Possession of Child Pornography
Criminal defense lawyers unanimously agree that the most serious crimes in Massachusetts involve sexual abuse and exploitation of children. Those cases are typically rape of a child, distribution or possession of child pornography. The gravity of a conviction for these matters demands excellent criminal defense advocacy. Attorney Stephen Neyman knows how to successfully defend against these charges. Effective defenses come in the form of suppression of unlawfully seized evidence, dismissal for inadequacy of evidence or an acquittal after a jury trial. Knowing how to proceed with a defense and what defense to proceed with in these cases is why clients hire us. We know how to get the best results for our clients and our track record proves this.What is Possession of Child Pornography in Massachusetts?
In Massachusetts this represents a felony codified under Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 272 Section 29C. That statute prohibits any form of possession of material that depicts someone under the age of eighteen doing the following: engaging in sexual intercourse, engaging in oral or anal sex, masturbating, engaged in a lewd act, urinating or having a bowel movement in a sexually explicit way, engaged in sadomasochistic activities, depicting or posing a lewd exhibition of the genitalia. The depiction does not have to be real. In other words, simulation of the prohibited acts can satisfy the district attorney’s burden of charging this crime.
There are many nuances to this law that your attorney must know if you are going to be properly defended. For instance, unopened files on a computer depicting the illicit material are sufficient to permit a conviction. Proof that images were sent to your cell phone can satisfy the prosecution’s burden if the case is not properly defended. Possession does not have to be of a long duration provided the prosecution can prove that you intended to possess the material even for a short period of time. Knowing these laws and how to attack the district attorney’s case has enabled us to successfully defend countless Massachusetts child sexual exploitation cases.The Police Served Me With a Search Warrant. What do I do?
A large majority of these cases commence with a search warrant authorizing a search of a computer. The police receive information that an individual has been viewing illegal images. They execute the warrant meaning that they enter the home, contact the occupant and go right to the computer. There, they conduct a preliminary search to see if there are any proscribed files. The computer is usually taken to the crime lab for further analysis. This can take up to months to complete. So what should you do? Say nothing when the police enter your home. That is your absolute right. Then call a lawyer right away. You will not always be charged immediately. Oftentimes charges are not filed until after the forensic analysis is completed. In the meantime, you should be working with a lawyer, establishing a defense. Do not hesitate. Protect your rights by hiring a lawyer.How Severe is the Punishment if I get Convicted?
The punishment for a conviction of this crime is up to five years in state prison if the case is prosecuted in the superior court or up to two and one half years in the house of correction if the case is kept in the district court. A conviction of this crime is a felony and will require registering with the Massachusetts Sex Offender Registry Board followed by annual registration in the town where the person convicted lives. There are other registration requirements as well, all of which have significant negative impacts on your life. A conviction for a second offense requires you to serve a mandatory five years in state prison. For a third offense there is a requirement that you serve ten years in state prison. Fines for a conviction of possession of child pornography range from one thousand dollars to thirty thousand dollars. The bottom line is this: you don’t want to be convicted. A conviction might ruin your life. The best decision you can make it to hire a lawyer immediately. Every second counts and a quick start to your defense can make the difference between a conviction and an acquittal.