Indianapolis Child Pornography Attorney

Few crimes carry the social stigma and legal penalties of child pornography. Indiana has several crimes related to child pornography, including possession, distribution, and child exploitation.

If convicted of even one of these charges, you may face years in prison, hefty fines, and mandatory sex offender registration. 

While it may feel hopeless, you do not have to face these frightening charges alone. You are innocent until proven guilty and there are many possible legal defenses.

Contact Suhre & Associates, LLC today to schedule a free case review with an Indianapolis child pornography attorney to fight for your freedom and your rights.

How Our Defense Attorneys Can Help with a Child Pornography Charge in Indiana

criminal defense

Do not underestimate how serious a child pornography offense in Indiana can be. The prosecution will be aggressive in investigating your case and pursuing maximum penalties against you.

The prosecutor may also try to make you do the work of proving their case for them by promising things will be better for you if you voluntarily surrender electronic devices or agree to a plea deal. 

An experienced child pornography defense lawyer in Indianapolis will help you during every stage of your case to protect your rights and seek the best possible resolution.

At Suhre & Associates, LLC, we understand how to investigate your case, find weaknesses and flaws in the prosecution’s case against you, and build a strong defense. 

We have more than 100 years of combined experience defending Indianapolis residents with a team that includes a former prosecutor and a former police officer. Contact Suhre & Associates, LLC today to speak with an Indianapolis criminal defense attorney and begin fighting for your future.

What Is Child Pornography?

Child pornography is a broad term that can refer to any material or representation of a child under 18 engaging in or simulating sexual behavior without a scientific, educational, or literary reason. This can include:

  • Photographs or digital images
  • Film
  • Slides
  • Photocopies
  • Videotapes
  • Video laser discs
  • Computer software and hardware 

Sexual behavior or conduct is also broadly defined to include sexual intercourse or exhibition of uncovered genitals or female breasts with the intention to satisfy or arouse sexual desire. It may also include fondling or touching a child with the intention to arouse or satisfy sexual desire, sadomasochistic abuse, bestiality, or other sexual conduct under Indiana Code 35-31.5-2-221.5

Crimes involving child pornography fall under Indiana sex crime law and carry harsh penalties if convicted.

Child Pornography Laws in Indianapolis

There are several laws in Indiana pertaining to child pornography and related crimes. The following are crimes described by I.C. 35-42-4-4, the child pornography section of the Indiana Criminal Code.

Possession of Child Pornography

Indiana law defines possessing child pornography as knowingly having film or photos depicting sexual conduct described above by a child under 18 without a scientific, literary, or educational reason.

Child Exploitation

Child exploitation refers to knowingly creating, sending, presenting, or selling material that shows the breasts, genitals, or sexual conduct of a child under 18. This can refer to a crime in person or using a computer.

Sale, Distribution, or Exhibition of Child Pornography

This charge is defined by I.C. 35-49-3-1 as knowingly sending or bringing obscene material into Indiana for distribution or sale or offering to exhibit or distribute obscene material. This charge is a Class A misdemeanor when it involves adults over 18 and a Level 6 felony when it involves a person who is or appears to be under 18.

Displaying an Obscene Performance of a Child

Indiana Code 35-49-3-2 makes it a crime to knowingly engage or participate in, manage, produce, present, sponsor, or exhibit an obscene performance on video, film, or photograph. This is a Class A misdemeanor involving adults or a Level 6 felony involving someone who is or appears to be under 18.

Dissemination of Matter or Conducting Performance Harmful to Minors

Under I.C. 35-49-3-3, it is a crime to show or provide pornography to minors or perform sexual conduct in front of minors that appeals to their interest in sex.

