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If you think that deleting child pornography (Penal Code Section 311.11(a).) that you found on the Internet will protect you from prosecution, think again. The data is actually saved (cached) in temporary internet files. Your hard drive still retains the images, so anything short of wiping out the hard drive completely can get you into serious trouble if your computers are ever searched by law enforcement.

Our attorneys at Wallin & Klarich have over 30 years of experience defending clients in Southern California against serious registerable sex offenses such as possession of child pornography. With our help, you may be able to avoid a lengthy prison sentence, fines, and worst of all, lifetime sex offender registration.

Our attorneys want to share with you a case recently decided by the Court of Appeals where a man challenged his conviction of possessing child pornography claiming insufficient evidence because he had deleted the folders containing the unlawful material…and lost.

People v. Mahoney, E055162 (Court of Appeal, October 17, 2013)

deleting child pornography

Deleting child pornography from your computer will not free you from a crime.

Defendant Clark David Mahoney, Jr. was convicted of possession of child pornography after a search of the four computers found in his home determined that he had used google to search for and ultimately visit websites containing child pornography. Although the folders containing the offending images had been deleted, they had been automatically saved in either temporary internet files or in unallocated space within the defendant’s hard drive, which means they had to have been opened on the computer’s desktop and displayed at some point. A jury convicted the defendant of possessing child pornography or child erotica pursuant to PC 311.11(a). He was granted probation, but he is subject to mandatory lifetime registration as a sex offender.

On appeal, the defendant claimed that there was insufficient evidence that a crime occurred within a 10-year statute of limitations, there was insufficient evidence to support the verdict, and that PC 311.11(a) is void for vagueness. The Court of Appeal rejected his claims and upheld his conviction.

Why Deleting Child Pornography from Your Computer Does Not Protect You

The court ruled: “[W]e have declared that, [i]n the electronic context, a person can receive and possess child pornography without downloading it, if he or she seeks it out and exercised dominion and control over it.‟ [Citations.] Thus, [defendant] properly concedes that he did knowingly receive and possess the…images that he downloaded. But [defendant] was charged with [receipt and possession of]…images, which appeared in his cache files [i.e., Deleted Temporary Internet Files]…. According to the evidence before the district court, when a person accesses a web page, his web browser will automatically download that page into his Active Temporary Internet Files, so that when the site is revisited the information will come up much more quickly than it would have if it had not been stored on the computer’s own hard drive.”

If You are Convicted of Possession of Child Pornography, You Face Serious Consequences

Under PC 311.11(a), if you knowingly possess or control material containing images of minors engaged in sexual conduct, you are guilty of a felony. Your conviction can result in a sentence of up to one year in county jail or a state prison sentence of up to three years, a $2,500 fine, or both.

Most devastating, you will be required to register as a sex offender under PC 290 for the rest of your life while residing, working or attending school in California. Your name, picture and address may be publicly listed on California’s Megan’s Law website of sex offenders (www.meganslaw.ca.gov) for your neighbors, employer and community to view whenever they wish.

Wallin & Klarich Can Help You Avoid the Serious Consequences of a Child Pornography Possession Conviction

If you or someone you love has been charged with possession of child pornography, you need to speak with an attorney at Wallin & Klarich immediately. The child pornography defense attorneys at Wallin & Klarich have over 30 years of experience successfully representing our clients charged with registerable sex offenses.

With offices in Los Angeles, Sherman Oaks, Torrance, Tustin, San Diego, Riverside, San Bernardino, Ventura, West Covina and Victorville, the experienced child pornography defense attorneys at Wallin & Klarich are available 24/7 to help you avoid jail or prison time, fines, and most importantly, lifetime registration as a sex offender. We will pursue every option to make certain you get the best possible result in your case.

Call us today at (877) 4-NO-JAIL or (877) 466-5245 for a free telephone consultation. We will get through this together.

How Attempting to Meet with a Minor for Lewd Purposes Can Land You in Jail in Riverside County

Under California Penal Code Section 288.4, attempting to meet with a minor for lewd purposes is against the law.1 According to the State of California Department of Justice, there were 114 arrests in Riverside County for lewd and lascivious acts in 2012.2

Recent Case in Riverside County

In 2011, a Murrieta man was arrested when he tried to meet a 14 year old to …

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New Law Signed by Governor Cracks Down on Sex Offenders Tampering with Tracking Devices

On Oct. 12, California Governor Jerry Brown signed into law Senate Bill 57, which imposes tougher penalties on sex offenders tampering with tracking devices. The new senate bill, authored by state Senator Ted Lieu (D-Torrance), will take effect Jan. 1, 2014.

Sex Offenders Tampering with Tracking Devices

In 2006, California voters enacted a new statute, …

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Halloween 2013 and Operation Boo: What’cha Gonna Do When They Come for You?

Like Halloween itself, it has become an annual tradition with law enforcement in California to spend the evening of Oct. 31 knocking on doors of registered sex offenders on parole to verify their compliance with a statewide-ordered lockdown known as “Operation Boo.”

Now in its 21st year, Operation Boo is a coordinated effort between the California De…

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California Rules Sex Offender Treatment Program Requirement Cannot be Retroactively Applied

Sex offenders who were sentenced prior to when an amendment in California Penal Code section 1203.067 took effect do not have to enroll in a state-approved sex treatment program as required by the new law. Under the amended law, certain sex offenders must complete a sex offender treatment program if probation is granted. However, the requirement is not ret…

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How to Get off Megan’s Law in Hemet for PC 288(a) Convictions?

California’s Megan’s Law is designed to provide the public with certain information on the whereabouts of sex offenders. Megan’s Law is named after seven-year-old Megan Kanka, who was raped and killed by a convicted sex offender who had moved across the street from her family’s residence without their knowledge.

According to City-data.com, as …

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Facing Child Molestation Charges in Hemet Under PC 288(a)

California Penal Code sec. 288(a) governs the crime of lewd or lascivious act with a minor.1 Anyone who knowingly commits lewd acts with a minor less than 14 years of age with the motive of sexual arousal is guilty of violating Penal Code sec. 288. If you are facing child molestation charges in Hemet, you need to call a skilled sex crimes defense attorney who can …

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Former San Diego Mayor Filner Pleads Guilty to Felony False Imprisonment

A few months ago, Bob Filner was the mayor of San Diego. He had a tremendous amount of power as he made decisions as to the welfare of the citizens of San Diego. Then, the roof caved in.

A large number of females came forth with allegations that Mr. Filner had “sexually harassed” them in various ways. Filner vehemently denied the charges.

Prominent members o…

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You Can be Excluded from the Megan’s Law Website if the Victim was a Relative – Penal Code Section 290.46(e)

If you register as a sex offender in Anaheim due to a conviction for lewd and lascivious act with a minor under the age of 14 or “child molestation” (Penal Code section 288) and your offense involved your own relative, you may be exempt from being identified on California’s public sex offender website under certain conditions. Removal from the Megan…

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Ending Sex Offender Registration for Lewd Acts with 14-15 Year Old 10 Years Younger in Costa Mesa – Penal Code Section 288(c)(1)

If you live in Costa Mesa and you were convicted of engaging in sexual activity with a minor, your sentence probably included probation or imprisonment in jail or prison.

Under California Penal Code section 288(c)(1) [PC288(c)(1)], having sexual contact with a 14 or 15-year-old who is at least 10 years younger than you is commonly known as child molestatio…

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