Careless or Unwise Internet Use May Result In a Child Pornography Offense

Military attorney discusses Internet case lawThe Internet has dramatically changed the pornography industry. Adult materials that once were only obtainable at specialized stores or shops and were considered taboo by some are now streamed into our homes and offices at the click of a mouse. Many people are surprised to learn that their Internet habits may result in arrest and prosecution even if they did not intend to access pornography of minors. Offenses involving the distribution, possession, creation, or the violation of any other child pornography law1 are extremely serious and can severely restrict a military member’s freedom, career, and future civilian opportunities. For this reason, it is extremely important for anyone accused of a criminal offense involving child pornography to talk to an experienced lawyer immediately. Our law firm has extensive experience successfully defending cases like this.

Some of the ways in which careless Internet usage could lead to child pornography allegations are detailed below. For advice regarding a specific matter related to military law,2 call our office today.

Accessing or Downloading files from untrusted sources

The Internet is not well-regulated. In many cases, going from a completely legitimate website that is fully compliant with the law to a site offering illegal content such as pirated software or illegal pornography can happen simply by clicking hyperlinks. Downloading files from unfamiliar sources could result in conviction for possession of child pornography, which is a registerable sex offense. It’s possible for these files to end up on your computer even if you never saw them. Merely landing on a page that contains child pornography, even if those images are below the fold and never seen by you, can be proof used to convict you.

Sharing files or torrents

While the possession of child pornography is serious, the more serious offense of distribution could occur if you somehow share files that contain pornographic images depicting children engaged in sexual acts. This is often done through peer-to-peer programs. These programs allow users to share the contents of their files with all others using that same program. This is typically the default setting. Some file sharing programs automatically run in the background once they are installed and share files without your knowledge. A person can be convicted of distribution solely based on the default settings of a peer-to-peer program, even if he didn’t intend to share his files with anyone.

Contact a civilian military criminal defense attorney today to retain legal representation

Military members who have inadvertently become the subject of a child pornography investigation or prosecution because of careless Internet usage should contact an attorney as soon as possible. In many cases, a military attorney can significantly affect the outcome of a case and may be able to help you avoid prosecution. To schedule a consultation with one of our military criminal defense lawyers, call Gagne, Scherer & Associates LLC today at 877-867-5247, or email us through our online contact form.