It's impossible to exaggerate how serious a child pornography-related criminal charge can be. The current public attitude toward people accused of child sex crimes is extremely hostile. Even an unproven accusation related to child pornography can have permanent effects on a person's employment, family and personal life. And if it's proven, those convicted face incredibly steep punishments, including:
- Years in prison; even decades for very serious charges.
- Tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines.
- Lifelong registration requirements as a sex offender.
- Neighborhood notification requirements.
- Restriction or elimination of their right to vote or use a firearm legally, even after successfully completing parole.
- Limitations on where they may live, work and spend their free time.
- Civil and criminal forfeiture of any money or property the government believes is related to child pornography.
- In some cases, electronic monitoring and supervision.
All of these are in addition to the social stigma of a child pornography conviction, which can be devastating. Marriages break up, careers are ended and decades of lives are wasted because of child sex charges. That's why criminal defense attorney Steven Eversole provides the most vigorous and thorough defense possible for clients charged with child pornography. If you are arrested, or believe you will be, don't say a single word to law enforcement officers until Steven Eversole is by your side.
The Eversole Law Offices defends clients against both Alabama state and federal child pornography charges. Very serious charges, and charges relating to activities on the Internet, are more likely to be charged as federal crimes.
State Child Pornography Charges
Child pornography is defined in Alabama as obscene matter containing a visual depiction of someone under the age of 17 engaged in sexual activity. Alabama law defines the following criminal charges related to child pornography:
- Possession with intent to disseminate. Note that if law enforcement finds three or more copies of the same material, you can be charged with this even if you didn't intend to distribute it.
- Dissemination or public display
- Knowingly allowing your child to participate in producing child pornography, if you're the child's parent or guardian.
The least serious of these charges, simple possession, is still a class C felony carrying one year to ten years in prison. Possession with intent and dissemination are both class B felonies -- in fact, they're special class B felonies that carry 10 to 20 years in prison. The most serious charges are class A felonies that carry ten years to life. These charges may be additions to other Alabama sex-related charges such as rape or incest. Furthermore, Alabama law allows law enforcement to take any property they believe you used to produce, store, transport, display or disseminate child pornography.
Federal Child Pornography Charges
Federal child pornography charges apply when the behavior being charged as a crime took place on the Internet, involved crossing state or national borders, or took place on the sea or Indian lands. But you don't necessarily have to leave Alabama to be charged with a federal child pornography crime. If an image crossed state lines to get to your computer, it may be a federal crime just to possess it. Federal child pornography charges include:
- Possession, distribution or receipt of child pornography
- Producing child pornography for export into the United States
- Domestic production of child pornography
- Selling or buying children for sexual exploitation.
- Helping to transport a minor across state lines for prostitution. This includes housing or transporting someone involved in transporting a minor for this purpose, or benefiting from the activity.
Thanks to sensationalistic news reports and politicians who want to look "tough on crime," federal law enforcement makes it a priority to track down and severely punish people they believe are guilty of these crimes. Like the State of Alabama, the federal government punishes these charges very harshly, using mandatory minimum sentences that make it impossible for a judge to exercise discretion, even when the sentence doesn't fit the crime. Even simple possession carries a minimum of five years in prison, and the more serious charges carry decades. And like the State of Alabama, the United States government may confiscate any money or property it believes was used in or purchased with proceeds from child pornography.
Aggressive Child Pornography Defense Lawyer
The Eversole Law Offices takes child pornography-related charges very, very seriously. When defending a new client, our first priority is always to look for flaws and mistakes in the prosecution's case. Because child pornography convictions are high-publicity, career-making cases for law enforcement, investigators aren't always as thorough or as careful as they should be. A serious error can destroy the prosecution's case entirely, or allow Steven Eversole to negotiate substantially reduced charges for clients. Flaws and legal errors that we will seek out and vigorously challenge in our clients' cases include:
- Law enforcement didn't read you your rights or otherwise violated your civil rights.
- Improper interrogation after you requested a lawyer.
- The "child" in question does not appear to be under 17 (as required by Alabama law) or is not under 18 (under federal law).
- Your property was improperly searched or seized.
- You were not the person who put the material on your computer.
- Entrapment -- law enforcement tricked you into doing something you wouldn't otherwise have done and weren't prepared to do.
- In federal cases, lack of federal jurisdiction.
- In Alabama state cases, you didn't have the requisite intent or knowledge of the crime.
If a trial is appropriate, The Eversole Law Offices is legally and financially prepared to mount a vigorous defense in court. Child pornography cases can be highly technical, with evidence depending on testimony from computer, psychiatric or law enforcement experts. Steven Eversole is prepared to take these and other extra measures to force the prosecution to prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt.
Call Steven Eversole Today For a Free Consultation
Being charged with a child pornography crime can have devastating, lifelong consequences. Those convicted face onerous sex offender registration and monitoring requirements as well as an overwhelming social stigma. Nobody should be unfairly charged or convicted, and nobody should have to face this type of charge without the help of an experienced, aggressive Alabama child pornography defense lawyer.
That's why you should call Steven Eversole as soon as possible after you learn or suspect that you'll be charged with a child pornography crime. Even if you think you can't fight the charges or already have a plea bargain, we can help protect your rights and reduce the criminal penalties you face. We believe that everyone, no matter what the charge, is entitled under the Constitution to a competent and thorough defense. We have helped numerous clients in Alabama fight the charges against them, successfully eliminating or substantially reducing penalties. And we offer free initial consultations, so there's no risk in calling today to talk to Steven Eversole about how he can help with your case.
If you or someone you care about faces child pornography charges in Alabama, call Steven Eversole today at 1-866-831-5292, or (205) 994-0616 in Birmingham.