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Child pornography offences are extremely serious. A conviction for possession, accessing, distributing, or making child pornography can attract a significant jail sentence. In addition to a jail sentence, ancillary orders that accompany a child pornography conviction will require registration with the Federal and provincial sex offender registries. Moreover, upon conviction, the Court will order restrictions upon contact with individuals under the age of 16. Internet access may similarly be restricted or prohibited for a significant period of time. Our skilled and experienced legal team will work tirelessly and discreetly to provide the assertive and results-oriented representation you deserve.
The definition of child pornography in Canada is found in Section 163.1 of the criminal code, which reads as follows:
163.1 (1) In this section, “child pornography” means
(a) A photographic, film, video or other visual representation, whether or not it was made by electronic or mechanical means.
(b) Any written material, visual representation or audio recording that advocates or counsels sexual activity with a person under the age of eighteen years that would be an offence under this Act.
(c) Any written material whose dominant characteristic is the description, for a sexual purpose, of sexual activity with a person under the age of eighteen years that would be an offence under this Act.
(d) Any audio recording that has as its dominant characteristic the description, presentation or representation, for a sexual purpose, of sexual activity with a person under the age of eighteen years that would be an offence under this Act.
Examples of what would constitute possessing child pornography:
There are four different Criminal Code offences that relate to child pornography:
Making, printing, publishing or possessing for the purpose of publication any child pornography. (Though these MMS apply to some cases today, some of it are deemed unconstitutional. Considering the date of the incident is also relevant. Older versions of the law had different numbers and thus would be applicable depending on the dates of allegations)
Every person who transmits, makes available, distributes, sells, advertises, imports, exports or possesses for the purpose of transmission, making available, distribution, sale, advertising or exportation any child pornography is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term of not more than 14 years and to a minimum punishment of imprisonment for a term of one year.
It is an offence to knowingly cause child pornography to be viewed or transmitted. Therefore, it is also an offence to access child pornography even where there is not actual possession. For example, viewing child pornography without actually downloading the illegal images is still illegal.
Possession of child pornography means that the accused is alleged to have both knowledge and control over the pornographic material. This is probably the most common allegation with respect to child pornography in Toronto and the surrounding areas.
Are extremely serious and carry mandatory minimum jail sentences irrespective of the age or the circumstances surrounding the case. (Note – minimum sentences do not apply to Young Offenders under 18 years of age). It should also be noted that the minimum sentence regime with respect to a number of charges in the Criminal Code have been successfully attacked as being unconstitutional.
If you are convicted of possessing or accessing child pornography, you will be guilty of a hybrid offence. If you are prosecuted on indictment, you will face a minimum of one year in prison and a maximum of 10 years. If you are prosecuted on summary conviction, you will face a minimum of 6 months in prison and a maximum of two years less a day.
Federal child pornography and sexual exploitation charges are incredibly serious, frightening and difficult to defend. Our firm has decades of experience in successfully representing people across the country who are charged in federal court with possessing, distributing or producing child pornography.
These charges are often related to the offence of internet luring where someone is accused of contacting a minor online for the purposes of committing an offence of sexual assault or sexual interference. If you are facing charges of this nature it is essential that you hire a lawyer dedicated to confidentially and professionally navigating the complexities of such a case.
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