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Albuquerque Child Porn FAQs from Reputable NM Defense Lawyers

Experienced Legal Counsel Serving Santa Fe, Albuquerque and all of New Mexico

Child pornography is a very serious issue in America and the United States government does not look lightly upon charges of possession or distribution. Many people who are arrested on charges related to child pornography are baited by federal task forces who pretend to be underage children on the internet. Others are reported by friends, family members, or internet providers. If you or someone you know has recently been charged with child pornography in Albuquerque, New Mexico or the surrounding areas, or could be in the near future, it is wise to contact a defense attorney before speaking with the authorities. This is a very serious issue and should be dealt with in a responsible manner.

Child Porn FAQs

Floating around the internet are dozens of questions, concerns, and misconceptions related to child pornography. At the New Mexico Criminal Law Offices, we would like to clear up these topics by answering some of the frequently asked questions.

How was I caught?

If you were involved in some form of possession or distribution of child pornography, you may wonder how you were caught. While the details will come out in the case to follow, it is likely you were either reported by someone who learned of your actions or baited by a federal task force posing as an underage child.

When should I contact a defense attorney?

You should get in touch with a qualified defense attorney as soon as you learn you may be under investigation. You should never speak with anyone before discussing your situation with a lawyer.

Do I need a defense attorney even if I am innocent?

Yes. Even if you are wrongly accused, you will still need an attorney. A defense attorney can guide you through the legal process and help you prove your innocence.

Someone else may have accessed my computer for illegal purposes, what should I do?

This is possible, and you should discuss your options with a defense attorney. In cases where someone else used your computer to access or distribute child pornography, a crime investigator or computer forensic specialist may be helpful in your defense.

I didn’t know the images I was looking at or sharing were of underage individuals, what will happen?

While you may not have known the materials you were viewing or sharing were individuals under 18, this fact will probably not help your case much. Do tell your defense attorney about these details, though, as they could have some factor in the case.

Investigators seized child pornography images without a warrant; can this be used as evidence?

If investigators did not have probable cause for obtaining a search warrant, or did not obtain a search warrant at all, your defense attorney should be able to get the images suppressed as evidence.

If convicted, what type of penalty should I expect to receive?

While every case is different, there are some minimum and maximum penalties related to child pornography. A first time offender convicted of producing child pornography faces a minimum of 15 years and maximum of 30 years in prison. A first time offender convicted of transporting child pornography faces a minimum of 5 years and maximum of 20 years in prison.

How easy is it to be charged with possessing child pornography on your computer?

You can be charged with child porn if you view an image or video depicting child sexual activity, or that displays the genitals or buttocks of the child. In fact, you can be charged if you even save such material on your computer without even viewing it.

Do I have a defense if I accidentally received child pornography through my computer?

Once child porn is found on your computer, you will be presumed to have done it intentionally. For practical purposes, it will be up to you to prove otherwise. Nevertheless, since technology has developed to the point where it is possible for you to accidentally download child pornography, a strong defense is possible.

Is the consent of the parents a valid a defense to child porn charges?

No. Parents cannot consent to a sexual performance by their child, and they can be prosecuted themselves for consenting to it. The consent of the child is also irrelevant.

Can my accuser (or the parents) refuse to “press charges”?

No. This is a myth perpetuated by television shows. Only the prosecutor can drop charges. Of course, a prosecutor can be forced to drop charges if the accuser’s refusal to cooperate leaves him without enough evidence for a conviction.

Can I trust you to keep my secrets?

Yes, absolutely. We are licensed by the State Bar of New Mexico, which upholds the principle of attorney-client privilege. This means that we may not reveal anything you tell us in confidence, and if we do we could lose our license to practice law. We would never do that even if there were no penalty, because it would violate our firm’s ethics.

How does the statute of limitations work?

The statute of limitations sets the deadline for a prosecutor to file criminal charges against you. If the deadline expires without you being charged, you cannot be charged with that crime. In New Mexico, these deadlines are:

  • Misdemeanors: Two years.
  • Third- and fourth-degree felonies: Five years.
  • Second-degree felonies: Six years.
  • First-degree felonies: No deadline.

Will my case be dismissed if I can prove that child pornography was found on me during an illegal search?

Yes, unless there is enough other evidence to convict you without this evidence. The prosecutor certainly won’t be able to use the pornography found on you as evidence.

What is “possession” for the purpose of a child pornography charge?

To “possess” child pornography means:

  • You have physical control of it (even if it is not on your person); and
  • You have the knowledge or intention of having it.

“Willful blindness” is not a defense (closing your eyes so you won’t see something that you know is illegal).

What are some of the most common defenses against child porn charges?

  • Your contact with the child porn was accidental (an accidental download, for example).
  • The arresting officer entrapped you (a law enforcement officer encouraged you to commit a crime that you otherwise were not inclined to commit).
  • You were unaware of the pornographic nature of the material.
  • The evidence was illegally seized by the police.

Contact Us

If you have been accused of possession or distribution of child pornography in Albuquerque, New Mexico, contact us today. At the New Mexico Criminal Law Offices, we have been protecting our clients since 1997. It is our goal to make sure each case receives a thorough and accurate investigation, and we will work hard to make sure you receive a fair trial. For any questions or concerns, call us at 505-200-2982 to set up a free consultation.