Offences involving child exploitation material are very serious and usually result in a term of imprisonment. This is why it is important to obtain legal advice from a criminal lawyer if you have been charged or accused of this offence.
Determining the Nature of the Child Exploitation Material
The most common charges relating to child exploitation material include possession and distribution. If you are charged with either distributing or possessing child exploitation material, you are liable to a maximum of 14 years imprisonment. However, if you use an anonymising service, that maximum penalty is increased to 20 years imprisonment.
While the court is not required to impose the maximum term of imprisonment, it is an important consideration. Other considerations the court will look at include factors contained in the Penalties and Sentences Act 1992, specifically section 9(7). This section requires the court to consider the quantity and nature of the material.
Two Important Considerations
In assessing the quantity of child exploitation material, the court will rely upon a forensic report which counts the number of images and videos. This report will also categorise the nature of the material, which is done using the “Oliver scale“.
The most important of these considerations is the nature of the material. In the matter of R v Vantoosten, the Court of Appeal held that the nature of the material is more determinative on sentence than quantity.
Our firm recently represented a mature aged person who was charged with possessing child exploitation material, having in his possession more than 35,000 images. This was one of the first cases in Queensland where a mature aged person did not receive actual imprisonment.
We were successful for a number of reasons. The most important being that the nature of these images were classified as low level and related to a one off download. Our firm was involved with the client from the beginning, whereby we had case managed his matter from the Magistrates Court through to sentencing in the District Court.
Free Case Assessment
Brisbane Criminal Lawyers has assisted people who have been charged with offences involving child exploitation material. If you have been charged with this offence or one of a similar nature, we recommend obtaining a free case assessment. During which time, we will make specific recommendations based on your charge.
To organise this free case assessment, call us on 1800 200 357.