Recently there have been law enforcement arrests of Lexington area citizens
and charged with various levels of offenses related to child pornography.
Child pornography related charges can either be bought in State or Federal
Court (or both). When charges are brought in State Court the most common
charge is sexual exploitation of a minor.
Sexual Exploitation of a Minor – S.C. Code § 16-15-395. This is a felony that carries up to twenty
years in prison. All convictions also require lifetime registration as
1st Degree – Three - Twenty Years in Prison
2nd Degree – Two - Ten Years in Prison
3rd Degree – Up to Ten Years in Prison
Previously child pornography arrests were primarily made through police
stings, using file sharing networks. Recent arrests have been made as
a result of postings allegedly made by the defendants on social media.
These are incredibly serious criminal charges. It does not make a difference
if the defendant never made or attempted inappropriate contact with any
actual children. Simply possessing illegal images is enough for the police
to make an arrest.
The Law Office of James R. Snell, Jr., LLC, has experience in representing
defendants charged with sexually oriented offenses in the Lexington County
Court of General Sessions. There are several steps that can be taken immediately
after an arrest in order to best position the case, and the defendant,
Never overlook the possibility that the police have simply arrested the
wrong individual. Unsecured wireless computer networks can create a situation
where police can track illegal online files to the wrong address. For
example, if a neighbor or someone in a parked car can access an unsecured
network, everything that they upload or download will be tied back to
the innocent party. An expert in network and internet technologies can
help identify these sorts of issues that may be present in any given case.
In addition to being a defense attorney, James R. Snell, Jr., is also a
Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer (MCSE), and is familiar with how
technical issues can become legal issues in these cases. The MCSE was
received after Mr. Snell passed a series of examinations dealing with
computer networks, the TCP\IP protocol (which is how data is communicated
on the Internet), and operation of Windows based servers and PC’s.
We recommend that everyone charged with a child pornography offense incorporate
a psychologist into their defense team. A favorable opinion that an individual
is not a pedophile, and does not present a risk of harm to children or
other members of the community can go a long way towards reducing charges
and obtaining a lowered sentence. We can put together the psychologists,
investigators, and other resources our clients need in their case in order
to have a comprehensive defense.
Use of employment and character references can also be a significant help
in these case. At first glance prosecutors and those in authority may
assume that anyone even minimally associated with any child pornography
should be jailed for the maximum time limit possible. It is important
to document that whatever a defendant’s role may have been, it represents
simply one small aspect of their life.
It is important that anyone under accused of, placed under investigation,
or arrested for any child pornography charge never speak with the police
or consent to any searches of their home or any electronic device, until
first meeting with a defense attorney. Everything you say and do can come
back to hurt you and your case later. Cooperation with law enforcement
frequently backfires, and may result in more serious charges and harsher
If you or a loved one is under an investigation or has been charged, contact
our office for a free consultation. You will meet personally and confidentially
with James Snell. He will review your options with you and answer any
questions that you may have. He will also provide you with a guaranteed
flat-rate quote for defending your case that will include the costs of
any recommended psychologist or investigative services. If you retain
our office, and your charges are not dismissed or reduced to your satisfaction,
then we will be prepared to fully contest your case in court.