CALGARY CHILD PORNOGRAPHY LAWYERS

Cory Wilson has extensive experience in defending individuals charged with various child pornography offences.

Being accused of committing a child pornography offence carries a significant stigma and will undoubtedly have an impact on your personal and professional life. All child pornography offences are   incredibly serious that often carries lengthy periods of jail if convicted. For these reasons, it is important that you hire the right criminal lawyer to properly defend you. Cory Wilson has defended countless clients charged with child pornography serving Calgary, Okotoks, Airdrie, Strathmore, Cochrane, Canmore, Didsbury, Medicine Hat, Lethbridge, Grand Prairie, and Turner Valley.

Calgary Child Pornography Lawyers

What is Child Pornography?

Child pornography is defined in section 163.1 of the Criminal Code. There are considerable misunderstandings of what constitutes child pornography. In order for something to be considered child pornography, it must meet one of the following definitions:

  1. A photographic, film, video or other visual representation:
  • that shows a person who is under 18 years old or a person who is depicted as being under 18 years old, who is engaged in or is depicted as engaging in explicit sexual activity, or
  • where the dominant characteristic is the depiction, for a sexual purpose, of a sexual organ or the anal region of a person under the age of 18 years old.
  1. Any written material, visual representation or audio recording that advocates or counsels sexual activity with a person under the age of 18 years old i.e. it sends that message that sexual activity with children could and should be pursued.
  2. Any written material that has as its dominant characteristic the description, for a sexual purpose, of sexual activity with a person under the age of 18 years old.
  3. 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 18 years old.

When the law refers to a “person”, this includes both actual and imaginary human beings. In other words, an imaginary story about sexual activity involving children would meet the legal definition of child pornography. If the alleged child pornography is a visual drawing or depiction, it need not show a real person – drawings, Anime and computer animations could suffice. Where the alleged child pornography is written, the person described does not need to be an actual, living person.

What are Child Pornography Offences?

There are four different child pornography offences:

  • Accessing child pornography
  • Possessing child pornography
  • Distributing child pornography
  • Making child pornography

What is possession of Child Pornography?

Possession requires knowledge of the criminal character of the items at issue. In order for the accused to be found guilty, the Crown must prove that:

  1. The accused had knowledge of the contents of the item in issue. The contents are all that matters, it does not matter whether the accused person knows that legally, the contents qualify as child pornography; and
  2. The accused had control over the item in issue or in other words, had power and authority over the item, whether or not that power and authority was exercised. This does not include taking control of an item in issue with the intention of immediately destroying it or divesting oneself of control over it.

It is important to note that downloading child pornography is enough to satisfy the control component of possession. Opening and viewing the material is not actually necessary.

What are Defences to Child Pornography Offences?

Like any other criminal offence, defences to a charge of child pornography are based heavily on the circumstances of your individual case. The most common defences are as follows:

No Knowledge

One of the most common defences to child pornography offences is that you did not know you were in possession of child pornography. This defence can arise in two different ways:

  • You didn’t know you had the illicit material. Perhaps the content was downloaded accidently with other non-illegal material such as videos or music.
  • You honestly believed the people in the pornography were over the age of 18. It is not enough to simply believe they are of age, you must demonstrate you took reasonable steps in the circumstances to ascertain their ages

No Control over the Pornography

In some situations, somebody may have downloaded child pornography on devices in a shared home. If you had knowledge of the child pornography but had no control over the device that it was on, you would have a defence to possession as it requires you to have both knowledge and control.

Illegal Search and Seizure

If you have been caught with child pornography by police, it is likely a result of a Production Order and Search Warrant. Just because police had judicial authorization to enter your home, doesn’t mean that it was lawful. It is often the case that police take short-cuts or give incomplete or inaccurate information to the authorizing judge to get the search warrant. These errors can be exploited at trial and if successful, we can have the evidence of child pornography excluded you found not guilty.

Is Anime of Children Child Pornography?

Yes, sexually explicit drawings of children is child pornography. It matters not that the depiction of the child is a real person or a child-like Anime drawing. While there is no victim in Anime as no children were harmed, sentences can be just as harsh as for traditional child pornography.

Calgary Child Pornography Lawyers

What is the Sentence for Child Pornography?

Sentences for child pornography offences are generally lengthy periods of incarceration. Over the past several years, both Parliament and the courts have significantly increased the punishments handed out of offenders. The Criminal Code sets out the following offences and penalties:

Section 163.1 (2) – Making Child Pornography

Every person who makes, prints, publishes or possesses for the purpose of publication 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.

Section 163.1(3) – Making Child Pornography Available

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.

Section 163.1(4) – Possession of Child Pornography

Every person who possesses any child pornography is guilty of

(a) an indictable offence and is liable to imprisonment for a term of not more than 10 years and to a minimum punishment of imprisonment for a term of one year; or

(b) an offence punishable on summary conviction and is liable to imprisonment for a term of not more than two years less a day and to a minimum punishment of imprisonment for a term of 6 months.

Section 163.1(4.1) – Accessing Child Pornography

Every person who accesses any child pornography is guilty of

(a) an indictable offence and is liable to imprisonment for a term of not more than 10 years and to a minimum punishment of imprisonment for a period of one year; or

(b) an offence punishable on summary conviction and is liable to imprisonment for a term of not more than two years less a day and to a minimum punishment of imprisonment for a term of 6 months.

Call Us To Arrange A Confidential Consultation

To speak with Cory Wilson or arrange a free, no obligation consultation, call 403-978-6052 or email us here.

Child Pornography FAQs

  1. What is child pornography?
  2. What are defences to child pornography?

Cory Wilson is a criminal defence lawyer based in Calgary. If you have been charged with a criminal offence or are a suspect in a criminal investigation, call today for a free, no-obligation consultation.