Massachusetts Legal Developments Blog

Four Things to Understand About Sharing Child Pornography Charges

A Swansea man was recently arrested on charges of child pornography. The man was charged with possessing pornography depicting children. Following the man’s first appearance in Boston federal court, the man was detained until his next hearing. The prosecutor on the case commented that his primary objective in pursuing this case was to see that the citizens of Massachusetts are kept safe. Additionally, the prosecutor commented that child pornography is a crime involving real victims, and that his department will dedicate its resources to protecting children. 

Law enforcement obtained information that the man had shared child pornography online through the use of a social media platform. During the police search of  the man’s home, his computer and phone were seized and were both found to contain child child pornography. The man had previously been convicted of the possession of child pornography, as well. 

Sharing child pornography is a serious offense in Massachusetts. Here are some important details about this offense.

What Type of Activity is Frequently Targeted?

One of the most common types of child pornography charges involves sharing files through peer-to-peer-based networks. People are sometimes charged with offenses even if they do not understand how these networks function. If you belong to one of these networks and have data on your computer that can be accessed by others, you can still be charged even though you might not know that someone else is engaging in taking data from your computer. 

How Sharing Child Pornography Differs From Possession

Reproducing and distributing child pornography is treated differently from possessing child pornography because it is viewed as a more serious criminal activity. Sharing this content allows more people to see it and share it again. Criminal charges related to distributing this type of data are often stricter than those associated with simply possessing this data for personal use.

How are These Cases Investigated?

Reproducing and distributing child pornography charges are investigated in a similar way as possession cases. If law enforcement believes that a person is part of a conspiracy or ring that is bigger than them, the investigation will likely occur over a longer timeframe. Law enforcement will also likely take more time to determine the size of the conspiracy.

Constitutional Issues Involved With Sharing Child Pornography

Issues involving the Fourth Amendment, which addresses illegal searches and seizures, are the most common constitutional defense that is brought up in these cases. Many times, the issue involves whether a search warrant exists to search a person or their property. If a warrant exists, situations might arise questioning whether probable cause was present. Probable cause is a legal question that often requires lengthy and evidence-heavy trials.

Contact a Sex Crimes Defense Lawyer

Sex crimes in Massachusetts carry serious penalties including potential imprisonment, fines, and a lasting tarnished reputation. One of the best things that you can do to respond to these charges is to obtain the assistance of an experienced criminal defense lawyer. Contact attorney Edward R. Molari today to schedule a free case evaluation.