San Jose Sex Offenses Attorney Maureen Baldwin
CHILD P0RN0GRAPHY DEFENSE
One of the most common uses of the internet today is unfortunately for viewing p0rn0graphy. Legal p0rn0graphy can be “soft-core” as in magazine centerfolds or “hard-core”, x-rated images of consenting adults engaged in sex. Unfortunately, as people become more comfortable with viewing something that used to be sold behind the counter in an adult bookstore, their viewing habits stray into areas where they would normally never go. The internet gives many people the illusion that they have privacy since they are, after all, sitting in their bedroom with the door closed. Many younger, curious, or unsophisticated internet users believe that if it is on the internet, it must be legal!
Of course, all of that contributes to arrests for possession of child p0rn0graphy in violation of California Penal Code 311.11. Police departments are very much on the lookout for child p0rn0graphy—defined as minors under 18 engaged in sexual activity. Sexual activity has been defined broadly by the statute and California case law to mean anything from blatantly obvious adult/child or child sexual activity to poses that center on the sexual organs of the minors who are sometimes made up or posed to look like adults in “men’s magazines”.
Many people have had the experience of accidentally coming across what they dont want in internet browsing by keyword search terms that take the viewer to the wrong places. Finding an article about food in China instead of the neighborhood Chinese Food Takeout! Downloading child porn is always a huge mistake and highly illegal, even if the viewer got there accidentally. For example, a search for scantily clad “girls from Big 10 schools” turning up photographs of minor girls instead!
It is not surprising, then that one of the issues in a case that is charged as a child porn violation of Penal Code 311.11 is whether the person in possession of the downloaded materials actually knew he was in possession of them, or did he inadvertently stumble across child porn and immediately delete it?
Police departments have teams of investigators that monitor peer-to-peer users, who may be downloading and file-sharing re-runs of “Gilligan’s Island” but more often are downloading porn topics that can include child porn. Police obtain a search warrant for the ISP which provides the address of the computer being used. Then police again obtain a second search warrant to go through the home where the computer is located. The computers are then briefly searched usually on-site for child p0rn0graphy and the user is questioned while they are not under arrest.
These people often think that they could not possibly be who the police are looking for. They usually have clean records, and may not even know that downloading child porn on the internet is illegal. It is not necessary for police to give Miranda rights since the party is usually interviewed while they are not in custody, and questions are quickly asked which establish the suspect’s guilt in the eyes of the police and prosecution. Again, so many people believe if it is on the internet it cannot be illegal or the police would have closed down the child porn sites. This is not true!
Instead, someone in possession of child p0rn0graphy in violation of California Penal Code 311.11 will be charged with a felony and subject to being published as a sex offender on the Megan’s Law website. You will be subject to very harsh terms of probation that can interfere with normal and legal use of the internet. The current state of the law is that someone convicted of even a misdemeanor sex offense in California must complete a long period of therapy by a therapist who is NOT covered by privilege. You can be subject to questions that will be asked when you are being monitored by a polygraph examiner!
If you have been contacted or arrested for possession of child p0rn0graphy you need a lawyer IMMEDIATELY. Again, many of these people have never even received a parking ticket and cannot imagine that they are the target of the police investigation even when the police show up at their door with a search warrant.
Get an Experienced San Jose Sex Offenses Attorney
The effects of this type of conviction can be disastrous for future employment, embarrassing in your neighborhood and in all of your relationships. This type of offense can result in deportation if the person charged is not a U.S. citizen. Help from a knowledgeable criminal attorney is needed immediately, Maureen Baldwin has experience in cases where the defendant is charged with possession of child p0rn0graphy. The Bay Area counties are not consistent in the ways in which they handle these prosecutions. You need a knowledgeable attorney as soon as possible. Call the San Jose Criminal Law Office now!