Michigan takes sexual crimes seriously, and the consequences are even more severe when it comes to child pornography.
Child pornography involves the production, receipt, possession, and or distribution of sexually depicted images of children under the age of 18 – all of which is illegal.
If you’ve been caught with or accused of child pornography, the first thing to do is to hire an expert defense attorney who can help you through this process.
But what exactly does this process look like, and what are the penalties for child pornography in Michigan, anyway?
Child Pornography Charges And Penalties
Under Michigan law, pornographic materials featuring underage children is known as Child Sexually Abusive Material (CSAM).
According to the code, child pornography charges covers the production, distribution, and possession of these materials. Anyone found in possession or distribution of such materials has committed a felony.
But the penalties are dependent on the charge levied against you.
These charges include:
Possession Of Child Sexually Abusive Material
Anyone in possession of any CSAM will be found guilty of a felony and can face:
A maximum fine of $10,000,
Imprisonment for 4 years, or
Distribution Of Child Sexually Abusive Material
Anyone who distributes, promotes, or finances the distribution of child pornography materials is guilty of a felony and can face:
A maximum fine of $50,000,
Imprisonment for a maximum of 7 years, or
Production Of Child Sexually Abusive Material
Anyone who persuades, entices, coerces or allows a child to engage in sexual acts for the purpose of producing child pornography is guilty of a felony and can face:
Maximum fine of $100,000,
Imprisonment for maximum of 20 years, or
What To Do During A Child Pornography Investigation
First, it’s important to know that you can choose not to speak to an FBI agent or police officer
Even if they insist, you should choose to wait until your attorney is with you. In fact, your silence could end up improving your case.
We don’t want to sugarcoat anything — going through a child pornography investigation can be a rigorous process. But there are certainly steps to help get you started and your case moving in the right direction.
1. Get A Representative
Investigation periods are not times to exhibit your prowess. The first thing to do is to get a skilled defense attorney who will work in your favor to ensure that you don’t get convicted (or in a worst-case scenario, lower your charges and mitigate your punishment).
2. Know Your Rights
In addition to having the right to refrain from making statements to the police, you can also refuse for the police to search through your items if they do not have with them a search warrant. Your attorney will discuss these and other rights with you, but each case is fact specific to get the right answer.
3. Get Help
If you’re addicted to child pornography, you will want a sex crimes lawyer who can help you seek an evaluation and help from a treatment program. It is important to hire a lawyer so that information provided to the evaluator can be protected by attorney-client privilege. This is not something you should take on by yourself. These types of programs might not acquit you, but it could contribute to making your sentence less severe as a mitigation strategy.
Let Smith Blythe Protect Your Legal Rights
Anyone who has been accused of child pornography is already headed on a steep path—one that requires serious caution and care.
The sooner you hire a criminal defense attorney, the safer it is for you.
Our team at Smith Lehman understands how a child pornography prosecution can affect you, and we want to help you get through it successfully. Contact us today.