Other Sex Crimes Involving Minors

A child pornography charge may come with other charges, especially for people who are suspected of creating child pornography. This includes:

  • Sexual trafficking of a minor, a Level 2 felony.
  • Child molesting, a Level 3 felony or a Level 1 felony with aggravating factors if the crime involves sex or other sexual conduct with a child under 14. For fondling or touching a child under 14, it is a Level 4 felony or a Level 2 felony with aggravating factors.
  • Sexual conduct in the presence of a minor, a Level 5 felony. It is charged as a Level 4 felony if the child is under 14 and a Level 3 felony if force, incapacity, or a weapon is involved. 

These crimes are all covered under Chapter 35 of the Indiana Criminal Code.

Penalties for Child Pornography in Indianapolis

Indiana has very harsh penalties for child pornography. In 2014, Indiana reclassified felony charges from a class-based system ranging from A to D to Levels 1 through 6. The penalties for child pornography and related crimes will depend on the age of the child and the conduct. 

Level 1 felonies have the highest penalty of 20 to 40 years imprisonment and fines up to $10,000.

Exploitation of a child is considered a Level 5 felony punishable by 1-6 years incarceration and fines up to $10,000. 

Several sex crimes against child are classified as a Level 6 felony punishable by 6 months to 2.5 years imprisonment and fines up to $10,000. This includes:

  • Possession of child pornography
  • Sale or distribution of child pornography
  • Displaying an obscene performance by a child
  • Dissemination of pornography to minors 

These charges may be combined. It’s also common for defendants to face multiple charges of child pornography at once. You may be charged separately for every image or video found in your possession which means the criminal penalties can add up quickly.

Sex Offender Registration

If you are convicted of a child pornography charge, you will also be required to submit to mandatory sex offender registration. Possession of child pornography requires 10-year registration. In some cases, including a prior sex crimes conviction, you may be required to register for life.

Because the penalties for child pornography in Indiana are stiff, it’s crucial to work with an experienced Indianapolis child pornography attorney as soon as possible. Your child pornography defense attorney will help you protect your rights and fight for your freedom by building a defense against the charges you are facing.

How Can I Defend Myself Against a Child Pornography Charge?

When you are facing jail time, registering as a sex offender, and the collateral damage that a child pornography charge can bring to your life, it’s easy to feel hopeless. While you may feel overwhelmed, there are many possible ways to defend yourself against a child pornography charge. An experienced Indianapolis child pornography defense lawyer at Suhre & Associates, LLC can help you build a defense and fight for your freedom. 

Indiana does have a specific “sexting” defense. It is a legal defense to have or disseminate child pornography if all of the following are true:

  • The defendant is less than 22 years old
  • The defendant is less than 4 years older than the minor
  • The defendant and minor are in a relationship, either personal or dating
  • The minor consented to the behavior 

This defense does not apply if the photo or video is shared with others, however. 

One of the most common defenses to possession of child pornography in Indianapolis is unintentional possession. This means that the material did not belong to you or you did not mean to have it in your possession. This defense can come into play with a shared computer or household or an unsecured network. 

Another possible defense is accidental possession. You may have intentionally downloaded adult material that was actually child pornography. Your computer may have even been infected with a virus or malware that downloaded illegal images without your consent. 

It is also possible to defend yourself if you have been the subject of an illegal search and seizure. It’s very common for police to make procedural mistakes that violate the rights of citizens. If evidence is seized illegally, your Indianapolis defense attorney may argue that it is inadmissible and cannot be used against you. 

In other cases involving child pornography in which it isn’t possible to completely establish your innocence, your defense attorney can help you negotiate a plea deal. It may be possible to plead to a lesser charge to avoid the consequences of a felony conviction and the social stigma of a child pornography conviction.

Schedule a Free Case Review with an Indianapolis Child Pornography Attorney

Have you been accused of possessing child pornography or related offenses in Indianapolis, IN? You do not have to fight this charge alone. Suhre & Associates, LLC is here to help you fight for your freedom and your rights with the sound legal defense you deserve. 

Contact our law office today to schedule your free consultation with a child pornography defense attorney in Indianapolis. We will help you build a defense in your child pornography case, negotiate with the prosecution, and fight the charges against you.