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Federal Child Pornography Charges in Maryland

As a Maryland federal child pornography lawyer can tell you, an individual can be charged with child pornography for a number of different violations. One of the ways to get charged for child pornography is quite simply just possession of child pornography; that’s where somebody might have something on a computer, smart phone, or some other electronic device. The individual may also be in physical possession of photos, videos, and other pieces of child pornography.

The other way that somebody can be charged with a child pornography violation is for distribution of child pornography. This could be either by distributing physical pieces of child pornography or distributing pieces of electronic child pornography, which is more commonly seen in the court system.

The way that the government catches on to these kinds of violations is either by a warrant to investigate a person through searching the individual’s home or other pieces of equipment, such as a phone or computer, and by tracking the individual electronically. Many pieces of child pornography that are floating around on the internet are flagged and law enforcement are able to see not only who is downloading those pieces of child pornography, but also who’s distributing them to other parties by file sharing in various mediums such as chat rooms.

What Is Child Pornography?

Child pornography is usually a photo or a video that depicts some kind of sexual act or is designed to be sexual in nature are usually what would fall under child pornography statutes.

Paintings, Sculptures, and Other Depictions

Usually paintings or sculptures would probably be considered art and fall under some kind of free speech statute. Although there have not been too many cases where paintings or sculptures have been investigated as child pornography.

Possession In Child Pornography Cases

Generally speaking, being in possession of child pornography can be for an instant or it can be for a lifetime. The possession statute does not have a particular amount of time that somebody needs to be in actual control of a particular image or a video to be in violation.
If an individual simply looked at an image or had the image on screen, or in hand, technically speaking he would be in violation of the statute. But usually it’s difficult to track those kinds of people, because they are not actually in possession of child pornography when the government is able to obtain evidence against them. Typically, people who download or distribute are going to be far more easy to track and far more easy to charge with a violation of the child pornography statute.

Is a Physical Hard Copy Needed to Charge Someone For Child Pornography?

The issue of possession is an issue of determining whether somebody was ever in actual control of a particular image or a video associated with child pornography. It is difficult to charge somebody with possession of child pornography if the government didn’t actually find the particular document, item, or video in that person’s possession at the time that he was arrested or alleged to have committed the criminal violation. Typically, what we see when somebody is charged with child pornography possession is that the image is stored on some kind of device or it’s actually something that the individual is in possession of when a warrant is issued for the individual or his house is searched. That’s how we generally see somebody being charged with possession of child pornography and violation of a statute.

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