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Defending Those Accused of a Crime

Cleveland Child Pornography Attorney

Criminal Defense for Residents of Cuyahoga County & Ohio

One of the most frantic moments in our clients' lives is when the police have executed a search warrant on their house and accused them of a crime. Most of our clients have no experience with the police-have never been in trouble before-and are now facing the possibility of decades in prison.

  • There are, generally speaking, two types of defendants:
  • People who got caught up with the wrong people and made a mistake
  • People who are innocent and had no idea the material was on their computer

Defending these cases is incredibly difficult-often involving a lot of anger and emotion. On top of that, and in large part due to political pressures, there are many judges who sentence on the high end of the sentencing spectrum. These cases also span the state and federal system-and it is important that you go with an attorney who knows how to handle both types of systems. In the federal system, for instance, you may be facing a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years pandering charges depending on the type of case you have.

If I'm Convicted of Child Pornography, Will I Serve Time in Prison?

Being charged with child pornography charges, or pandering obscenity involving minors, carries with it a possible prison sentence of 2 to 8 years per charge on a state level. On the federal level, these sentences can range from a minimum of 5 to 15 years, or possibly life in prison. In Ohio, child pornography charges include the following:

  • Ohio Revised Code §2907.321: Pandering obscenity involving a minor
  • Ohio Revised Code §2907.322: Pandering sexually oriented matter involving a minor
  • Ohio Revised Code §2907.323: Illegal use of minor in nudity-oriented material or performance

These charges are serious and mean you have to aggressively defend yourself. However, it is important to note that in cases we have defended, we have found that there are mistakes in the case that the government is not even aware of. One such example was a case where a roommate was using the computer while our client was overseas-clearly not guilty of the event. In another case, the file, or peer-to-peer, sharing software was setup incorrectly, causing files to auto-upload without the person's consent. These cases take an aggressive, experienced defense attorney to fight. Many cases involve tens or even over a hundred charges. At 2 to 8 years in prison per charge, you cannot afford to go cheap or inexperienced. Call today to see how we can help you.

Pandering Obscenity to a Minor (ORC 2907.321)

If you have been charged with pandering obscenity to a minor, you need to immediately hire the best defense attorney that you can. This charge is formally known as pandering obscenity involving a minor; informally, this is known as child pornography. Many of our clients are charged with this crime as a result of using a file sharing program such as LimeWire, LemonWire, eMule, and other similar services. Task force agents send out a "ping" across the internet looking for the files and then download the file without the defendant even knowing.

Ohio obscenity laws state a conviction under 2907.321 carries penalties involving a prison sentence of 2 to 8 years per charge and many of these cases involve multiple charges-so a person could face decades in prison if convicted. In addition to this, anyone who is convicted will be required to register as a sex offender with the potential to need to register for the rest of their life. We can help. Get in touch with our defense law firm today.

Illegal Use of Minor in Nudity-Oriented Material or Performance (O.R.C. 2907.323)

If you are caught producing, selling, or possessing obscene material that features minors, you will be looking at charges that can take away your freedom and destroy your life. Anyone charged under illegal use of minor in nudity-oriented material or performance is facing a felony if convicted-and, in most cases, the charge is one of several that you will be fighting.

Those who create materials that fall under O.R.C. 2907.323, including those adults who consent to allow their children to be used in them, will be charged with a second degree felony and face two to eight years in prison.

If you have been convicted under this section before, you'll face a stricter sentence that leaves you ineligible for parole for as long as 8 years. Those who possess such materials will be charged at the fifth degree felony level, with a sentence of between 6-12 months available. If there are previous convictions, you'll face a fourth degree felony charge, with a maximum sentence of 18 months.

What to Do When Charged with Federal Child Pornography Charges

One of the most devastating charges an individual can face is federal child porn. Depending on which section of the code you are charged with, you could face a minimum of 5, 10, or 15 years in federal prison. That's right.

If you are accused of various child pornography charges not only do you have a mandatory minimum prison sentence, but you also face the real possibility of being put in prison well beyond the minimum.

Sentencing on these cases is far different than in the state system. In the state system, you face definite periods of time between probation or 2-8 years in prison per count. In the federal system, your sentence can be greatly increased based on the facts of your case. For example, the following can lead to a longer sentence:

  • If you are accused of using a computer;
  • If the age of the victims in the pornography is very young;
  • If there are multiple videos and photos; or
  • If you show no remorse regarding the crime.

Conversely, there are certain extremely specific reasons that a judge might depart below the mandatory minimums. These are specific defenses that need to be discussed with your criminal attorney.

How Much Time Can I Get on a Federal Child Pornography Case?

Statistically, only convictions for sexual abuse, murder, and hostage taking have longer sentences than child pornography. Those convicted of sexual abuse, on average receive a sentence of 125 months versus 121 months for child pornography. In the federal system, a defendant is facing a 5 year mandatory minimum jail sentence. The situation does not improve under the sentencing guidelines either. The typical defendant in a child pornography distribution case will start at a level 22 which is 41-51 months. However, that number rapidly goes up with upward variances that affect most people charged with child pornography distribution.

How Does the Potential Jail Time Go Up So Quickly?

  • If you or your loved one is charged, the government can increase the guideline sentence by:
  • 2 levels for a prepubescent minor
  • 2 levels for use of a peer-to-peer file sharing program for distribution
  • 4 levels if there was any sexual contact with the child
  • 2 levels for the use of a computer
  • Up to 5 levels for the number of images

Now, instead of looking at 41-51 months (or even the 60 month minimum under the statute), the defendant is at level 37 which means a possible sentence of 210-262 months of federal time. That means if you are the typical defendant, you are facing 20 years in jail! Even if you did not know that you were sharing the images, but using a peer-to-peer network such as LimeWire, you may have inadvertently allowed others to download those images. An attorney who will help you through what can be an embarrassing situation is essential.

You need someone prepared to fight for you. Our team of attorneys will listen to your concerns and knows how to do battle with the government to get you in the best situation possible.

Can I Get Probation for Child Pornography & Pandering Charges?

Every month, we see stories in the news about a government sting where several individuals were arrested as part of a child pornography "ring." Often, we receive, understandably, frantic phone calls from the people who were arrested or their families. Almost every call involves how much time the person faces if convicted and the numbers are often quite scary. For instance, on the typical child pornography or pandering case, the person is facing multiple counts with each count requiring a prison sentence between 2 and 8 years in prison.

The judges also are in a tough position because the public hates these crimes, which put an incredible amount of pressure on them to sentence accordingly. This does not mean that you will go to prison if convicted, but it makes the chances of getting probation even harder to obtain. That is why it is important that you hire an experienced, skilled criminal lawyer to defend you. If, for instance, you are charged with 10 counts of child pandering-assume only 10 pictures or 10 videos-in state court you are looking at a possible sentence of up to 80 years...even if this is your first offense. In federal court, the calculation is completely different.

Call Today for a Free Consultation Regarding Allegations Concerning Child Porn

Don't leave your life in the hands of an attorney that won't fight for you, call us at (440) 709-8088 for a confidential, pressure free consultation. Ask to speak to our Cleveland criminal defense lawyers about making sure that you are in the best position when facing child pornography charges. We do not believe you should have to pay for a consultation over the phone or at our office. Call now to setup a free consultation concerning your case. We are flexible regarding payment and accept cash, check, money orders, and all major credit cards. Patituce & Associates, LLC are criminal defense lawyers representing clients throughout the state of Ohio.

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