There are a number of ways innocent people may be charged with possession of child pornography in Wisconsin.
Even a one-time user of a computer may contaminate the memory cache (a place on your hard disk where the browser keeps things that it downloaded in case they’re needed again) with this contraband.
In addition, files can be downloaded without prior knowledge of what they contain. Someone can also hack your computer to view child pornography without your knowledge.
This article will define Wisconsin's law regarding possession of child pornography and give you a better idea of what constitutes this type of content.
If you suspect you are being investigated for a criminal offense relating to child pornography in Wisconsin, contact an experienced Wisconsin defense lawyer right away.
Wisconsin Law Pertaining to Possession of Child Pornography
Laws regarding illicit material such as child pornography vary from state to state. The state of Wisconsin has its own set of child pornography laws. According to child pornography laws under Wisconsin Statute 948.12:
“Whoever possesses, or accesses in any way with intent to view, any undeveloped film, photographic negative, photograph, motion picture, videotape, or other recording of a child engaged in sexually explicit conduct under all of the following circumstances is guilty of possession of child pornography:
1. The person knows that he or she possesses or has accessed the material. The person knows or reasonably should know that the material that is possessed or accessed contains depictions of sexually explicit conduct. The person knows or reasonably should know that the child depicted in the material who is engaged in sexually explicit conduct has not attained the age of 18 years.
2. Whoever exhibits or plays a recording of a child engaged in sexually explicit conduct is guilty of this crime if all of the following apply: (a) The person knows that he or she has exhibited or played the recording. (b) Before the person exhibited or played the recording, he or she knew the character and content of the sexually explicit conduct. (c) Before the person exhibited or played the recording, he or she knew or reasonably should have known that the child engaged in sexually explicit conduct had not attained the age of 18 years."
If you have been charged with possessing child pornography, contact an attorney who is experienced defending clients against sexual offenses in Wisconsin.
Wisconsin's Definition of Sexually Explicit Conduct
In Wisconsin, "child" is defined as a person under 18 years of age, and "sexually explicit conduct" means actual or simulated sexual activity--however slight--and can include any of the following:
- Sexual intercourse
- Sexual masochistic abuse or sexual sadism, including bondage and other acts
- Exhibition of intimate anatomy
For a more thorough understanding of which acts or simulations constitute "sexually explicit conduct" under Wisconsin law, refer to Wisconsin State Statute 948.01.
Penalties for Possession of Child Pornography in Wisconsin
Those who are convicted of possession of child pornography in the state of Wisconsin are guilty of a Class D felony, if that person was 18 or over at the time of the offense.
If the person convicted of possession of child pornography in Wisconsin is under 18 years of age, they are guilty of a Class I felony.
Although Wisconsin has a three-year mandatory minimum sentence for convictions of child pornography possession, judges may use discretion in imposing sentences. For example, in Winnebago County, some convicted offenders were given probation, while others received an 18-month sentence.
To gain a better understanding of the penalties you may be facing in your specific case, consult a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney without delay.
Long-Term Effect of a Child Pornography Possession Conviction
An individual convicted of child pornography charges is usually required to register as a sex offender, which a label which will follow him or her for the rest of their life. It can be difficult to acquire employment or even find a place to live.
Without a doubt, an allegation of child pornography possession or a conviction is a very serious matter. It’s best to seek the assistance of a qualified and experienced criminal defense attorney for the best outcome.
How to Defend Against Possession of Child Pornography
If you have been charged with possessing child pornography in Wisconsin, the first step you should take in your defense is to contact an aggressive and skilled criminal defense attorney immediately.
FREE 15-Minute Consultation
Madison Criminal Defense Attorney Patrick J. Stangl is happy to offer a FREE 15-minute consultation to discuss the details of your case.