Pornography Law contains several definitions that are important to understand and some that do not mean what they sound like. Here are the important ones that appear in the Federal Child Pornography Statutes:

If you are facing potential child pornography charges, it is critical that you use a legal defense team with specific experience and expertise dealing with crimes against children. Call us at any time at (800) 459-2500 for a free, confidential initial consultation. Early intervention is critical to obtaining the best results. 

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