Defenses to Child Pornography Charges

May 12, 2024

If you are facing charges for pornography possession, distribution, manufacturing, or other related charges, then you are facing serious penalties, including hefty fines and periods in jail or prison. Therefore, it is critical to work with an experienced child pornography defense attorney who can assess your case, address your questions and concerns, and help you build up a strong defense case in order to get your charges reduced or even dropped.

While facing child pornography charges may feel helpless, there are multiple legal options that can be pursued to optimize your case outcome. Being aware of the common defenses against child pornography charges is useful to understand how you can protect your rights and work to create your own optimal defense strategy. Your attorney may choose to employ one or more avenues of defense strategy in order to fight your charges in and out of court.

Defenses Commonly Employed in Child Pornography Cases

Child porn charges can be challenged in many ways, including options such as challenging the evidence, the arrest and search and seizure process, proving innocence with counterevidence, calling into question the validity of the prosecution’s evidence, and more. Some of the common defense strategies include:

  • Alleged Entrapment. Entrapment by police is when law enforcement induces you to commit a child porn crime that you would not have committed otherwise if you were not contacted and persuaded into doing so. Entrapment is illegal, and proving such cases can result in the dropping of associated evidence.
  • Illegal Search and Seizure. In order for the evidence seized to be used as valid against you, it must be seized legally by law enforcement. If police make a procedural error and violate your Fourth Amendment constitutional right, the evidence seized can be proved to be inadmissible in court.
  • Possession by Accident. The Internet has complex cybertechnologies that can put certain files and media on your computer or in your possession without your knowledge. This can happen through spam, viruses, and malware, or a hacker can download child porn images on your computer without your consent. Accidental possession of such files is a common defense.
  • Claims the Content Is Not Child Porn. In some cases, the evidence used against you can be challenged as not being child pornography. For example, if it can be proved that the people in the images are not under the age of 18, then the material may not indeed be considered to be child pornography.
  • Alleged Addiction. While stating that the defendant is in a state of psychological addiction is not a tactic that can get a case dropped and is typically not the most ideal, it can help get sentencing minimized or help advocate for alternative sentencing.
  • Claiming the Material Is Not Yours. Although certain incriminating evidence may be found on your computer or device, it may have been put there and utilized by another person. In such a case, you can argue that the material does not indeed belong to you.

Defense strategies for each child pornography defense case will vary depending on the details of the case, such as the available evidence, the prosecution’s claims, the criminal history of the defendant, the extent and nature of the charges, and the potential penalties. It’s important to work with a child pornography criminal defense lawyer who can understand your case, conduct deep investigations on your behalf, and help you move forward with a strong criminal defense strategy.


Q: Is It Illegal to Search for Child Pornography?

A: Simply typing the phrase “child pornography” into a search engine is not necessarily illegal. It is illegal, however, to use the internet with the intent to view images containing child pornography. It is also illegal to possess, share, receive, and manufacture images of child pornography. It’s important to note that clicking on links associated with child porn may result in you unknowingly having child porn content downloaded onto your computer, which could serve as a basis for incrimination.

If you are in such a situation, it is critical to get in touch with a dedicated child pornography defense lawyer.

Q: When Is Child Pornography Considered to Be a Federal Offense?

A: Child pornography is a serious crime that is criminalized on both state and federal levels. Child porn can typically be prosecuted at the federal level anytime the internet or a computer is involved (which is in most cases). Whether a case is ultimately prosecuted at the federal level or the state level involves many factors, including who initiated the investigation and the seriousness of the offense. If you are unsure of whether your charges could potentially be federally prosecuted, a criminal defense lawyer can work with you to understand your case and inform you of the charges and potential penalties you are facing.

Q: Is Child Pornography a Felony Crime?

A: In the United States, child pornography crimes are generally classified as felonies. Child pornography crimes include the distribution, receipt, possession, or production of explicit material involving sexual acts of minors. Such crimes are harshly punished as they involve the exploitation of children who are involved in the material. Associated penalties include fines, restitution, imprisonment, and having to register as a sex offender.

Q: What Is 18 U.S.C. § 1466A?

A: 18 U.S.C. § 1466A is a United States federal statute that lays out the prohibition of visual representations of the sexual abuse of children. Under this statute, the production, possession, distribution, and viewing of child pornography is outlawed. Such imagery can include pictures, drawings, sculptures, cartoons, or paintings that feature minors engaging in sexual acts.

Crimes under this statute are highly criminalized, with resulting convictions leading to hefty fines, incarceration, and registration as a sex offender.

Get The Strong Representation You Need to Fight Your Charges

If you are facing charges for child pornography, there are legal options that can be leveraged. However, it is critical to act as soon as possible. A dedicated criminal defense lawyer from Johnson/Citronberg, PLLC, can assist you with building up a strong defense case. They can take into account the details of your case and address your questions and concerns, working to fight your charges at all costs.

Get in touch with a loyal team member from our law firm today to get started building up your defense.

Recent Posts



Request Your Consultation

Fields Marked With An “*” Are Required

"*" indicates required fields

I Have Read The Disclaimer*
This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.