Manassas Child Pornography Lawyer
Virginia has a variety of laws that allow authorities to aggressively prosecute against child pornography. Child pornography constitutes any video or photographic imagery of minors engaged in sex. It could be minors with other minors or it could be minors being victimized by adults. Either one of those does constitute child pornography in Virginia and is prosecuted very seriously. Therefore if you are accused of any type of child pornography offense, it is imperative you seek the counsel of a Manassas child pornography lawyer immediately in order to begin building a defense. An experienced criminal lawyer in Manassas will be able to look at the facts and circumstances of your case and ensure that you put forth the strongest defense possible. To learn more about what can be done for your case, call today.
Unique Aspects of Child Pornography Charges
Child pornography cases are crimes that exist almost exclusively online these days and as a result they contain evidence that can be very complicated and complex. Child pornography cases almost always contain a significant amount of data that are recovered from any devices that may have been used by the accused person to access the internet for the purpose of child pornography.
What is important to understand here is that there are always two sides to the story and Manassas child pornography attorneys have had cases in which what the government agent says might be different than what the defense expert witness might say who also has the opportunity to examine the computer. All the records of online activity, downloads, uploads and such can be subject to scrutiny by the defense and defense-based experts.
Another interesting and distinguishing aspect of child pornography cases is that they use undercover agents in their investigations. This is more common than people may realize. Sometimes agents do go on to chat rooms and websites that are on the internet that are designed purely for the exchange of child pornography. These agents will go online posing as people who are looking for child pornography and attempt to entice other people to send them child pornography. Once that is done then the person who has been enticed will be charged with distribution of child pornography.
Federal vs. State Laws
What constitutes child pornography remains the same in both federal and state courts, however, the differences between federal and state laws exist in how they are punished. Each of the jurisdictions contains different statutes that lay out the punishments for child pornography, both for the possession and distribution thereof. It does depend on where you are charged to determine what sort of punishment you might face, but as far as what actually constitutes child pornography, it is the same in Manassas as it is in Federal Courts.
They have an entire task force that is headed up by a detective in Prince William County whose singular focus is on Internet-based crimes against minors which includes child pornography.
Child pornography is probably the number one most sought after type of crime by this task force. It is really all they do. This is not something that just happened upon by detectives. They actively go out and look for offenses involving child pornography whether it be possession, distribution or a combination thereof.
Can You Be Charged in Manassas If You Are in Another City or State?
Yes, however, in cases that involve the distribution or reproduction of child pornography. If you are sending child pornography to an undercover agent who is based in Prince William County or in Manassas, it doesn’t matter if you are from Fairfax or from California; you can be charged right here in Manassas-based upon where the illegal files were received. In fact, it is often very difficult to nail down exactly where things were sent from and so the statute allows for prosecution in the jurisdiction where it was received.
Generally, sexting is not a sex crime. However, if the texting involves a minor, either a minor who is receiving a lewd text or a text that suggests a person is soliciting sex acts from a minor, it is considered a sex crime. Anything involving a minor will be constituting a sex crime. Even if it is sexting between two adults; if the recipient of the sexting is not a clear and willing participant and a clear then that could also be considered a crime.
Sexting can also be considered child pornography if the person who has been accused has been accused of enticing a minor to send photographs of themselves or revealing photographs of themselves and are successful in doing so. Additionally, the person can be charged with distribution of child pornography if the person is able to get a minor to send a picture of him or herself and then the person distributes that to others. Any sexting that involves a minor is a crime. It can be considered child pornography if it involves video or photographic data.
Is It Child Pornography If It Is Between Two Minors?
It is, however, Virginia has different penalties associated with these kinds of things if the two people involved are close in age. For instance, a juvenile who engages in sexting can be charged with child pornography; however, the penalties are not quite as severe as they would be if the person was over the age of 18.
How A Manassas Child Pornography Attorney Can Help
The most important thing a Manassas child pornography attorney can do is decipher the government’s evidence to determine if in fact, the government can prove their case beyond a reasonable doubt. The mere existence of illegal images on someone’s computer doesn’t necessarily mean that they are going to be found guilty. The government needs to prove that the images were put on the computer by that person who has been charged. There can be many different circumstances under which a computer can be accessed by multiple people or the computer can be accessed illegally or hacked by another person without the user or owner of that computer even knowing about it.
Knowing exactly the kind of evidence to look for and then having a network of experts at your beck and call to be able to evaluate this evidence is important. To make sure that the government can prove their case beyond reasonable doubt is absolutely critical.
Having an attorney for a case like this is a no-brainer. They face significant penalties if convicted and will almost certainly go to prison if convicted and therefore hiring an attorney is important.