Virginia Accidental or Unknowing Possession of Child Pornography Defense Lawyer

Home /  Practice Areas /  Virginia Accidental or Unknowing Possession of Child Pornography Defense Lawyer

If you have been charged with child pornography-related crimes in Virginia, and you were unaware that you had viewed, possessed, or distributed child pornography, then you are likely feeling overwhelmed and confused. However, such cases commonly occur among child pornography charges, and an accidental or unknowing Virginia possession of child pornography defense lawyer from Johnson/Citronberg, PLLC can help you leverage legal tools to fight back.

The criminal defense team at Johnson/Citronberg, PLLC has been defending clients who have been charged with child pornography charges in Virginia for years, helping to use different legal tactics to help them get optimal case outcomes. If you have been charged with child porn crimes that you were unaware of, our loyal and compassionate team can help, but time is of the essence. By getting in touch with our team today, we can help you meet pertinent deadlines and design a solid defense strategy.

How to Fight Your Charges with a Virginia Possession of Child Pornography Defense Lawyer

Being charged with Virginia child pornography possession crimes can be a devastating blow if you were unaware that it was in your possession or if it accidentally came into your possession. However, an experienced and knowledgeable criminal defense lawyer from Johnson/Citronberg, PLLC, can help you with the following:

  • Being Aware of Child Porn Laws. A lawyer from our firm can help you understand the Virginia state laws or federal laws that may apply to your case, as well as the possession laws specifically, including definitions and potential penalties.
  • Protecting Your Rights. One of our criminal defense lawyers can help you understand your rights under state and federal law, such as the right to have counsel present before speaking with law enforcement while under investigation and the right to refuse search and seizure in certain situations without a proper warrant. This can ensure that no further undue physical or psychological harm is done and that you are not unnecessarily incriminated.
  • Investigating Your Case. The sex crime criminal defense legal team at our Virginia law firm is particularly tech-savvy, with knowledge of the deep and dark web and its uses and applications. We can launch a deep investigation to get evidence to support your claim of an accidental or unknowing possession, such as into your Internet history.
  • Understanding Case Circumstances. A dedicated lawyer from our firm can contextualize your case by understanding all of the case details, including the means by which the content was accessed, whether the viewing was on purpose or not, and the evidence the prosecution is bringing forward to prove intent.
  • Questioning the Prosecution’s Evidence. Our lawyers can analyze the evidence brought forward by the prosecution to try to incriminate you. They can work to prove that the evidence was seized illegally and is therefore inadmissible, call the authenticity of the presented evidence into question, or challenge the chain of custody of the content.
  • Optimize Your Defense Plan. Our attorneys have years of experience defending people accused of child porn crimes in Virginia and have a myriad of legal strategies we can leverage for your case. We can show that malware or shared devices caused child porn content to be downloaded on your device without your control or bring evidence that you didn’t even know the content was on your device.
  • Work Towards a Plea Deal. A plea deal is not always the first legal defense strategy to be leveraged, but in some cases, it can lead to a more optimal outcome, such as a guaranteed reduction in prison sentences. A lawyer from our firm can help you understand if a plea deal is a feasible option for your case.
  • Represent You in Court. A child pornography defense lawyer can help fight on your behalf in court. They can show key evidence that defends your story, present sound legal arguments, and cross-examine witnesses to strongly represent your case.

If you are unsatisfied with the outcome of your case, a legal professional from our firm can help you look at options to appeal the decision, such as bringing up procedural errors made during trial or sentencing.

Overall, they can help you navigate the complex legal processes associated with being a defendant in an accidental / unknowing Virginia child porn possession case, notifying you of important deadlines, filling out and submitting key paperwork on your behalf, and collecting crucial evidence to back your case argument.

Child pornography crimes in Virginia have severe associated penalties, such as long sentences and hefty fines, as well as the requirement of registering as a sex offender. Even facing charges can have a serious impact on your personal and professional life. A compassionate criminal defense lawyer from our firm is here to understand your story, address your questions and concerns, and develop a formidable defense strategy to work through these challenges together.

Understanding the Difference: Unknowing vs. Accidental Child Porn Possession in Virginia

For Virginia child pornography possession cases, there is a difference between unknowingly and unintentionally possessing such content. However, both of them entail a lack of intent or knowledge that they were in possession of the child porn content, and proving this is grounds to get a case dropped.

Unknowing possession in Virginia is a reference to situations in which the defendant has no idea that they are in possession of child pornography content. An example includes having malware on a device that downloads, streams, or receives child porn content without the knowledge of the device owner. In these cases, the defendant of such a case is completely unaware of any presence of child pornography on their device or devices.

Accidental possession happens when a defendant accesses or stumbles upon child pornography content, but they did not intentionally try to access it nor consent to access it.

An example includes browsing a website that has a completely unrelated service or content and clicking on a link that leads the user to an illegal site that is streaming pornographic content involving children. Another example includes people who receive a file from someone else and open it to discover that pornographic content is inside.

