Possession of child pornography (state offence)

What is possession of child pornography?

The offence of Production, Dissemination or Possession of Child Abuse Material is found at section 91H of the Crimes Act 1900.

If you are charged with the offence of Production, Dissemination or Possession of Child Abuse Material, your options will normally be to plead guilty or not guilty.

Pleading not guilty

You will be found not guilty of the offence of Production, Dissemination or Possession of Child Abuse Material if the police cannot prove beyond reasonable doubt you produced, disseminated or possessed child abuse material.

Child abuse material means material that depicts or describes – in a way that reasonable persons would regard as being offensive – a person who is, appears to be or is implied to be, a child as a victim of torture, cruelty or physical abuse; or a person who is, appears to be or is implied to be, a child engaged in or apparently engaged in a sexual pose or sexual activity (whether or not in the presence of other persons); or a person who is, appears to be or is implied to be, a child in the presence of another person who is engaged or apparently engaged in a sexual pose or sexual activity; or the private parts of a person who is, appears to be or is implied to be, a child.

Disseminate child abuse material, includes send, supply, exhibit, transmit or communicate it to another person, or make it available for access by another person, or enter into any agreement or arrangement to do so.

Possess child abuse material includes, in relation to material in the form of data, being in possession or control of data.

Produce child abuse material includes film, photograph, print or otherwise make child abuse material, or alter or manipulate any image for the purpose of making child abuse material, or enter into any agreement or arrangement to do so.

If any of the above elements cannot be proven beyond reasonable doubt, then you will be found not guilty of the offence.

If the above elements can be proven beyond reasonable doubt, you will still be found not guilty if you prove that you did not know or could not reasonably be expected to have known that you possessed, disseminated or produced child abuse material. For an offence involving possession, it is a defence if you can establish that the child abuse material came into your possession unsolicited and as soon as you became aware of it, you took reasonable steps to get rid of it.

Contact our offices in Sydney, Parramatta, Blacktown or Redfern to organise a time for one of our criminal lawyers to advise you of your prospects of successfully defending the charge of Production, Dissemination or Possession of Child Abuse Material.

Pleading guilty

If you agree that you have committed the offence (and the police are able to prove so), it is best to plead guilty as you will normally receive a discount on sentence and it will demonstrate remorse and contrition. Alternatively, it may be the case that one of our experienced solicitors can negotiate with prosecutors for you to plead guilty to less serious facts or even a less serious charge.

When someone is sentenced for Production, Dissemination or Possession of Child Abuse Material, a court will consider the number of images, circumstances in which they were obtained and where the images fall on a scale used to grade the depravity of the images (the more deprave the depiction, the higher the gravity of the offence because the child in them has suffered greater. For example compare the harm caused by a naked photo of a child to the harm caused to a child engaged in a sexual act).

The offence of Production, Dissemination or Possession of Child Abuse Material carries a maximum penalty of 2 years imprisonment in the Local Court and 10 years imprisonment in the District Court. However, these penalties are typically reserved for the worst offenders. Production, Dissemination or Possession of Child Abuse Material is an extremely serious offence but one in which offenders are often sentenced to penalties other than full time imprisonment. If you are charged with Production, Dissemination or Possession of Child Abuse Material you should contact our office immediately.

Penalties that a court can impose in NSW are:

Why choose AC Law Group?

Our solicitors are experts at obtaining the best outcome possible for sex offences. For these offences, a good lawyer can be the difference between freedom or gaol. To read more about AC Law Group, click here.

To discuss your sex charge, call AC Law Group at our Sydney, Parramatta, Blacktown and Redfern offices or make a website inquiry today.

Case Study

Our client was charged with use carriage service for child pornography and possess child pornography. We argued that whilst  child pornography was on his computer, it had been downloaded inadvertently with a bulk amount of adult porn. We argued that our client had so much adult pornography that he had negligently failed to delete the child pornography he had downloaded by mistake. The Magustrate accepted that whilst our client failed in his duty to remove the child pornography, it could not be proven he received sexual gratification from it. The magistrate held whilst normally these offences required a gaol sentence, the peculiar facts in this case meant he could deal with it by a good behaviour bond.

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