Top Federal Child Pornography and CSAM Defense Attorneys
The United States government is vigilant when it comes to the enforcement of child pornography laws and laws criminalizing the victimization of children.
Child Pornography and CSAM Cases are Aggressively Prosecuted
The reason child pornography cases are rigorously prosecuted by the Government’s most aggressive and effective Assistant United States Attorneys is the long-lasting harm caused to children as a result of being victimized and exploited. Because of the harmful impact on children that results from their images being widely available online is tragic. Because children are such vulnerable victims, prosecutors, police, federal law enforcement agents, and judges are known to be extraordinarily aggressive and punitive in these matters. Punishments by courts for federal offenses frequently include stiff prison sentences and often have mandatory minimum prison requirements.
The downside to aggressive law enforcement comes into play when the government is overzealous in its prosecution, violates a defendant’s civil rights, or presses for punishment without taking into account a person’s individual circumstances or possible mental health issues.
New amendments to the federal child pornography sentencing guidelines involve cases where there are images or videos of infants and toddlers and also for cases involving the distribution of pornography. Both amendments result in potentially longer sentences. Sentencing guidelines in federal court require the calculation of offense variables and prior record variables. When these variables are scored and compared to a sentencing guidelines charge, it results in a recommended range for sentencing. The higher the variables, the higher the recommended sentence. Only experienced defense lawyers are equipped to advocate for the lowest possible sentencing guidelines.
New Child Pornography Sentencing Enhancements
Before the amendment, a provision existed for a 4-level enhancement of the offense variable if images were depicting sadistic or masochistic conduct. The change adds an alternative basis to apply the enhancement if an infant or toddler is depicted (even if there is not a basis to find sadistic or masochistic conduct).
The second amendment involves cases where there is a conviction involving the distribution of child pornography. There were cases before the amendment where a defendant’s use of a computer unknowingly resulted in an image being sent from his computer to another computer or server. This inadvertent distribution resulted in a 2-level enhancement to the offense variable. The amendment now requires that the defendant must knowingly engage in distribution. The accidental, unintentional, or unintended distribution of an image or video is no longer sufficient to trigger the 2-level enhancement.
Additionally, there is a second part of the second amendment of the sentencing guidelines. The 5-level enhancement that applied in cases where the distribution was for financial gain has been changed to apply where anything of value is exchanged. The government will seek to apply this enhancement in cases where child pornography is traded or exchanged.
Criminal Defense Attorneys for Federal and State Charges
If you or a loved one is under investigation or accused of possession, distribution, or production of child pornography in state or federal court, you can count on the government being aggressive, thorough, and focused on a lengthy punishment. It takes a top defense lawyer with a solid reputation to demonstrate to a court that the defendant deserves an opportunity to be rehabilitated and should not simply be “thrown away” into the prison system. The attorneys with LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. are not afraid to challenge aggressive prosecutors, law enforcement, or federal judges.
Call us today at (248) 263-6800 for a free consultation, or complete a Request for Assistance Form and we will contact you promptly.