Child Pornography

Child Pornography Charges In Washington

The fastest growing areas of criminal prosecution in this country today involve Internet sex crimes and the downloading, possession, sale or distribution of child pornography. Everyday, there are local, state and federal law enforcement agents investigating the downloading of child pornography and arresting those they discover. With the amount of government funding available for these initiatives, we see more and more people caught up in enforcement actions and facing charges in state and federal courts. If you have been arrested or investigated on a charge involving child pornography, you need strong legal advocacy and knowledgeable advice from an experienced lawyer. Contact one of our child pornography lawyers

Seattle Child Pornography Lawyers

Arrests for child pornography typically begin with a search warrant served at a person’s home or business and the seizure of computers, external hard drives, cameras, phones, etc. Then there is a wait of weeks or months before this equipment is examined and you know whether charges will be filed, and whether the charges will be in state or federal court. This is an uncertain and difficult process, but there are several things you can do to help yourself during this time. If you have been accused of being in possession of child pornography, it is critical that you speak to a sex crimes attorney as soon as possible. There are serious mistakes that can be made if you attempt to handle this on your own, and opportunities that can be missed to improve your chances of a favorable outcome. Do not wait until you are charged to begin working with an attorney who understands these cases.

False Allegations of Child Pornography

In order for someone to be found guilty of possession of child pornography the government must prove that they were knowingly in possession of these images, or that they intentionally viewed these images on the internet. There are many defenses to the charge based on images that are on your computer but not known to you such as pop-ups, unopened spam email, deleted mail that was never used, etc. In other cases, computers have been "hijacked" without the owner's knowledge and used as relay stations for the transmission of child pornography. Sometimes the images come from sites where only adults are depicted that are not illegal at all. If you have been falsely accused of a sex crime involving child pornography contact The Meryhew Law Group, PLLC today at 206-264-1590 for a free initial consultation.

Guilty? What if you did download child porn?

Sometimes people make mistakes and the government discovers those mistakes. The potential consequences to you are severe, but there are ways to mitigate and negotiate these cases so that you do not spend a long time in prison. You need advice from a child pornography attorney who can recommend a sexual deviancy evaluator, who can prepare you effectively to participate in that evaluation, and who can help you find a treatment program that will help keep you out of prison. You need a lawyer who can understand your situation and communicate that to the Prosecutor. Without experienced counsel assisting you based on your situation the chances of a good outcome are greatly reduced. You need experienced and aggressive counsel, and this is just as true when you are guilty as when you are innocent.

The important thing to remember is that our child pornography defense attorneys will never judge you or intentionally try to make you feel bad about yourself. We are here to help those who have engaged in sexual misconduct achieve a healthier and safer life, and to help our clients rebuild their lives.

Washington State Law Regarding Child Pornography

What does the government have to prove in order for you to be found guilty of possession of child pornography?

Under the Revised Code of Washington (RCW) 9.68A.070 Possession of depictions of minor engaged in sexually explicit conduct is divided into two degrees.

Possession of Depictions of Minors Engaged in Sexually Explicit Conduct in the First Degree:

(1)(a) A person commits the crime of possession of depictions of a minor engaged in sexually explicit conduct in the first degree when he or she knowingly possesses a visual or printed matter depicting a minor engaged in sexually explicit conduct as defined in RCW 9.68A.011(4) (a) through (e).

(b) Possession of depictions of a minor engaged in sexually explicit conduct in the first degree is a class B felony punishable by a minimum of 12 – 14 months in prison for a single count followed by three years of Community Custody or Probation. Multiple counts can be sentenced up to 10 years in prison.

Sexually Explicit Conduct, for a First Degree Possession charge, means:

  1. Sexual intercourse, including genital-genital, oral-genital, anal-genital, or oral-anal, whether between persons of the same or opposite sex or between humans and animals;
  2. Penetration of the vagina or rectum by any object;
  3. Masturbation;
  4. Sadomasochistic abuse;
  5. Defecation or urination for the purpose of sexual stimulation of the viewer;

Possession of Depictions of Minors Engaged in Sexually Explicit Conduct in the Second Degree:

A person commits the crime of possession of depictions of a minor engaged in sexually explicit conduct in the second degree when he or she knowingly possesses any visual or printed matter depicting a minor engaged in sexually explicit conduct as defined in RCW 9.68A.011(4) (f) or (g).

Possession of depictions of a minor engaged in sexually explicit conduct in the second degree is a class C felony punishable by a minimum of 3 – 9 months in the County Jail followed by one year of Community Custody or Probation. Multiple counts can be sentenced up to five years in prison.

Sexually Explicit Conduct, for a Second Degree charge, means:

  1. Depiction of the genitals or unclothed pubic or rectal areas of any minor, or the unclothed breast of a female minor, for the purpose of sexual stimulation of the viewer. For the purposes of this subsection (4)(f), it is not necessary that the minor know that he or she is participating in the described conduct, or any aspect of it; and
  2. Touching of a person's clothed or unclothed genitals, pubic area, buttocks, or breast area for the purpose of sexual stimulation of the viewer.

Even the mere depiction of a child’s unclothed genitals, pubic area, buttocks of breast can be sufficient to meet the test of "sexually explicit conduct" if the picture is deemed to be for the purposes of the sexual stimulation of the viewer. Depending on the intent of the person viewing the material, even the candid shots of your own children in the bathtub might meet this definition.

Under the Revised Code of Washington (RCW) 9.68A.075 Viewing of depictions of minor engaged in sexually explicit conduct is also divided into two degrees. Viewing Depictions of a Minor Engaged in Sexually Explicit Conduct in the First Degree:

A person who intentionally views over the internet visual or printed matter depicting a minor engaged in sexually explicit conduct as defined in RCW 9.68A.011(4) (a) through (e) is guilty of viewing depictions of a minor engaged in sexually explicit conduct in the first degree,

This is a class B felony punishable by a minimum of 3 – 9 months in the county jail followed by one year of Community Custody or Probation. Multiple counts can be sentenced up to 10 years in prison.

The sexually explicit conduct for Viewing in the First Degree is the same as that required for a First Degree Possession charge (above).

Viewing Depictions of a Minor Engaged in Sexually Explicit Conduct in the Second Degree:

A person who intentionally views over the internet visual or printed matter depicting a minor engaged in sexually explicit conduct as defined in RCW 9.68A.011(4) (f) or (g) is guilty of viewing depictions of a minor engaged in sexually explicit conduct in the second degree.

This is a class C felony punishable by 0 – 12 months in the county jail followed by one year of Community Custody or Probation. Multiple counts can be sentenced up to five years in prison.

The sexually explicit conduct for Viewing in the Second Degree is the same as that required for a Second Degree Possession charge (above).

Contact A Seattle Child Pornography Defense Attorney Today!

The criminal defense attorneys of The Meryhew Law Group, PLLC represent clients in the Seattle area and throughout the State of Washington. Call us at 206-264-1590 or Contact one of our child pornography attorneys for a free initial consultation.