What are Indecent Images charges?

With the huge use of social media and internet sharing sites, Indecent Image offences are becoming more and more prevalent. It may be the case that a person uses a shared computer or accidentally accesses something they did not intend to.

A person can be charged with either possession, distribution or making indecent images.

Possession of indecent images is the act of keeping pictures or photographs of a criminal nature in your home, on your person or on an electronic device that has been made without the consent of the subject.

Distribution can be as simple as downloading an indecent image. This  will amount to “making” for the purpose of the offence, rather than simply possession. The reasoning for this is that a download will “make” the image on the device it is downloaded to.

Often a crucial factor in cases of this nature is knowledge of having the indecent images on any device. Sometimes this may be argued in cases where the device is shared, for example. It is important to realise that not having knowledge, however, does not necessarily mean you will be found not guilty. Equally, being aware of the image does not in and of itself mean guilt.

Cases of this nature are particularly serious and sensitive when the image is of a child under 18. Additionally, the Court will take into account the reasons for possession of the image and the intentions.

What are the Sentencing Guidelines for indecent images charges?

The length of the sentence will depend on:

  • Category A indecent images– including penetrative activity, subjects of sadism or sexual activity with animals.
  • Category B indecent images – any non penetrative sexual activity.
  • Category C indecent images – this covers “erotic posing” where the creator appears to be concentrating on sexual organs.

What should you do if you've been charged for Possession of Indecent images

If you or a family member are accused of possessing indecent images, you should seek legal advice immediately. It is vital that you receive the best advice possible and provide as much detail of the facts of your case as you can to ensure the right result for you.

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