Common Defenses Against Child Pornography Charges

Common Defenses Against Child Pornography Charges
child pornography

A study from the non-profit Leadership Council on Child Abuse & Interpersonal Violence suggests that up to 10% of child pornography arrests are a result of false allegations. Although this may seem like a small amount, even just the accusation against you can have devastating effects on your future due to the sensitivity of child pornography cases.

If you find yourself accused of a child pornography crime, it’s best to hire a child pornography defense lawyer like Mike G. Law. He is an experienced lawyer who can craft a child pornography defense applicable to your case.

What are some possible defenses attorneys use in cases involving child pornography laws? Let’s take a look.

Child pornography is the visual depiction of sexually explicit conduct involving a minor (someone under 18 years of age).

Under Florida Statute 827.071, child pornography means:

  1. Any image depicting a minor engaged in sexual conduct or
  2. Any image that has been created, altered, adapted, or modified by electronic, mechanical, or other means to portray an identifiable minor engaged in sexual conduct


According to this child pornography law, sexual conduct includes the following:

  • Lewd exhibition
  • Masturbation
  • Physical contact with a person’s genitals, butt, pubic area, or breast (clothed or unclothed) intended to arouse or satisfy either individual’s sexual desire
  • Sexual battery or acts that simulate sexual battery
  • Sexual bestiality
  • Sexual intercourse (actual or simulated)


Child pornography is also illegal under federal law (Penal Code 18 U.S.C. § 2252). Depending on the circumstances of the crime, you’ll face either a state or federal crime according to child pornography laws.

If the child pornography image in question doesn’t meet the definition of child porn, your lawyer can argue as such.

It Doesn’t Belong to the Defendant

If there is evidence to prove the images don’t belong to you, your attorney could argue this to the court. For example, sharing a device with others makes it easier for someone to plant the images. Should someone have a grudge against you, they may go to extraordinary lengths to get you in trouble with the law.

For this argument to hold, your child pornography lawyers must craft an aggressive defense strategy to prove that the sexually explicit depictions belong to someone else.

Malware or Computer Virus

Even with protections like firewalls and antivirus software, malware, spam, and viruses can easily infect your computer. A “Trojan horse” virus will look like a regular download, but it’s actually downloading child pornography and other illegal materials.

Unknowingly opening a virus on your computer or becoming infected by malware that downloads illegal child pornography or porn to your device is a valid defense.

Mental Illness or Addiction

Pedophilia is a psychiatric disorder when one experiences a sexual attraction to prepubescent children. If you have a documented case of mental illness that includes pedophilia or an addiction to child pornography, your attorney could use this as a defense.

In these cases, the defense team will likely negotiate with the prosecutor to reduce the charges to a misdemeanor.

Unsecured Wireless Access

Those seeking to distribute child pornography often use unsecured Wi-Fi networks or those with easy passwords to download illegal images.

If you did not download child porn, it’s possible someone from outside your house accessed your Wi-Fi network to do so.

Illegal Search and Seizure

Any good criminal defense lawyer will question law enforcement’s conduct. This is a common strategy in many criminal offenses, not just child pornography crimes.

If the police didn’t follow proper legal procedures before searching and seizing your device, your attorney will challenge the prosecution’s evidence.

Unintentional Downloading

With the amount of emails we all receive, it’s possible to download child pornography unintentionally. Some spambots trigger an automatic download if you even open an email.

Additionally, your lawyer could argue you were downloading porn with legal and consenting adults and didn’t intend to download illegal images of children.

Entrapment & Federal Law

Entrapment is when law enforcement persuades a person to commit a crime they otherwise would not have committed. Entrapment is illegal under federal laws.

If a police officer convinces you to commit a child pornography crime you otherwise would not have committed, your criminal defense attorney will argue as such.

Good Faith Destruction & Reporting

In federal court, your child pornography defense attorney can argue that you acted in good faith by deleting the images and reporting them to law enforcement.

Importantly, this only works in cases involving three or fewer images.

You Weren’t in Possession of Child Pornography

Should you have a shared computer, your lawyer may argue that someone else was in possession of or downloaded the illegal content.

This legal defense also applies to work computers, where other employees can access a person’s hard drive.

Is Searching for Child Porn Illegal?

Searching for child pornography on sites like Google is not illegal. Besides, search engines make it difficult to find criminal activity, like sex crimes, on their platforms.

However, child porn laws clearly state that viewing or possessing images of children in sexual situations is very much illegal and could lead to a child pornography conviction. The law considers child pornography as a form of sexual exploitation, which is a severe crime.

Under Florida state law, the penalty for child porn-related criminal charges varies depending on the severity of the crime:

  • Viewing or downloading child pornography is a third-degree felony punishable by up to five years of prison time.
  • The promotion or distribution of child pornography is a second-degree felony punishable by a prison sentence of up to 15 years.

Penalties for the production of child pornography charges are the most severe. The crime is a first-degree felony, punishable by a prison sentence of up to 30 years.

In addition to a prison sentence and fines, these convictions come with mandatory sex offender registration. As a registered sex offender, your life will never be the same.

Get the Help You Need for Your Child Pornography Defense

Child pornography offenses are nothing to take lightly. If you’re a state or federal child pornography charge, you need a highly skilled attorney to build a child pornography defense for your case.

Mike G. has decades of experience litigating criminal cases on both sides of the aisle. Our law office has handled thousands of criminal cases, many of them sex offenses. So get legal help now from Mike G Law. Schedule a free consultation with our law firm to learn more about how we can help you with your possession of child pornography charge.

Comments are closed.

Contact Mike G Now

* Complete all required fields

"*" indicates required fields


Effective Defense from an AV Preeminent* Rated Former Prosecutor with more than 25 Years of Experience