Possession of Child Pornography Crime in Georgia
If you or a loved one is facing child pornography charges in Georgia, you need experienced representation immediately. Few crimes face as much social stigma as those involving children. While the penalties are harsh by themselves, you may also suffer permanent damage within your community, even if found innocent. Child pornography investigations are very complex, often requiring the expertise of forensic scientists and specialized technology. Since child pornography cases generally rely on computer-related evidence, it is critical for your attorney to understand how to use and analyze computer evidence that will help prove your innocence.
At Lawson and Berry, we provide the experienced representation you need for your Georgia Possession of Child Pornography case! Our criminal defense attorneys have decades of experience and are the ally you need to defend your rights, freedom, and reputation.
Possession of Child Pornography Charges in Georgia
Under O.C.G.A. § 16-12-100(b)(8), It is unlawful for any person knowingly to possess or control any material which depicts a minor or a portion of a minor's body engaged in any sexually explicit conduct.
Under the statute, the material can include online files, videos, print materials, photographs, and other online materials. There are multiple ways in which a person can find themselves charged with child pornography:
- Online file sharing
- Possession of child pornography
- Producing or distributing child pornography
- Online chatting between adults and minors
- Sexual exploitation of children
Penalties for a Georgia Child Pornography Conviction
If convicted of child pornography in Georgia, the penalties are intense. It is a felony conviction that can include a prison term between five and twenty years or a maximum fine of $100,000.00, or both. However, one of the most detrimental penalties is the mandatory requirement to register as a sex offender. Registering as a sex offender can make it challenging to obtain a job, move where you want, and can create tension with your community.
However, there is an exception where the offense will be treated as a misdemeanor. Under O.C.G.A. § 16-12-100(f)(3), the person will be guilty of a misdemeanor if:
The minor depicted was at least 14 years of age at the time the visual medium was created;
The visual medium was created with the permission of the minor depicted; and
The defendant was 18 years of age or younger at the time of the offense and:
(i) The defendant's violation of such paragraphs did not involve the distribution of such visual medium to another person; or
(ii) In the court's discretion, and when the prosecuting attorney and the defendant have agreed, if the defendant's violation of such paragraphs involved the distribution of such visual medium to another person but such distribution was not for the purpose of harassing, intimidating, or embarrassing the minor depicted; or for any commercial purpose.
Defending a Child Pornography Charge in Georgia
There are always Georgia criminal defenses available for your case. In addition to using these defenses, our child pornography lawyers in Georgia can negotiate with the prosecuting attorney to avoid a public trial, argue for alternative sentencing, and will initiate our own investigation to gather evidence of your innocence.
Furthermore, utilizing computer forensics experts can play an instrumental part in your defense. These experts can help prove when the user accidentally downloaded or possessed child pornography. Sometimes people have child pornography on their hard drive without their knowledge. This can come from file-sharing or from visiting websites where “cache files” are downloaded without your knowledge.
Because “knowing” is an essential element of a child pornography charge, we work diligently to demonstrate that the material was unknowingly possessed. We understand that even if you did not mean to come into contact with child pornography and deleted the file, that it can still be on your computer even though you took measures to remove it.
Contact our Georgia Possession of Child Pornography Lawyers Today
While our criminal justice system is built on the principle of “innocent until proven guilty,” that is not always how it seems. The social stigmas that come from being charged with child pornography can be devastating to both you and your family. We want you to remember that a charge is not the same as a conviction! You have options, and our Child Pornography Attorneys in Georgia are here for you. Call now for a free case evaluation.