Defense Lawyer for Child Pornography Charges in Michigan

Michigan Criminal Defense Attorneys - Group

Child Pornography Defense Lawyer in Michigan

Michigan’s child pornography laws are strict. A conviction for child pornography or CSAM charges can get someone up to 25 years in federal or state prison, years of probation, parole, or supervised release, and fines of over $100,000.00, depending on the circumstances and allegations. These crimes and the prosecutors who bring them to court are not to be trifled with or underestimated. That said, a strong factual, legal, and/or equitable defense from a child pornography defense lawyer can turn the tables on the government and help a defendant avoid a conviction or an overly-harsh punishment in Michigan. There is hope!

Federal and Michigan child pornography laws exist to protect children from sexual exploitation through the production, distribution, and possession of child pornography and sexually abusive material. Besides the prison time and fines, individuals convicted of child pornography charges face mandatory sex offender registration on the Michigan Sex Offender Registry. These extreme direct and collateral consequences make it essential that you work with skilled criminal defense lawyers who focus on sex crimes.

“What are the child pornography laws in Michigan?”

Arguably, the seminal case involving child pornography laws in the United States, New York v. Ferber, stands for the position that the First Amendment does not prohibit states from creating and enforcing laws banning the sale of material depicting children engaged in sexual activity (CSAM). The United States Supreme Court ruled the government can ban child pornography without regard to whether there is a ruling that the sexually abusive material is “obscene.” Defendants charged in state or federal court with charges related to alleged child pornography are best defended by a highly experienced, effective, and zealous. There is no room for error in defense of federal or state child pornography charges. There is more than one child pornography defense lawyer in Michigan representing clients charged with child pornography; however, few have the experience, resources, and skill to provide the best possible defense.

Experienced Child Pornography Defense Lawyer

The basis of the decision in Ferber was that the government has a compelling interest in protecting children from sexual exploitation and abuse, and the distribution of child pornography is intrinsically related to that abuse. The court ruled that even depictions of children engaging in sexual activity may properly and constitutionally be banned. Depictions are images that appear to be of children but are not real. This being said, the government must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the depictions are of children, not young adults. It is one thing to prove the age of a person known to be a child. If a depiction of a youthful person is not actual, whether the depicted person is undeniably a child is a separate issue. The government’s allegation that a depicted individual is a minor can be veraciously defended by a tenacious child pornography defense lawyer in Michigan, like the attorneys with LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C.

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Child Pornography Cases are Aggressively Prosecuted and Harshly Punished

If there is a possession, receipt, or delivery of child pornography or CSAM charge, competent, experienced, and effective legal representation is critical. The length of federal child pornography sentences has increased by 500% in the last 15 years. These allegations are emotionally charged. Prosecutors often lose perspective and have difficulty objectively considering mitigating information (positive information about the accused). This lack of perspective can relate to whether the suspect or defendant is guilty and the existence of extenuating factors, mental health issues, or the degree to which the defendant is guilty. Similarly, judges often become biased against child pornography defendants when ruling on motions or imposing a sentence. The defense lawyer’s job is to stand up to over-zealous prosecutors and effectively persuade unfair and unjust judges.

Possible Child Pornography Charges in State and Federal Court

Different types of child pornography and child sexually abusive material (CSAM) charges are prosecuted in state and federal courts throughout Michigan and the United States. The determination of whether a state prosecutor or the United States Attorney handles a case may depend on the law enforcement agency involved in the investigation, whether the case has national or international connections and the scale and scope of the offense. The penalties in all courts are severe and often involve mandatory minimum sentences in federal court. Virtually all convictions of this type require the defendant to register as a sex offender upon being released from incarceration. A successful and effective Child Pornography Defense Lawyer in Michigan can help reduce or eliminate charges or assist a client with avoiding lengthy prison time. In some cases, the defense attorney is most helpful if they can convince a judge that mental health treatment is more appropriate than jail or prison. A judge should focus on rehabilitation instead of being solely concerned with punishment.

  • Possession of Child Pornography
  • Possession – Second or Subsequent Offense
  • Receipt of Child Pornography
  • Distribution of Child Pornography
  • Using a Computer to Commit a Crime
  • Manufacture of Child Pornography
  • Trafficking in Child Pornography
  • Criminal Sexual Conduct
  • Child Abuse
  • CSAM Production

Any of the above-listed offenses carry possible prison time, and several carry mandatory minimum sentences between five (5) and 15 years. Convicted offenders may face harsher penalties if the offender has prior convictions or if the child pornography offense occurred in aggravated situations defined as any of the following:

  • (i) the images are violent, sadistic, or masochistic,
  • (ii) the minor was sexually abused, or
  • (iii) the offender has prior convictions for child sexual exploitation.

In most cases, sentences in state court tend to be lower, lack a mandatory minimum, and have lower sentencing guidelines. On the other hand, a habitual offender charged in state court might face up to life in prison. For receiving and distributing child pornography in the United States District Court, harsh mandatory minimum sentences can increase drastically depending on prior convictions or the nature of the images received, manufactured, trafficked, or distributed.

How a Top Child Pornography Defense Lawyer in Michigan Can Make the Difference

All hope is not lost when an allegation involves the alleged receipt, possession, or distribution of child pornography. Various defenses may be effective in these cases and can result in the dismissal of charges. Even if not perfect, an aggressive defense can increase the defense attorney’s bargaining power and result in favorable plea bargains or less time in jail.

The best time to hire a Michigan Child Pornography Defense Lawyer is during the case investigation and before criminal charges are issued. When hired on a pre-charge basis, a great lawyer can often take measures to control the damage and limit the client’s exposure to severe charges and a potentially lengthy prison sentence. In some cases, an experienced and astute defense attorney can prevent the filing of a complaint or indictment.

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The Best Federal or State Defense Starts Here

If you are already charged or indicted on federal or state child pornography-related charges, it is not too late for us to help you. Each Child Pornography Defense Lawyer with LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C., has extensive experience successfully defending all aspects of these cases. Whether we are attempting to get a case dismissed, evidence suppressed, charges reduced, or a sentence reduced, our good, affordable defense attorneys can be powerful advocates for you in and out of court.

If you are a suspect in any case related to child pornography or CSAM or facing charges, we can help you! LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. provides the highest possible level of legal representation and defense. You will not be judged or criticized; we will treat you with compassion and dignity. We will take the time to listen to you, answer your questions, and alleviate your concerns.

Call us today at (248) 263-6800 for a free consultation or complete an online Request for Assistance Form. We will contact you promptly and find a way to help you.

We will find a way to help you and, most importantly,
we are not afraid to win!

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