Child Porn Charges – You Can Be Charged With Distribution of Child Porn For Sending It To Yourself

People in Michigan are being charged as distributors of Child Pornography merely from downloading it on their own computer. It does not have to be forwarded to a third party for an individual to incur charges for the distribution of child porn. The charge comes in the official name and charge of “child sexually abusive material.” The allegations are generally straightforward in that a person has possession of the material on his or her computer, cell phone, or tablet.

This is a somewhat new change throughout Michigan. Previously, an individual had to actually sell, give, or attempt to sell or give the material to a third party (another person). The distinction between possession and distribution is extremely important because possession carries a maximum sentence of 4 years in prison, whereas distribution carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison. This new change in Michigan is mostly based on statutory language in MCL 750.145(c)(2), which has caused prosecutors to turn on the word “copies.” The statute states, in part: “A person who persuades, induces, entices, coerces, causes, or knowingly allows a child to engage in a child sexually abusive activity for the purpose of producing any child sexually abusive material, or a person who arranges for, produces, makes, copies, reproduces, or finances, or a person who attempts or prepares or conspires to arrange for, produce, make, copy, reproduce, or finance any child sexually abusive activity or child sexually abusive material.” MCL 750.145(c)(2).

Therefore, in Michigan, you can distribute child porn to yourself even by downloading it to your own computer. File sharing services are watched extremely closely by law enforcement. Use extreme care and caution when searching and looking at websites and material online.

If you are charged with possession or distribution of child porn material, you need an experienced criminal defense firm on your side. Contact us today!

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