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Detroit Child Pornography Lawyer

A criminal charge related to child pornography is fraught with emotion. Even the suggestion that a person was in possession of sexually explicit material involving minors can ruin careers, families, and lives. If you’re convicted of an offense related to child pornography in Michigan, you face harsh penalties that can include:

  • A lengthy prison sentence — perhaps decades
  • Significant fines and court costs
  • A requirement to register as a sex offender
  • Being prohibited from living or working in certain places near children, such as schools
  • If you’re not an American citizen, you may lose your visa or green card, or be deported
  • If you hold a professional license, such as to work as a teacher, nurse, doctor, pharmacist, lawyer, child care professional, or in another career that requires a license from a state board or agency, your license may be suspended or revoked

In addition to the criminal penalties you face under Michigan law for this sex crime, there are other potential lifelong consequences of a child pornography conviction. Those may include:

  • The lifelong stigma of having committed a sex offense involving children
  • Loss of your career or trouble finding work
  • Loss of custody of your children
  • Divorce
  • Loss of friendships
  • Loss of your reputation in your community

Because of the intense ways that even being the subject of a child pornography investigation can affect your life, it’s imperative that you hire a skilled Detroit child pornography lawyer as soon as is possible at . It’s never too early in the investigative or criminal process to talk to a lawyer.

A lawyer with experience defending people against Michigan child pornography charges can help you fight the accusations against you, protect your rights as police and prosecutors dig into every facet of your private life, and be a strong advocate for you during the entire legal process. Depending on your circumstances, a good lawyer may be able to help you avoid charges, get charges dismissed, convince a jury to find you not guilty, or get your charge or penalties reduced to lessen the effects on your life.

How Michigan Defines Child Pornography

Section 750.145c of the Michigan Penal Code doesn’t specifically use the term “child pornography,” but rather makes it a crime to possess, distribute, produce, or finance “child sexually abusive material.” It’s also a crime to entice, persuade, or coerce a child to engage in any of the conduct that if depicted in photos, videos, or other types of materials would constitute child sexually abusive material.

Child sexually abusive material is a fairly broad term, and can include material that depicts minors engaged in sexual acts. Those acts may include:

  • Sexual intercourse
  • Erotic fondling of a child’s body — even clothed — for the purpose of
  • sexual gratification
  • Nudity for lewd or lascivious purposes
  • Masturbation
  • Showing a minor in a state of sexual excitement
  • Sadomasochistic abuse, such as bondage, restraint, or physical torture for the purpose of sexual gratification
  • Passive sexual involvement, which includes drawing a minor’s attention to sexual acts for the purposes of sexual gratification

It’s illegal to produce materials that depict anyone under 18 in any of these scenarios. However, it also can be a crime even if the actors, models, or participants were over 18, but the material “appears to include a child.”

You can be charged with a child pornography offense in Michigan when the materials depict someone over 18, but convey the impression that the materials are showing a minor. You can be charged if some part of an actual minor was shown, or if no minors were actually depicted, but all of the following are true:

  • An average person in the community would believe the depiction appeals to prurient interests, or in other words a “shameful or morbid interest in nudity, sex, or excretion”
  • A reasonable person would find the depiction lacks literary, artistic, scientific, or political value
  • The material depicts or describes a sexual act in a patently offensive way

Penalties for a Michigan Child Pornography Conviction

Michigan child pornography charges and penalties tend to be grouped into three categories, loosely include possession, enticement, and distribution. Each is a felony offense, with its own penalty suggested in Michigan law. However, a July 2015 Michigan Supreme Court decision allows judges more discretion to set penalties without being bound by the penalties listed in Michigan statutes.

  • Possession — Knowingly possessing, seeking, or accessing child pornography is a felony offense in Michigan. The punishment suggested in the statute is up to 4 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000. You can be charged when you know, should have known, or failed to take reasonable steps to find out that the material depicted a minor.
  • Enticement — Persuading, enticing, inducing, coercing, causing, or knowingly allowing a child to engage in any of the sexual activity listed above for the purposes of producing child pornography is a felony offense in Michigan. The punishment suggested in the statute is up to 7 years in prison and a fine of up to $70,000. You can be charged when you know, should have known, or failed to take reasonable steps to find out that the material depicted a minor.
  • Distribution — Distribution, promotion, financing, or receiving child pornography for the purposes of distribution is a felony offense in Michigan. The suggested penalty is up to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $100,000. You can be charged when you know, should have known, or failed to take reasonable steps to find out that the material depicted a minor.

If you’ve been charged with one or more of these actions with regard to child pornography in Michigan, an experienced Michigan criminal defense attorney can explain the possible outcomes based on the circumstances of your charge.

Federal Child Pornography Charges

Child pornography also is a federal crime, and you may be charged in a federal court such as the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan if your allegations involved transactions that crossed state lines or national borders. You could be charged in federal court for actions such as purchasing or obtaining materials that depict minors in sexual situations from someone in another state or country, or downloading or sharing files with a peer network involving people outside of Michigan, just as a couple of examples.

If you are charged and convicted in a federal court, you face the possibility of a lengthy sentence in a federal prison. If you’re facing federal child pornography charges, a Michigan criminal defense attorney who also practices in federal courts can discuss with you what to expect from the court process and your possible options for a defense.

Defending Your Michigan Child Pornography Charge

If you’re facing Michigan child pornography charges, you may feel like you’re in an impossible situation. With these kinds of charges, people often assume your guilt from the outset and aren’t willing to listen to your side of the story. However, you may have options for a defense with the help of an experienced Michigan sex crimes lawyer, available at .

It may be that you had materials that you had no idea depicted a minor — and couldn’t reasonably have been expected to know. Or it may be that the materials weren’t yours at all, but belonged to someone else or downloaded to your computer without your knowledge or consent, like a piece of computer malware.

A good lawyer with experience handling Michigan child pornography charges will be willing to sit down with you and listen to you fairly and objectively, then help build a strong defense strategy that gets your story heard in court. A lawyer may be able to get your charge dismissed or reduced, and can protect your rights along the way.

Charged with a sex crime? Contact us today.

Your initial consultation will always be free and confidential. Call today or fill out the form below and we will help you.

Attorney Maurice Davis