Understanding the difference between unknowing and accidental child porn cases is important, as it will inform the defense strategy. For example, an unknowing possession case would seek to provide evidence showing the defendant could not have known about the presence of child porn on their device, while an accidental possession defense strategy might include mapping out a defendant’s browsing history to show they didn’t have the intent to access the content.

Examples of Evidence to Back an Accidental / Unknowing VA Child Porn Possession Case

In order to prove that you did not intentionally or knowingly download, access, or view child pornography in Virginia, a knowledgeable criminal defense lawyer from Johnson/Citronberg, PLLC can help you gather evidence that can prove your claim of unknowingly or accidentally possessing such content. Examples of key evidence that can back up your case include:

  • Your Internet History. Lawyers from our team can bring up detailed records from your Internet browsing history to show that you were not trying to seek out child pornography. By mapping out websites you regularly visited and the sites accessed before the involuntary or accidental visits, as well as search terms, we can prove that the sites were reached without your intent.
  • Statements from Witnesses. There might have been individuals who were present with you at the time you were being accused of accessing or possessing child pornography. They can make statements that speak to your character in general and detail your behavior at the time. Common witnesses include IT professionals, friends, and colleagues who can help clarify your Internet use behaviors and intent at the time.
  • Expert Testimony. Computer forensic analysts and certain cybersecurity professionals can help give clearer insight into the more complex and technical assets of your case. They can demonstrate how certain malware or software can cause the unintentionally downloading or viewing of illegal content such as child pornography.
  • Attestation to Moral Character. Certain witnesses such as supervisors, community members, friends, and family members may be useful to bring forward as witnesses in your case to testify on your behalf, explaining in detail your high moral character and vouching for your personal integrity. Such statements help negate the argument that you could be capable of carrying out such an act.
  • Evidence Mapping Out the Accident Events. A criminal defense lawyer from our team can show what happened around the incident that led to the accidental possession, including showing malware infections, stolen identity, and certain shared devices involved.

Because intent must be proven in a child pornography possession case, it is critical to fight the evidence and argument that is available to prove your intent. This can be done through multiple legal avenues, with our skilled and experienced legal team here to analyze your case and help you understand which evidence could optimally complement your case defense strategy.

Defense Strategies for Child Porn Possession Cases in Virginia

Defending against accidental/unknowing child pornography charges is a complex and lengthy process, which involves the leveraging of one or more defense strategies to protect the rights of the defendant and fight for optimal case outcomes. While each case is unique and will have a subsequently unique defense strategy, there are some key general strategies that should be understood.

A dedicated child pornography defense lawyer from our Virginia law firm can help you employ the following case strategies, including:

  • Breach of 4th Amendment Rights. While this defense strategy can be used in both an accidental/unknowing child pornography possession case and other child porn possession cases, the idea remains the same. Any evidence that is obtained through an illegal search and seizure process can be considered inadmissible in court. A skilled lawyer from our firm can work to file a motion to get this evidence suppressed.
  • Personal Misidentification. Our team can work to prove that you were indeed not the person who downloaded, viewed, or accessed the child pornographic content. In conditions where there are many individuals who are accessing a certain device, it can be hard to show who the actual person who carried out the alleged crime was.
  • Viruses or Malware. An experienced lawyer can argue and show that viruses or malware were responsible for downloading illegal content onto your device without your knowing or without your intent. They can use forensic evidence to show when the malware got onto the device and the subsequent patterns of illegal content distribution that ensued.
  • Lack of Intent. If you can prove that you didn’t intend to possess or view child pornography, then you can get your charges completely dropped. A sex crimes lawyer from Johnson/Citronberg, PLLC, can retrace your Internet browsing history, including keyword searches, to show that you accidentally came across a website with child pornography content.
  • Entrapment. If law enforcement engages in actions that lead to you committing a child pornography crime that you otherwise would not have committed, then this is known as entrapment. Proving entrapment from law enforcement can get your charges dropped.

The child pornography criminal defense team at Johnson/Citronberg, PLLC, is here for you during this challenging time. We employ a client-centered approach that involves understanding your story and the details associated with your case. We will fight to dig up evidence that aligns with your story and proves that you did not know you were in possession of child pornography or that you downloaded or accessed it without intentionally doing so.

How To Fight Back Against Your Virginia Child Pornography Possession Charges Today

Nothing is more unsettling than being charged with a crime that you didn’t intend to commit or that you didn’t even know you were committing. Furthermore, being charged with child porn crimes is a particularly egregious situation in that there are serious criminal and personal consequences, ranging from having to register as a sex offender to losing custody over your own children.

A dedicated and knowledgeable child pornography defense lawyer from Johnson/Citronberg, PLLC, understands what is at stake and will work closely with you to understand your case details and develop and execute a strong defense plan. Get in touch with us today to get started.


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.