Child Pornography allegations are the one category of criminal matters that were both consistently investigated and universally charged throughout the recent Pandemic, even when courts remained closed, and investigations curtailed. This was true at both the state and federal levels, and it remains true now, especially with COVID numbers abating. The most frequently charged violations at the state level here in Massachusetts are Possessing [Child Pornography] under MGL Ch 272 §29C and Disseminating [Child Pornography] under MGL Ch 272 § 29B. At the federal level, the most frequently charged offenses are Possessing [Child Pornography] under 18 USC § 2252A (a) (5) (B) and Receiving or Distributing [Child Pornography] under 18 USC § 2252A (a) (2) (A). Of those, Receipt/Distribution are more often charged.
If you are charged in state or federal court with any of these offenses, the penalties are strict and severe. A person charged as a first offender under MGL CH 272 § 29C faces up to 5 yrs. in state prison, or up to 2.5 yrs. in county jail, if convicted. Moreover, by statute, persons charged in MA under this statute are not eligible for a Continuation Without Finding (CWOF). The penalty for a conviction under MGL 272 § 29B is a minimum of 10 yrs. in state prison, up to a maximum of 20 yrs. There is no final jurisdiction in the District Court for this offense; it must be indicted and transferred to Superior Court to be prosecuted. The penalty for a first offender convicted in federal court under 18 USC § 2252A (a) (5) (B) is up to 5 yrs. in federal prison; for a conviction under 18 USC § 2252A (a) (2) (A), it is a mandatory 5 yrs. to a maximum of 15 yrs. in federal prison. The penalties for conviction on second/subsequent offenses both in state and federal court are even harsher: a minimum of 5 yrs. in state prison under § 29C; a minimum of 10 yrs. to a maximum of 20 yrs. in federal prison for possession, under §2252A (a) (b) (2); and 20 to 40 yrs., under §2252A (a) (2) (A) (b) (1); further age-enhancements may apply. Moreover, anyone convicted under these sections also faces fines, restitution to known child victims, Sex Offender Registration, and Sex Offender evaluation/treatment. In short, the collateral ramifications and consequences, beyond actual incarceration, are impactful and long-lasting, affecting immigration status, financial well-being, employment and employment prospects, housing, reputation and standing in the local community, bank loans, and other assumed rights.
For the most part, whether filed in state or federal court (the latter being more likely where interstate commerce/travel and a higher-volume of images are involved), the underlying investigations of these charges are generally initiated either as result of Cyber tips to law enforcement or law enforcement trawling popular instant messaging sites like Kik or Whisper (often posing as message-buddies---sometimes as children, which can result in additional charges). Invariably, the investigations lead to the issuance and execution of search warrants for electronic devices and storage units in a target’s home, office, or place of business, thereby maximizing the potential for public embarrassment, humiliation, and stigmatization.
If you are charged with, or under investigation for, any such offense---or for related felony offenses such as child enticement and/or coercion, it is critical you seek legal counsel and representation only from attorneys highly experienced in this complex, nuanced, extremely serious, and increasingly charged area of prosecution---attorneys who know how to protect and preserve your 4th amend rights against unlawful/illegal searches and seizures by challenging search warrants issued for these cases and where to look/find, and how to exploit, certain deficiencies in order to suppress evidence and defeat/dismiss charges; also attorneys who know how to protect and preserve your related 5th and 6th amendment rights and prevent you from unknowingly consenting to searches ( a frequent mistake) or unwittingly responding to law enforcements inevitable attempted questioning with incriminating answers; attorneys who are aware when a case has either been over-charged or improperly charged, with the wherewithal to successfully argue this; attorneys who also know the required elements of proof, and the details and subtleties of all related statutes, including under which situations may sex offender registration be challenged and how to successfully challenge it; attorneys who routinely retain established forensic experts on behalf of their clients to analyze electronic data and search for digital anomalies, scan for viruses, examine cached documents and/or storage systems to determine critical factors like timing, access, word searches and “tool-marks”; and attorneys who are known by, and regularly work with, the best-known therapists and MH providers in this field for purposes of both productive sentence mitigation and potential SOR classification challenges. In short, it is no exaggeration to say not only will your personal liberty and freedom, but also up-to the next 20 yrs., or longer, of your life, depend on choosing the right lawyer.
The lawyers at Brad Bailey Law PC are amongst the most highly experienced attorneys in this field, having defended hundreds of clients against these and related charges not only in all courts at all levels in Massachusetts, but also in State Superior Courts elsewhere in New England, and in other federal jurisdictions as far-ranging as the Southeast and Midwest. Moreover, they have the results, docket-numbers, and client-satisfaction reviews to prove it. Do not be fooled by poseurs, wannabes, and “Johnnies-come-lately.” Call now.