It’s illegal to create and share sexually explicit images of minors — and even having a single image in the files on your computer can lead to serious charges.
If you’ve been charged with the possession of digital images of child pornography, is there even any kind of possible defense available? Absolutely.
Prosecutors do make mistakes — and it’s a common problem
In 2019, a ProPublica investigation revealed that problems with the software used to track child pornography online have led to numerous cases where the prosecution has been forced to drop the charges.
Usually, the cases are dropped either because the software identified the wrong computer as the recipient of child porn or the authorities refused to allow defense attorneys to examine the software for glitches. One forensics expert admitted to investigators that she was personally aware of at least 60 such cases.
That’s not the only possible flaw in a prosecutor’s case, however. Consider these potential defenses:
- You were the victim of malware or spam that contained pornographic images. Those could have been embedded in your computer without your knowledge.
- You were the victim of someone else’s actions. Many people lend their computers to friends and relatives from time to time or share a place with housemates who take liberties. Unless you were hovering over your device every minute, it’s entirely possible someone else downloaded the images.
- The images were there when you bought the computer. If you bought a secondhand computer or got a deal on an “open box” computer, you may have unknowingly brought child pornography into your home.
If you’re stunned by the accusations that you’d knowingly be in possession of child pornography on your computer, don’t try to handle the situation on your own. An experienced defense attorney can help protect your reputation and your liberty.