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Child Porn And Intent

You were checking your emails one morning when you see a message from an unknown sender. You open it and nearly spit your coffee all over your computer. Someone has sent you unsolicited child pornography. A cold wave radiates from your heart, and you don’t know what to do. That’s why you need to know about child porn and intent.

VIEWING AND POSSESSING

In New York State, merely viewing child pornography is not a crime. The person viewing it must take some action leading to possession. That could mean saving the content, printing it, or otherwise taking a deliberate action that could be seen as claiming possession.

This precedent extends to purposeful viewing as well. After a historic 2012 decision, Court of Appeals Judge Victoria Graffeo wrote in her verdict opinion that “The purposeful viewing of child pornography on the internet is now legal in New York.”

That said, depending on the circumstances, federal regulations relating to accessing child pornography may still apply.

INTENT

Having child pornography on your computer is not a crime by itself. The prosecution must also show that you either took deliberate action that resulted in possession or that you had the intent to possess it.

If, for example, a virus or shared cloud drive causes child pornography files to appear on your computer, that would lack intent. You did not take specific actions with the intention to possess these files.

CONTACT AN ATTORNEY

Proving intent (or a lack thereof) is an incredibly difficult part of many criminal trials. That’s why anyone accused of possessing child pornography should exercise their rights and hire an attorney immediately.

If you’re charged with possession of child pornography, you might want legal representation. If you’d like an experienced Rochester criminal defense attorney from King Law to evaluate your case, please send us an email or call (585) 270-8882 at your earliest convenience.

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internet crimes

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