How do you know when a sting operation has gone too far and become a case of entrapment? Child pornography arrests are often made as a result of sting operations coordinated by law enforcement and federal agents. A conviction for child pornography charges can carry serious consequences, so it is important to know if entrapment can be used for your case.
California Penal Code Section 311 states it is unlawful to distribute, possess, advertise, or sell material showing a person under 18 years of age participating in or simulating sexual conduct.
Before entrapment can be used as a legal defense in a child pornography case, you need to understand the difference between how the law views sting operations and entrapment.
How Police Combat Child Pornography
Sting operations can be described as an elaborately constructed strategy that law enforcement agencies use to catch a person believed to be engaging in illegal activity while they are in the act of committing a crime. To prepare for a sting operation, authorities will research where it will be best to catch a person committing the crime and where they can witness it as it takes place.
Child pornography sting operations are set up to actively incriminate people who are seeking child pornography. When accessing a website designed for child pornography or one that is monitored by authorities, you may be arrested and prosecuted.
Agents may actively attempt to uncover an individual trying to access child pornography by talking in pedophile chat rooms, arrange a meeting to exchange images of child pornography, and then make an arrest. Agents may also pose undercover as a buyer of child pornography to identify and arrest the seller. Fake child pornography websites are also maintained by federal authorities who arrest those who attempt to purchase any material.
Is Entrapment a Legal Defense to Child Pornography Charges?
Though a sting operation can be legally used by law enforcement, authorities often go too far. This is considered entrapment. Entrapment occurs after law enforcement influences or coerces a person to commit an illegal act they would not likely have committed on their own.
Our experienced defense attorneys can help you if you believe law enforcement persuaded or induced you to access child pornography. Your attorney may be able to prove that law enforcement entrapped you by approaching or informing you about an illegal website or where to obtain child pornography material. If law enforcement persuaded or encouraged you to seek out or access illegal material, it may be considered entrapment. If you never planned on obtaining child pornography before being told about a website or similar source by law enforcement, it may also be seen as entrapment.
If entrapment is a plausible legal defense in your case, it will be up to the prosecution to prove to the court that you were willing and able to seek out child pornography before law enforcement encouraged you to do so.
Contact an Experienced Child Pornography Attorney at Wallin & Klarich
If you have been charged with child pornography and believe law enforcement entrapped you, contact our child pornography attorneys at Wallin & Klarich. The attorneys of Wallin & Klarich have over 30 years of experience serving our clients and providing them with the best representation for their case. We are committed to help you in understanding the legal process and protecting your rights.
With offices in Orange County, Los Angeles, San Diego, Riverside, San Bernardino, Ventura, Victorville, Torrance, West Covina and Sherman Oaks, you can find a dedicated Wallin & Klarich attorney no matter your location.
Call us at (877) 4-NO-JAIL or (877) 466-5245 for a free phone consultation. We will be there when you call.