Use of carriage service for child pornography material

What is the offence of use carriage service for child pornography?

The offence of Use of carriage service for child pornography material is found at section 474.19 and 474.22 of the Commonwealth Criminal Code 1995.

If you are charged with the offence of Use of carriage service for child pornography 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 Use of carriage service for child pornography material if the police cannot prove beyond reasonable doubt:

  1. You intentionally:
    1. Access material; or
    2. Cause material to be transmitted to yourself; or
    3. Transmit, make available, publish, distribute, advertise or promote material; or
    4. Solicit material.
  2. You do so using a carriage service (electronic device capable of communication); and
  3. The material is child pornography or child abuse material.

To commit this offence you must intend to deal with the child abuse material. If you prove that you did not know or could not reasonably be expected to have known that you committed the offence then you are likely to be acquitted. If you can establish that the child pornography material came into your possession unsolicited and as soon as you became aware of it, you took reasonable steps to get rid of it then you are likely to be acquitted.

Child pornography material means material that depicts or describes a person, or a representation of a person who is (or appears to be) under 18 years of age and who is engaged in or appears to be engaged in a sexual pose or sexual activity or is in the presence of a person who is engaged in or appears to be engaged in a sexual pose or sexual activity, and does this in a way that reasonable persons would regard as being offensive; or material the dominant characteristic of which is the depiction or description for a sexual purpose of a sexual organ or the anal region of a person who is (or appears to be) under 18 years of age in a way that reasonable persons would regard as being offensive.

Child abuse material means material that depicts or describes a person, or a representation of a person who is (or appears to be) under 18 years of age and is or appears to be a victim of torture, cruelty or physical abuse, and does this in a way that reasonable persons would regard as being offensive.

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

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 Use of carriage service for child pornography 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 Use of carriage service for child pornography 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 Use of carriage service for child pornography material carries a maximum penalty of 15 years imprisonment in the District Court. However, this penalty is typically reserved for the worst offenders. Use of carriage service for child pornography material is an extremely serious offence. If you are charged with Use of carriage service for child pornography 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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