Child Pornography Attorney in St. Louis, Missouri
Criminal charges related to child pornography are considered some of the most heinous and egregious crimes by society and are harshly punished by the law. Even if you are innocent, accusations of child pornography alone are enough to ruin your reputation forever. That is why it is crucial to take the charges seriously and reach out to an experienced criminal defense attorney.
As a child pornography defense attorney at The Law Office of Gregory N. Smith, I offer knowledgeable, compassionate, and non-judgmental representation. I am dedicated to providing clients with the individualized attention they deserve.
From offices in St. Louis and St. Charles, Missouri, I serve clients throughout the state, including St. Louis County, East St. Louis, and Jefferson County.
Laws Addressing Child Pornography
The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution does not protect images of child pornography, according to the U.S. Department of Justice. Federal law considers any visual depiction (photographs, videos, films, computer-generated pictures, etc.) of a minor engaging in sexually explicit conduct as “illegal contraband.” A minor is any individual below the age of majority (18 years of age).
On top of federal laws addressing child pornography, Missouri law also makes it a crime to possess, promote, or create pornography with minors. Under Missouri law, there are several degrees of child pornography crimes. The most serious and harshly punished criminal offense in Missouri is when the child is or appears to be under the age of 14. Missouri also makes it illegal to provide or show pornographic materials to individuals under the age of 18.
Proving Child Pornography
While child pornography is a serious offense, these crimes are not easily proven unless there is clear evidence to prove the defendant’s guilt. Regardless of the circumstances surrounding a child pornography crime, a defendant is presumed to be innocent until proven guilty. The prosecution has the burden of proving the defendant’s guilt to secure a conviction.
In other words, you can be convicted of possessing, promoting, or creating child pornography only if the prosecution can establish the specific elements of the crime. For example, if you are facing charges for possession of child pornography in St. Louis or elsewhere in Missouri, the prosecution must prove two elements to secure a guilty verdict:
You knowingly or recklessly possessed the pornographic material; and
The pornographic or obscene material in question depicted a minor who is or appears to be less than 18 years of age.
As a criminal defense attorney in St. Louis, I can help you understand your defense options and identify weaknesses in the prosecution’s case. Your freedom, reputation, and future are on the line, which is why it is vital to act quickly.
Convictions related to child pornography are associated with lengthy prison sentences and hefty fines. In extreme cases, individuals convicted of child pornography crimes can face life imprisonment. In addition to time behind bars and fines, penalties may also include mandatory registration on the sex offender list, not to mention that having such a conviction on your record can make it nearly impossible to find a good job or adequate housing.
Given the severe penalties associated with child pornography crimes, work with an experienced defense attorney to reduce the penalties or avoid a conviction at all. As a sex crimes defense attorney at The Law Office of Gregory N. Smith, I am well-versed in federal and state child pornography laws. I understand that, given the prevalence of unlawful pornography on the Internet, innocent persons can accidentally gain access to videos or images of someone under the age of 18.
Child Pornography Attorney Serving St. Louis, Missouri
If you have been charged with or are investigated for a child pornography crime, contact The Law Office of Gregory N. Smith as soon as possible. As a child pornography defense attorney in St. Louis, Missouri, I offer non-judgmental and compassionate legal representation to each client, no matter the circumstances of their case. Schedule a consultation today to discuss your defense options.