Child Pornography Lawyer Toronto
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Toronto Child Pornography Lawyer
Allegations of child pornography could compromise your reputation, profession, family, and freedom. Even if wrongfully accused of possessing child pornography, if convicted, one can face long periods of jail and dramatic, life-altering consequences.
Child pornography crimes are most commonly committed through the use of internet file-sharing programs and services. Such internet file-sharing can be traced back to specific computers by law enforcement personnel. The owners of those devices will subsequently be charged with internet crimes and pornography offences, including child porn possession and distribution. The police will subsequently get warrants to search the house of the owner and take any property they suspect is linked to the crime.
What Is Child Pornography
Any material displaying someone under the age of 18 naked or engaging in explicit sexual behaviour is considered child pornography. Child pornography charges include accessing, distributing, possessing, and producing child pornography. Videos, films, and audio recordings fall under this category. Additionally, under the legislation, any written or audio content that is principally used to describe explicit sexual conduct with a child is considered child pornography.
Therefore, a fictional story about children engaging in sexual conduct would fall within the statutory definition of child pornography. It is not necessary to represent a real person if the suspected child pornography is a visual depiction – drawings and computer animations may suffice. The individual described in the purported child pornography does not have to be an actual, living person.
Possession of Child Pornography
Possession requires not only physically having the material but also an awareness of the content’s nature. The Crown must prove that the accused had knowledge and control over the content in question before the accused can be found guilty. Knowingly possessing and controlling child pornography is illegal under Section 163.1(4) of the Criminal Code. The Crown does not have to establish that you actually examined the content to prove this charge; all they require is proof that you had the material and were aware of its contents.
You could face prosecution by way of summary conviction indictment if you have child pornography in your hands. If prosecuted by indictment, the offence is punishable by a maximum penalty of five years in prison; if prosecuted summarily, the offence is punishable by a maximum sentence of two years in prison. On top of jail time, possession of child pornography typically results in serious social stigma.
Accessing Child Pornography
Accessing child pornography may be prosecuted either by indictment or by summary conviction. Knowingly viewing or transmitting child pornography is illegal. Viewing child pornography without downloading or retaining the content in any way is captured by this statute. If prosecuted by indictment, the offence is punishable by a maximum penalty of five years in prison; if prosecuted summarily, the offence is punishable by a maximum sentence of two years in prison. The incriminating evidence does not need to be saved or accessed more than once on the accused’s computer. It is sufficient if the accused views child pornography to only once.
Production of Child Pornography
You could be charged with an indictable offence if you are accused of manufacturing, printing, or possessing child pornography for the purpose of publication. This is a more serious offence than viewing or distributing child pornography. If the Crown proceeds by way of indictment, these charges can carry a maximum sentence of 14 years in prison. If the Crown proceeds summarily, the maximum sentence is 2 years in prison. The duration of your sentence will be determined by the seriousness of the offence.
Distribution of Child Pornography
Transmission, distribution, importing, exporting, possession for distribution, making it available, or selling child pornography are all examples of child pornography distribution. If the Crown proceeds by way of indictment, the charge of distributing child porn carries a maximum of 14 years.
Child Pornography Investigations
Once they have identified an individual who has submitted or downloaded unlawful material, investigators trace users’ IP addresses, which are electronic addresses that are roughly matched to a physical location through an internet provider.
In Toronto, when the police obtain a user’s IP address, they will seek a production order and issue it to the internet provider to access the personal information associated with that IP address. This gives the police a name and a physical address attached to the IP address. The police will then seek a search warrant for the physical address. A search warrant will typically call for the seizure of any computer equipment and electronic devices, such as phones and tablets, as well as electronic media, personal papers, documents, and any illegal materials relating to child pornography.
Before they get a warrant, the police may contact you. They might have some evidence against you, but not enough to get a court to issue a warrant. It is essential to immediately seek legal advice if you find yourself in this position. If you receive a call or an officer arrives at your home or place of business, gently inform them that you would like to speak with a lawyer before engaging in further discussion. Then get in touch with a Toronto child porn lawyer as soon as possible.
Investigators will have electronic experts undertake analysis of the content on the devices after they seize personal property. Current files, internet history, logs, cookies, and deleted files are all examples of what will be searched. Investigators have forensic software at their disposal, which allows them to recover lost material.
Investigators rely on technological evidence in the majority of child porn investigations. They will, however, interrogate the suspected perpetrator, as well as other members of the household, family members, and coworkers. Incriminating testimony can help them build a stronger case.
It is critical that you do not communicate with the authorities if you are being investigated for child pornography. If you are arrested on suspicion of child pornography, tell the officers that you are exercising your right to remain silent and that you’d like to speak with a lawyer immediately.
Defending Child Pornography Charges
It can be distressing to be charged with child pornography. You may believe that your personal and professional lives will be irreparably harmed. To help you clear your reputation, a Toronto child pornography lawyer can search for flaws in the prosecution’s case as well as explore other defences. The charge’s nature and circumstances determine the types of defences available. These investigations are difficult, and they are becoming more difficult as technology advances. Browser history, IP addresses, subscription data, and hard drives are just a few of the factors to consider.
Fortunately, the Charter can be used to defend child pornography allegations. If your computer or other property was subjected to an illegal search or seizure, for example, you may have a defence. Karapancev Law will fight to get evidence excluded on your behalf if your constitutional rights have been infringed upon. When searching your home or confiscating your belongings, police officers must respect your rights under Section 8 of the Charter. The results of their search may be inadmissible at your trial if they violated these rights. Another defence that may be available depending on the circumstances is that you did not possess the alleged material, either because you were unaware of its nature or because you lacked control over content in question.
What to do if Charged or Investigated for Child Pornography
There are several things you should do if you’re being investigated for or charged with child pornography offences:
• First and foremost, do not volunteer any information — Police investigators will try to persuade you by insisting that cooperating will make everything simpler. This is not correct. Do not answer any inquiries without consulting a lawyer, and do not hand over anything without a search warrant that has been legally issued.
• Second, include a lawyer at every step of the process — Children’s Aid Society of Toronto may become involved if you are charged with child pornography and have children in your home. When dealing with this scenario, as well as the criminal matter, it is critical to have legal assistance.
• Lastly, do not accept a plea without first seeking legal advice — Entering a plea in a child pornography case will almost certainly compel you to register as a sex offender. In many circumstances, this will have an impact on your work prospects, personal life, and overall reputation.
A Successful Defence
Contact Toronto criminal defence lawyer Alex Karapancev immediately if you have been contacted by law enforcement officers regarding child pornography in Toronto, Brampton, Mississauga, or elsewhere in Ontario. Cases of child pornography can start in a variety of ways, including when someone reports finding child pornography to the authorities or when someone engages in suspicious behaviour online. In either instance, you will need a criminal defence lawyer who knows how the authorities investigate these cases and how to counteract faulty technological evidence.