The complete laws concerning child pornography are found under 720 ILCS 5/11-20.1. The wording of the statutes is intentionally vague in order to encompass a wide variety of activity to protect children under 18 years of age from any conceivable pornographic activity.
In short, it is always a felony charge to be involved in child pornography in any way, including its production, filming, recruiting, publication, distribution, or soliciting (watching). Actual sexual conduct does not need to occur in order for the act to be criminal. Even the simulation of sexual activity will produce felony charges.
Additionally, there are a number of related activities which are against the law. Examples include soliciting a minor or their parent/guardian for involvement in child pornography and soliciting or involving a person with mental impairments for pornography. Child pornography does not need to involve the use of a recording device, such as a camera. It can include any activity, live or not, recorded or not, which is viewed by anyone.
As it should be clear, child pornography charges are extremely serious regardless of the level of involvement. The simple accusation can bring about life-altering consequences, even apart from a lengthy investigation or conviction. If you have been charged or are under investigation, do not hesitate any longer. Consult a practiced and qualified child pornography attorney to ensure your rights and future are upheld.
While all activity involving child pornography results in a felony charge, the level of involvement will determine the seriousness of the charge.
Importantly, apart from all of these potential consequences, many people convicted of a sex crime must register on the Illinois Sex Offenders Registry for life. The consequences of being on this list are wide-ranging and make even the simplest of everyday tasks far more difficult. You will be limited in where you can live, work, and travel, in addition to limitations on social media use and participation in public activities, including religious activities.
Perhaps the most common defense strategy is demonstrating that the defendant did not have reasonable knowledge that the victim was under 18 years of age. If this can be properly demonstrated by an aggressive lawyer, then the charges may be dropped entirely.
Additionally, you are innocent until proven guilty, and you have numerous rights which much be upheld throughout an investigation. A skilled defense attorney can use these facts to the best of your advantage. If police have improperly gathered evidence, seized property without a proper warrant, entrapped you in any way, or failed to respect your rights in any other way, the case can be dismissed and all charges dropped.
Regardless if you have been charged with a child pornography charge, are under investigation, or even suspect that you may become under investigation, it is crucial that you equip yourself with legal counsel immediately.
Contact Michael Schmiege's nationally recognized boutique law firm for a consultation with a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney who will fight charges aggressively for you. We dedicate the time and resources necessary to give our clients the best possible opportunity for a favorable outcome. Aggressive, skilled legal counsel is always your best chance for a favorable outcome when your future is in jeopardy. Call an experienced criminal defense lawyer at our firm immediately to ensure you have strong legal representation in your child pornography case.
We serve DuPage County, including the cities of Wheaton, Naperville, Aurora, Westmont, Oak Brook, and Lombard. Give your future the best chance with our highly skilled defense strategies and understanding of prosecutor tactics.
Michael Schmiege has experience with child pornography cases and our award-winning criminal defense attorneys deliver unparalleled results. Read more about our recent verdicts and case victories in DuPage County.