Top Northport, AL Child Pornography Lawyers Near You

Child Pornography Lawyers | Tuscaloosa Office | Serving Northport, AL

2216 14th St, Tuscaloosa, AL 35401

Child Pornography Lawyers | Tuscaloosa Office | Serving Northport, AL

PO Box 71945, Tuscaloosa, AL 35407-1945

Child Pornography Lawyers | Tuscaloosa Office | Serving Northport, AL

2312 University Blvd, Tuscaloosa, AL 35401

Child Pornography Lawyers | Tuscaloosa Office | Serving Northport, AL

811 21st Avenue, Tuscaloosa, AL 35401

Child Pornography Lawyers | Tuscaloosa Office | Serving Northport, AL

2210 8th Street, Suite B, Tuscaloosa, AL 35401

Northport Child Pornography Information

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Find a Child Pornography Attorney near Northport

The Average Total Federal Prison Sentence for Child Pornography in Alabama

172.36 months*

* based on 2019 Individual Offenders - Federal Court sentencing in Alabama federal courts. See Sentencing Data Information for complete details.

What Is Considered Child Pornography?

Under federal law, child pornography is defined as any visual depiction of sexually explicit conduct involving a minor (someone under the age of 18). Sexually explicit conduct means actual or simulated:

  • Sexual intercourse
  • Bestiality
  • Masturbation
  • Sadistic or masochistic abuse
  • Lascivious exhibition of the genitals or pubic area

Child pornography may also include images or videos of child sexual abuse. In the past, pornography generally involved videos or photos. However, visual depictions of sexual activity may take many other forms, including any undeveloped film, data stored on a computer disk, data capable of conversion into visual imagery, peer-to-peer file sharing, or computer-generated child porn images.

Laws against child pornography make it a crime to be involved in the material in any way, including:

  • Possession
  • Receiving
  • Trading and distribution
  • Reproduction
  • Production
  • Solicitation

What Are the Elements of Child Pornography Charges?

When someone is accused of possession of child pornography, the prosecutor has the burden of proof to prove every element of the criminal charges beyond a reasonable doubt. The elements vary by jurisdiction but generally include the prosecutor proving the defendant knowingly possessed or controlled material containing a visual depiction of a minor involved in sexually explicit conduct.

What Are the Penalties for Child Pornography in Alabama?

Child pornography is a form of child exploitation. The courts take sexual exploitation of a child charges very seriously. There are harsh penalties for possession, distribution, or receipt of child porn material, even if the individual was not involved in direct abuse. In general, any child pornography charge is a felony. Penalties depend on a number of factors, including the amount of material involved, age of the victim, participation in abuse, and prior child pornography convictions.

For example, under federal child pornography laws, a first-time offender convicted of production of child pornography can face a minimum of 15-year prison sentence. A second offense is punishable by imprisonment from 25 years to 50 years. A third conviction includes a maximum of life in federal prison.

When a judge uses sentencing guidelines, they may take into account a number of factors. Aggravating factors can involve harsher penalties, up to the maximum sentence. Aggravating factors in child pornography cases may include:

  • Explicit depictions of a minor under the age of 12
  • Distribution of material to a minor
  • Sadistic, masochistic, or violent depictions
  • Number of images of child pornography

Will I Have to Register as a Sex Offender in Alabama?

After release from imprisonment or serving out probation, someone convicted of possession or distribution of child pornography may have to register as a sex offender. Mandatory sex offender registration is a continuing obligation to notify and update law enforcement agencies annually and whenever the offender moves. Depending on the child pornography offense and the state, registration may be a lifetime duty. Failure to register or moving without notifying law enforcement may result in criminal charges.

Sex offender registration is generally publicly available. Most states have a searchable website where individuals can search for a registered sex offender by name or location. The online sex offender registry generally includes the offender’s:

  • Name
  • Photograph
  • Age
  • Criminal offense
  • Identifying information

Do I Need a Lawyer If I Am Facing Charges for Child Pornography?

With such serious criminal penalties involved in sex crimes, you may want to contact an experienced criminal defense lawyer for advice. A child pornography lawyer will be able to explain your legal options, evaluate every viable defense, and can challenge the prosecutor’s evidence. After formal charges are filed, your options are generally to plead guilty or take your case to court. Skilled attorneys can also help you negotiate a plea agreement to reduce the charges, try and get the minimum sentence, or have some charges dismissed. Talk to a defense attorney about your strongest defense options.

Are There Legal Defenses to Child Pornography Charges?

When law enforcement agencies conduct a law enforcement investigation, their evidence may only consist of the evidence of pornographic materials on someone’s computer or an IP address using file-sharing programs to exchange digital images. They may not have direct evidence that the defendant accessed or shared the information. It may be an effective defense to show the computer was shared with a roommate or others. Other common defense strategies may include:

  • Wireless router was not secured and accessible to others
  • Defendant did not know a shared file contained illegal images
  • Images were artistic depictions with serious artistic, political, or scientific value
  • Individual portrayed was 18 years old or older at the time

Was the Search of My Computer Legal?

Law enforcement cannot just search anyone’s computer for illegal material. Generally, the police need to have search warrants to conduct a search of computers, homes, vehicles, or other private areas. However, there may be several exceptions where the police do not need a warrant, including when the owner gives consent to search.

If the police conducted an unlawful search, it may be a violation of your constitutional rights against unreasonable search and seizure. Your attorney may be able to file a motion to suppress any unlawfully obtained evidence to keep it out of court. Without evidence of child pornography, the prosecutor may not have a strong enough case to move forward.

How an Attorney Can Help

An attorney can often resolve your particular legal issue faster and better than trying to do it alone. A lawyer can help you navigate the legal system, while avoiding costly mistakes or procedural errors. You should seek out an attorney whose practice focuses on the area of law most relevant to your issue.

How to Prepare for Your Initial Consultation

Prepare for your consultation by writing down notes of your understanding of the case, jot down questions and concerns for the attorney, and gather your documents. Remember that you are trying to get a sense of whether the attorney has your trust and can help you address your legal issues. Questions should include how the attorney intends to resolve your issue, how many years he/she has been practicing law and specifically practicing in your area, as well as how many cases similar to yours the attorney has handled. It can also be helpful to broach the subject of fees so that you understand the likely cost and structure of your representation by a specific attorney and/or legal team.

How will an attorney charge me?

A reputable attorney will be very upfront about how he/she will charge you. The three most common fee structures that attorneys use to charge for their services are:

  • Bill by the hour
  • Contingent fee agreement
  • Flat fee agreement

Depending on your specific legal situation, it’s possible that only one type of fee structure is available. For instance, criminal defense attorneys almost always bill by the hour. In a flat fee arrangement, an attorney accepts a one-time payment to help you resolve your issue. With a contingent fee agreement, the client pays little to nothing upfront and the attorney receives a percentage of the money recovered if you win your case.

Common legal terms explained

Affidavit – A sworn written statement made under oath. An affidavit is meant to be a supporting document to the court assisting in the verification of certain facts. An affidavit may or may not require notarization.

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