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In addition, being involved in an investigation of this nature, could result in serious damage to your reputation and could have disastrous consequences for your personal and professional life. Seeking legal advice from our expert indecent images solicitors experienced in dealing with this type of case, as early on as possible, is essential. This way, your solicitor can work with you to prepare your defence and achieve the best possible outcome in your circumstances.
In recent years, due to the widespread use of the internet and social media, the sharing of indecent images has increased dramatically.
The type of images involved is one of the most important factors when it comes to what kind of punishment to expect, if you are convicted of possessing or making indecent images.
Indecent images are now split into three different categories, ranging from the most severe (category A) to the least severe (category C).
Category A – Images involving penetrative sexual activity; images involving sexual activity with an animal or sadism.
Category B – Images involving non-penetrative sexual activity.
Category C – Other indecent images not falling within categories A or B.
Indecent images can involve both children and animals. As well as photographs, indecent images can include animations, moving images and what is known as ‘pseudo-photography’.
Pseudo-photographs are photographs which are made by a computer but which appear to be real.
If in doubt speak to our expert indecent images solicitors.
Indecent image offences are detailed in the Protection of Children Act 1978 and the Criminal Justice Act 1988.
When it comes to indecent image offences, the law makes a distinction between possessing indecent images and the making of them. The offences related to indecent images broadly fall into one of these two areas.
Possession of indecent images involves the images in question being in the “custody or control” of the accused i.e. they can access or retrieve the images. The accused must know that they have possession of the images.
Offences relating to the making of indecent images are actually divided between production and distribution. The offences involving the making of indecent images can occur in many different ways. Making an indecent image can happen, for example, when someone downloads an image from the internet. This is because the image is “made” on the device when the person downloads it. This could happen deliberately or accidentally when someone visits a webpage. This means that someone could make an indecent image without knowing they were doing so.
Our expert indecent images solicitors can assist you further.
This is a particularly complex area of law, which makes seeking specialist advice from a solicitor with a thorough understanding of the technology involved, crucial.
Various different activities which previously fell under the offence of indecent assault in the 1956 Act, are now detailed as separate offences in the 2003 Act, including child sex offences and assault by penetration.
As a result, the Section 3 offence of sexual assault (from the 2003 Act) is now mainly used to prosecute less serious kinds of sexual assault than the old offence of indecent assault.
According to our expert indecent images solicitors, if you are found guilty of possessing indecent images you could be given a prison sentence. Whether this is the case – and, if so, how long your imprisonment will be – will depend on factors such as the category and the number of images involved.
When sentencing someone for possession of an indecent image, the court will use the image category to determine a starting point. Then, it will adjust this starting point taking into account any aggravating or mitigating factors (more on this below).
The starting point for possession of a Category A image is 1 year in prison. The maximum sentence is 3 years in custody.
The possession of Category B indecent images has a starting point of 26 weeks in prison (with a maximum of 18 months).
For Category C possession, the starting point is a high level community order (with a maximum of 26 weeks).
If there is “sufficient prospect of rehabilitation” a community order with a sex offender treatment programme can be used as an alternative to a short or medium length prison sentence.
Again, this largely depends on the category of the images in question and whether the offence relates to distribution or production.
The starting point for the distribution of Category A indecent images is 3 years in prison. For production, it is 6 years.
For Category B indecent images, the distribution starting point is 1 year in prison and the production starting point is 2 years.
The Category C starting point is 13 weeks for distribution and 18 months for production.
Our expert indecent images solicitors help client nationwide with such challenges.
Aggravating features, which can result in a more lengthy prison sentence for indecent image related offences include:
Mitigating factors, which can reduce the sentence for an indecent images offence include:
Your future could be on the line – don’t delay call our expert indecent images solicitors now.
Defences to offences regarding indecent images of children include legitimate reason and lack of awareness.
For the former, the accused must prove that he had a legitimate reason for the conduct involving the indecent images. For example, someone may say that the reason they possessed the indecent images was because they were conducting research.
In the case of lack of awareness, the accused would have to prove that they had not seen the photographs and did not know (or did not suspect) that they were indecent.
Your name may be added to the Sex Offenders Register, depending on the offence.
Learn more about why you should instruct Adley Gray.
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