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Sexual Exploitation / Child Pornography Charges in Arizona

Due to the sensitive nature of the activities involved, sexual exploitation charges in Arizona are taken very seriously by law enforcement and the justice system. As a result, child pornography charges in Arizona is considered a class-two felony pursuant to A.R.S. §13-3553.

Charges for sexual exploitation of a minor / child pornography are brought when one knowingly records, photographs, transports, sells or copies any exploitative material featuring a minor engaging in sexual conduct. The law in this area is very broad with respect to its definition in order to provide sufficient protection to minors. Thus, even the electronic receipt, purchase or transmission of this kind of material can give rise to sexual exploitation charges in Arizona. Because of the way the statute for sexual exploitation / child pornography is written, you may find yourself inadvertently on the wrong side of the law.

If you are being investigated for, or have been charged with, child pornography charges in Arizona, you need to consult an attorney as soon as possible. The Law Offices of David Michael Cantor is a firm with unmatched resources and experience defending against sex crime claims and can help you in this serious situation. Call us anytime at (602) 307-0808 or click here to use our confidential, secure online contact form.

 

What are the Potential Penalties for Sexual Exploitation of a Minor / Child Pornography?

The consequences of sexual exploitation of a minor vary based on the age of the child involved. If the depicted child was 15 to 17 years of age, the charge is as class-two felony and punishment for a first-time offender ranges from three (3) to twelve and a half years (12.5) in prison or up to one year in jail along with probation. If you have a prior conviction, the penalties elevate significantly; the potential prison sentence runs from four and a half (4.5) years to twenty three years and three months (23.25 years). Having two prior charges increases the potential prison sentence range to ten and a half (10.5) to thirty-five (35) years in prison.

The penalties are more severe if the minors depicted in the material giving rise to the charges are 14 or younger. This age range falls under the purview of the Dangerous Crimes Against Children (DCAC) statute, which mandates a prison sentence of between ten (10) and twenty-four (24) years in prison, with a presumptive sentence of seventeen (17) years. If you have a prior felony conviction, the range bumps up to between twenty-one (21) and thirty-five (35) years in prison, with a presumptive sentence of twenty-eight (28) years. Under the DCAC, sentences for multiple counts run consecutively rather than simultaneously, so convictions on two counts will double your prison time. Additionally, all of the prison time under a DCAC sentence must be served before release. The penalties for these crimes are so severe that the maximum sentence for sexual exploitation is more severe than that of a second-degree murder conviction!

Conviction not only carries stiff prison sentences, but it also requires you to register as a sexual offender for the rest of your life. This can be embarrassing and also prevents you from having any contact with people under the age of 18 — including your own children — without first going through stringent tests and getting clearance from your probation officer.

What Are The Possible Defenses for Sexual Exploitation of a Minor / Child Pornography?

With child pornography and sexual exploitation charges, a key defense is showing that the accused did not possess, receive, record, or transmit the material “knowingly.” This defense can be used where the charges stem from the use of a computer that is accessible by a number of different people, so it is difficult for the State to prove it was definitely the defendant who accessed the exploitative content. If you do not have any prior convictions on similar charges, this can be a very effective defense. We can also refute evidence the State brings through its execution of a search warrant and analysis of the computer used to access the exploitative material.

Additionally, the inadvertent receipt of child pornography provides an effective defense, because the “knowingly” element is not satisfied. If you receive such images in an unsolicited manner, you will have an affirmative defense if you report to the proper authorities, the receipt of such images within three days of discovering the material.

The Law Offices of David Michael Cantor has unique advantages for defending sex crime charges, thanks to special training of the firm’s attorneys and a comprehensive research library with sex crime defense materials. Our attorneys have also traveled to many seminars hosted by the National Child Abuse Defense and Resource Center, which provides insight on defense of the falsely accused.

Our firm understands the serious and life-changing consequences of sex crime charges and convictions, so we assert every applicable defense we can to help you. We will not only assert sex-crime specific charges, but also constitutional defenses such as denial of right to counsel, which occurs where the police do not respect your request for an attorney and continue to question you. We can also assert the defense of a Miranda rights violation, which occurs when you are tricked or forced into making what appears to be a self-incriminating statement. Because Arizona’s rules of evidence permit only statements made in a voluntary manner, these statements and any evidence gathered directly due to those violations cannot be used against you.

Finally, we can challenge the validity of the State’s search warrant and any inaccuracies or false or misleading statements in police reports. Our firm will also attack any improper computer forensic testing procedures, photo lineups, and crime scene reconstructions. Our unparalleled experience in this field can help you avoid the serious consequences stemming from sexual exploitation charges.

Our firm has the highest Martindale Hubbell® quality rating of AV®, and our firm features many former prosecutors with insight into the justice system. David Michael Cantor is a Certified Criminal Law Specialist, and the entire firm is listed in the Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers®. Contact us for a free consultation by calling 602-307-0808 or by clicking here to use our confidential contact form.

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DM Cantor

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