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DuPage County child pornography defense attorneyInternet sex crimes alone are difficult to defend, especially in such a fast-paced, technology-driven world where it takes more than good old-fashioned research and quality in-person testimonies to create compelling arguments. Sometimes you and your lawyer will need experts in computer forensics and other fields to help clarify issues and circumstances. Other times you will need a lawyer to go above and beyond in his or her own work to understand the complexities, subtleties, and intricacies of your case. Defending against possession of child pornography charges is no different in this sense. Here are some basic ways that a child pornography defense lawyer can help you with your case.

Ways a Child Pornography Defense Lawyer Can Help

There are many different strategies that a possession of child pornography defense lawyer can use to help you with your case. These key strategies include:

  • Disputing your knowledge of the illegal material—Perhaps someone else used your computer or other electronic device to download these illegal images. If they did this without your knowledge, the prosecution has the wrong person on trial. Even if you did know this, your charges might be reduced because you yourself did not engage with those images, or you immediately worked to remove them from your device(s).
  • Showing you had no intent to download illegal material—With the Internet being so confusing and full of chaotic information, it can be difficult to know when you are downloading something legal or illegal. Most times, the assumption is it is legal by virtue of the fact that you can easily get access to it and the company you are getting it from seems legitimate, but this is not always the case. If your lawyer can prove that you never intended on downloading anything illegal, then you might be able to improve your case.
  • Employing the assistance of experts—Your case, including showing your lack of knowledge with regards to the illegal images as well as your lack of intent to download such images, can be further helped by experts in the fields of computer forensics, psychology, and other disciplines. These experts can provide evidence supporting your arguments—from showing that your downloads were accidental or inadvertent to proving you thought you were downloading something legal.

Contact a DuPage County Internet Sex Crimes Defense Attorney

As with most cases, the right lawyer can make all the difference. This is just as true with any Internet sex crime as it is with child pornography charges. That is why you must retain representation from a knowledgeable Wheaton IL child pornography defense lawyer. Stephen A. Brundage, Attorney at Law, is an aggressive and experienced lawyer with more than 25 years of experience in criminal defense. Call Stephen A. Brundage today at 630-260-9647 for a free confidential consultation.

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What is Sexting and How Can it Lead to Criminal Charges?With the mass use of cellphones by teenagers and young adults, laws have had to be modernized to stay relevant and effective. Pornography involving people younger than 18 has long been banned in the U.S. Such content has become even more easily created and accessible now that cellphones are in the hands of adolescents. The convenience of built-in cameras and instant messaging has paved the way for a modern phenomenon known as sexting. Taking and disseminating sexually explicit photos is common among today’s teens. On average, one in five teens has sent or posted semi-nude or nude videos or pictures of themselves. Unsurprisingly, many of these teens do not realize the serious allegations and penalties that come along with this explicit content.

Guilty Parties

The consequences for possessing sexually explicit content of minors extend to a number of individuals, including the photographer, the sender, and the recipient. The following are possible charges that one could face in Illinois:

  1. The Photographer: It is fairly obvious that whoever is the one taking the photos or videos can face serious consequences because they are the initiating party. A person who knowingly videotapes or photographs a minor who is engaged in a sexual act or is in a compromising position, nude or semi-nude, is committing the offense of child pornography. In some states, if the content is captured by the individual themselves, commonly known as a selfie, they are protected by law. Illinois does not recognize this exception and thus sexually explicit selfies can be self-incriminating. Anyone who has created child pornography has committed a Class 1 felony, punishable by at least four years in prison and up to $100,000 in fines.
  2. The Recipient: Many believe that those on the receiving end of such content should not face punishment since they are not responsible for the creation of the content. Those on the receiving end of things may have committed one or more felonies under the Illinois Pornography Act, depending on the circumstances. For instance, if a minor’s significant other entices or solicits them to send a sexually explicit photo or video, they have committed a child pornography offense. Possessing such photos or videos, knowing that the person is a minor, is a common offense, though claiming that the possession was involuntary may be used as a defense tactic.
  3. The Forwarder: Unfortunately, many of these pornographic photos do not stay between the sender and the recipient. It is common for such content to be sent to friends and other students. No matter how distant the connection between the photographer, initial sender, and continuous forwarding parties, anyone who disseminates this content to others violates child pornography laws.

Call a Wheaton Sex Crime Defense Lawyer

Child pornography charges are some of the most serious sex crimes that one can commit due to the inclusion of a minor in the explicit content. Those involving sexting are often committed by adolescents who are ignorant of the potential legal ramifications that they could face. This ignorance can greatly affect their futures, making it difficult to get into college or find a job later in life. Stephen A. Brundage, Attorney at Law, has assisted numerous clients in fighting against sex crime accusations and has tried-and-true defense tactics for such charges. If your child is facing child pornography charges as a result of sexting, contact our DuPage County juvenile defense attorneys at 630-260-9647 to schedule a consultation.

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Understanding Internet Sex Crime ChargesA sex crime conviction can result in devastating punishments that follow you for the rest of your life. Besides prison time and fines, you may be required to publicly register as a sex offender. Even the accusation of a sex crime may be enough to ruin your reputation. The growth of the internet has increased the ways people can be accused of sex crimes, and the digital trail left on a computer makes it easier to gather evidence. There are several types of internet-related sex crimes you can be charged with.

Child Pornography

The possession of child pornographic materials is a serious offense. Illinois law defines child pornography as:

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Illinois sex crimes defense attorneySex crimes are considered to be some of the most heinous acts, and they are already harshly punished. Yet legislators, activists, and survivors are all working (in their own ways) to toughen up the current statutes in Illinois. What might this mean for those who have allegedly committed such crimes? The following explains how proposed bills and a federal grant may change the face of sex crimes in Illinois.

Federal Grant to Strengthen Current Policies and Procedures

In August of 2016, Governor Bruce Rauner signed a new law that is aimed at strengthening current policies and procedures for sex crimes. Included in this effort is a $750,000 federal grant that will reportedly be used to train first responders and dispatchers on how to encourage sex crime victims to come forward and press charges. The law also made Illinois the first state to mandate the testing of any submitted rape test kit, and it addressed some of the obstacles that the state faces when it comes to completing those tests in a timely manner. What does this mean for those accused of a sex crime?

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Recently, I represented a defendant on charges of possession of child pornography charges.  After a three day trial, a jury in Kane County delivered a verdict of Not Guilty on all charges.  Even though my client reportedly admitted to the police that  illegal images were on his computer, and a search resulted in images being found on a computer under his sole control, I convinced the jury that the evidence was still insufficient for a guilty finding.   By obtaining a not guilty verdict, my client avoided possible punishment of up to five years in prison and a life long obligation that he registed as a sex offender.

Computer Crimes are being charged much more often and often times law enforcement has difficulty in proving knowledge and intent when it comes to alleged images on a computer.  In my  practice I carefully analyze the strengths and weaknesses of the prosecution's case, and require them to prove beyond a resaonable doubt the criminal charges