Springfield, IL Federal Sex Crimes Defense Lawyers Serving Central Illinois
Being charged with a federal sex offense, such as the possession or distribution of child pornography, is extremely stressful. You may lose your freedom, have to pay high fines, and your reputation will also suffer. The first action you should take after being charged or arrested is to call an experienced federal sex offense lawyer at the Noll Law Office. Their skilled attorneys will try to secure your release from custody as there is a presumption against bond in these federal cases.
The knowledgeable attorneys at the Noll Law Office have a long history of representing defendants accused of sex offenses in federal court. Under the right circumstances, it is possible to obtain a release on bond. However, when out on bond, you likely will not be allowed access to any computer or cell phone, and as per the Adam Walsh Act, you may also have to wear a GPS monitoring device.
If you or your loved one has been charged with possession, production, or distribution of child pornography in Springfield, Peoria, or Champaign-Urbana, Illinois, call the Noll Law Office today at (217) 414-8889 for a free initial consultation.
Possession and Distribution of Child Pornography
Federal law defines the possession of child pornography as intentionally possessing videos or images of a minor that depicts them engaging in conduct that is sexually explicit. Distribution of child pornography occurs when a person transports, duplicates, or otherwise distributes pornography to others.
Both possession and distribution of child pornography are extremely serious offenses and federal agencies aggressively investigate them. The federal sex offense defense lawyers at the Noll Law Office know how to challenge the investigations, get important evidence thrown out, and use other strategies to help you fight your charges.
The age of consent in the State of Illinois (or any other state) is irrelevant for purposes of federal child pornography charges. If a minor under the age of 18 is depicted in any sexually explicit conduct such depiction is illegal under federal law.
Child Pornography Investigations
Different federal task forces and agencies sometimes work in conjunction with state law enforcement to run operations. Officers typically pose as child pornography distributors or producers. When they believe they have identified a suspect, they will try to locate IP addresses and physically observe the location they believe the materials are being downloaded or uploaded to. State and federal agents then obtain a search warrant for computers, homes, and businesses to find the devices.
Typically, the first step when challenging an investigation is to conduct a full analysis of the evidence and determine whether the search and seizure were legal. Law enforcement officers must comply with the law and follow proper procedures when conducting a search and seizure. If they do not, it can result in any evidence obtained from the search being thrown out, which may lead to the dismissal of a case.
Remember, you have a right to remain silent. If law enforcement wants to speak to you, you are under no legal obligation to do so without a lawyer present. In fact, if you are being investigated, you should contact an experienced criminal defense lawyer immediately.
Sexual Exploitation of a Minor
Production of child pornography can also result in charges of sexual exploitation of a child. Any person who attempts to induce, entice or persuade a minor to engage in a sex act for the purposes of any visual depiction including a picture, video, or other images can be found guilty under 18 U.S.C. §2251. Sexual exploitation of a minor is a very serious charge that carries a penalty of 15-30 years in prison in the Federal Bureau of Prisons.
While the sentencing range of the offense is 15-30 years in prison, the Court will consider the applicable federal sentencing guidelines in determining the actual sentence imposed. It is important to have an attorney who understands the federal sentencing guideline calculations in order to try and make sure there are no sentencing enhancements that could be inappropriately applied to your case.
Recently, the Central District of Illinois has been running stings and charging large amounts of individuals with attempted sexual exploitation of a minor. The truth of the matter is that the local authorities have received federal grant money in order to prosecute these cases. Normally, a law enforcement officer will message a person through an online dating site or social media account in methods similar to that which is seen in “To Catch A Predator.”
If you or your loved one has been charged with Sexual Exploitation of a Minor, contact the federal criminal defense attorneys at the Noll Law Office today for a free consultation.
Penalties for Child Pornography Possession and Distribution
The federal sentencing guidelines for child pornography are possibly some of the harshest of them all. Someone accused of possessing child pornography will receive enhancement(s) if any of the following apply:
- There were a certain number of images
- A computer was used
- The images depict victims of a certain age
- The images depict restraint or bondage
- Whether there was a pattern of sexual exploitation of a child
- Whether distribution occurred and whether it occurred in exchange for something of value
The specific penalties for a conviction of a federal child pornography charge are as follows:
- Possession of child pornography: Up to 10 years in federal prison, and between 10 and 20 years in federal prison if the accused has a prior sex offense conviction
- Child pornography distribution: Five to 20 years in federal prison, increased to between 15 and 40 if the defendant has a previous sex offense conviction
- Production of child pornography: 15 to 30 years in federal prison
The Federal Sex Crimes Lawyers at the Noll Law Office Will Defend Your Rights
Sex offenses involving minors are some of the most serious charges in the United States. The unilateral way they are prosecuted does not make it easier. The Illinois federal sex offense lawyers at Noll Law Office can help. If you or someone you love has been charged, call them now at (217) 414-8889 or fill out their online form to schedule a free consultation with one of their experienced attorneys so they can review your case and advise you of your legal options.