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We defend possession of child pornography cases.  Contact Meyer Van Severen, S.C. at (414) 270-0202.

Possession of child pornography charges carry exceptionally negative stigmas.  We understand that facing charges like these is incredibly difficult.  Friends, work colleagues, professional contacts, and others quickly judge before understanding your situation.  Hiring a criminal defense attorney makes this battle easier.  We’re on your side.  We don’t judge.  And we’re certainly here to help you.

Unfortunately, the charge is also serious.  It doesn’t just sound serious.  It is.  Possession of child pornography in Wisconsin is a Class D felony.  That means upon conviction you face a total prison sentence of 25 years.  That 25 years breaks down into 15 years initial confinement and 10 years extended supervision.  Additionally, courts are required to sentence defendants to at least 3 years initial confinement for each count.  Certainly this significant penalty indicates how seriously prosecutors take these cases.

Fortunately, the criminal defense attorneys at Meyer Van Severen, S.C. are just as serious.  We regularly defend individuals facing child pornography charges.  And we’ve certainly achieved numerous victories for those clients.  Prior to a modification of the law, criminal defense lawyer Matthew Meyer even convinced a judge in Fond du Lac to ignore the mandatory minimum requirement.  We’re constantly looking for creative, aggressive, intelligent ways to win your case.

Finally, don’t fight possession of child pornography charges alone.  The criminal defense lawyers at Meyer Van Severen, S.C. are certainly specialists.  We regularly defend pornography cases, sexual assault cases, and other sensitive crimes.  Let’s start fighting your case.  Call us at (414) 270-0202.


What is possession of child pornography?

Section 948.12 of the Wisconsin Statutes prohibits possession of child pornography. The crime occurs when the defendant “possesses, or accesses in any way with the intent to view, any undeveloped film, photographic negative, photograph, motion picture, videotape, or other recording of a child engaged in sexually explicit conduct under all of the following circumstances…”

Sections 948.12(1m)a – c describe the aforementioned circumstances:

  • The person knows that he or she possesses or has accessed the material; and
  • The person knows, or reasonably should know, that the material that is possessed or accessed contains depictions of sexually explicit conduct; and
  • The person knows or reasonably should know, that the child depicted in the material who is engaged in sexually explicit conduct has not attained the age of 18 years.

Certainly this crime is pretty straightforward.  Firstly, the defendant possessed some kind of recording.  The defendant knew what was on the recording.  He knew it contained sexually explicit conduct.  And he knew, or should know, that the image showed someone under 18.

But this also certainly begins to explain a way to defend the charge: how did the defendant know the subject was under 18 years old?  Certainly in some cases establishing that is relatively simple.  But it becomes a lot more difficult in other cases.  For example, what if the individual in the picture is 17 years old?  We can all tell that a 10 year old is under 18, but what happens as we move closer to that age?  Unless the government can produce the person in the picture, they may have a tough time proving the case against you.

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What are the elements of this offense?

All crimes in Wisconsin have “elements.”  An element is a part of the offense, and all elements must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt.  If the government cannot prove each element beyond a reasonable doubt, they cannot convict you of the charge.

Possession of child pornography is no exception to this rule.  Wisconsin Criminal Jury Instruction 2146A provides the jury instructions:

  • Firstly, the defendant knowingly possessed a recording, or accessed a recording in any way with intent to view it; and
  • Secondly, the recording showed a child engaged in sexually explicit conduct.
  • Thirdly, the defendant knew or reasonably should have known the recording contained depictions of a person engaged in actual or simulated explicit conduct; and
  • Finally, the defendant knew or reasonably should have known that the person shown in the recording, or depicted in the material, engaged in sexually explicit conduct was under the age of 18 years.

Possessed means the defendant knowingly had physical control of the recording.  A recording is also in a person’s possession if it is in an area over which the person has control and the person intended to exercise control over the recording.  We call this constructive possession.

child is a person under the age of 18 years.  Sexually explicit conduct  means actual or simulated sexual intercourse, bestiality, masturbation, sexual sadism or sexual masochistic abuse, or lewd exhibition of an intimate part.

How do we defend my possession of child porn case?

Defending child pornography cases effectively requires expertise in this area of law.  Generally police don’t just pull an individual over and find child pornography.  There are search warrants for email addresses, subpoenas for internet records, and lots of background investigation.  If the police screw up, it’s up to your attorney to find that mistake.  A police error may lead to suppression (exclusion) of all the evidence against you.

Frequently police will interrogate you upon arrest.  If you confess to the offense, certainly that will change the dynamic of the entire case.  That being said, there are laws and rules that law enforcement officers must follow when conducting an investigation.  For example, they must read you your Miranda rights if you’re in custody and being interrogated.  If they don’t, the statements they obtain from you may not be admissible in court.

Finally, there are more specialized motions to defeat child pornography charges.  For example, the images may have not depicted “sexually explicit conduct.”  The child may not have appeared to be under 18 years old.  Or the images may have been placed on your computer by a computer virus.  These are all issues to consider in a possession of child pornography case.


Crime scene tape over a computer keyboard for pornography
Possession of child pornography is a serious felony in Wisconsin. Hire a seasoned criminal defense attorney.

Finally, contact Meyer Van Severen and speak with a top criminal defense lawyer: (414) 270-0202

Possession of child pornography is a serious criminal offense that will send you to prison upon conviction.  Avoiding that conviction is of the utmost importance.  Our criminal defense attorneys regularly defend individuals accused of sexual crimes.  Even more frequently we defend charges involving children.

We understand that your life is on the line for this, and that the mere accusation against you is enough to hurt social and professional relationships.  We also understand that you’re facing significant penalties if you’re convicted of this offense.

Contat Meyer Van Severen, S.C. immediately at (414) 270-0202.  Let’s start fighting your case.