What Constitutes Possession in Child Pornography Cases?

By May 29, 2014 November 21st, 2019 blog post

Criminal Defense of Child Pornography Charges

The defense of child pornography charges or CSAM is an extremely difficult area of the law, and prosecutors are specially trained and highly aggressive.  The best and most effective defense lawyers are aggressive, zealous, and fearless.

What does “Possession” of Child Pornography mean?

Michigan Child Pornography Criminal Defense Attorneys

The Michigan Supreme Court has determined that possession in the context of child sexually explicit material includes both actual and constructive possession. This makes it extremely difficult for a person accused of possession of child pornography to defend themselves.

In the case decided by the Michigan Supreme Court, the defendants were identified after federal officials raided a company in Florida that sold child pornography on the Internet. The defendant’s argued that passive viewing did not constitute possession of child pornography. The court disagreed.

The Michigan Supreme Court held that possession of child pornography occurs when a person has actual control or knowingly has the power and intention to exercise control over a depiction of child sexually-abusive material, including an electronic or computer image.

The court determined that viewing child pornography on a computer was constructive possession because the viewer has the ability to exercise dominion and control over the images by such things as saving them, printing them, emailing them, just to name a few. There were three justices that dissented from the majority opinion. The dissenters felt that it was a huge leap to assume that every time someone intentionally views an image on a website that they intend to save, print or email it

Michigan Criminal Defense Attorney Experienced in Child Pornography Cases

If you, or a loved one, is faced with a criminal offense or child pornography charges it is important that you have an attorney that is experienced in defending people charged with crimes. The attorneys at LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. only practice in the area of criminal defense. They have decades of experience representing people charged with crimes in state and federal courts all over the State of Michigan. If you need legal representation, please contact us at (248) 263-6800 or complete a Request for Assistance Form and one of our attorneys will contact you.

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