FIRST OFFENDER? DEFEND CHILD PORNOGRAPHY CHARGES IN BRANTFORD.  416-DEFENCE.

The Brantford Superior Courthouse is located at 70 Wellington Street in Brantford Ontario and can be reached at (519) 752-7828. The Crown Attorney’s office for the Superior Court of Justice can be reached at (519) 752-7828.

The Ontario Court of Justice in Brantford is located at 44 Queen Street West in Brantford Ontario and can be reached at (519) 758-3460. The Crown Attorney’s office for the Ontario Court of Justice can be reached at (519) 758-3480.

Donich Law has experience defending those charged with child pornography offences in Brantford and across Ontario. In many cases, our clients have no criminal records and are otherwise law-abiding citizens. We have experience defending those charged in relation to activity on the Darknet, those who have attempted to share child pornography material using anonymous file sharing software and those using a Tor Browser or other private networks to avoid detection.

In many cases, authorities from other jurisdictions and even other countries detect users inside Canada accessing or sharing child pornography material. The foreign authority will then notify Canadian authorities who will launch an investigation into the matter. In most cases, police will serve warrants on telecommunication companies inside Canada to gain access to the accused’s data. If search of the data indicates that the accused has accessed or shared child pornography material, police will execute search warrants on the accused’s residence, confiscating any electronic devices they find. If child pornography material is located on the devices, the accused will be placed under arrest and charged.

In 2016, two local Brantford men were among 80 people arrested and charged in an Ontario-wide child pornography investigation involving the Ontario Provincial Police, the Brantford Police Department, and other local police departments.

In 2017, the Firm defended a client charged with distribution of child pornography and possession of child pornography. The Ontario Provincial Police Internet Child Exploitation Unit received information from the FBI and National Child Exploitation Crime Center in the United States about a user in Ontario. The Firm litigated the case for some time before securing the withdrawal of both charges.

In 2020, the Firm defended a client charged with distribution of child pornography. The client was arrested after Canadian authorities were contacted by law enforcement agencies in Europe and the United States who had detected a user in Southern Ontario sharing child pornography material. The Firm was able to secure a withdrawal for the client, resolving the matter through Crown negotiations.

Global News: Can an airline tell you to stop recording and delete a cellphone video?

Métro Montréal: Avec le temps chaud, il n’y a pas que le mercure qui grimpe: le nombre de cas de voyeurisme aussi.

CityNews: As the temperatures outside get warmer, police say the reported number of cases of voyeurism tend to rise.

VICE News: An Image Site is Victimizing Women and Little Can be Done.

Legal Information

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Definition of Child Pornography?
Are there Different Chld Pornography Offences?
-Accessing Child Pornography
-Possession of Child Pornography
-Making Child Pornography
-Distribution of Child Pornography
How to Defend Child Pornography in Brantford?
-Public Good
-Private Use
-Innocent Possession
-Charter Challenges
What are the Sentences for those Convicted of Child Pornography Offences?
What is a SOIRA Order?

Additional Resources

Assault
Assaulting a Peace Officer
Child Pornography Forensics
Children’s Aid Society
Sexual Assault Law in Canada
Consequences of a Criminal Record
Domestic Abuse
First Offenders
Immigration Consequences
Keeping Charges Private
Travel & US Waivers
Vulnerable Sector Screening
Elements of a Crime
Your Rights

What is the Definition of Child Pornography?

Section 163.1(1) of the Criminal Code provides a detailed definition of child pornography material. The Code states that child pornography includes the following:

  • Any video, film, photograph, or other visual representation, whether or not it was created by electronic means,
    • That shows a person who is younger than eighteen years or who is depicted as being younger than eighteen years and is engaged in sexual activity, or
    • Where the dominant characteristic of which is the depiction, for a sexual purpose, of the anal region or a sexual organ of a person younger than eighteen years, or
  • Any audio recording, visual recording or written material that advocates or counsels sexual activity with a person who is younger than eighteen years, that would be considered a crime under the Criminal Code, or
  • Any audio recording whose dominant characteristic is the representation, presentation, or description, for a sexual purpose, of any sexual activity with a person who is younger than eighteen years, that would be considered a crime under the Criminal Code, or
  • Any written material whose dominant characteristic is the description, for a sexual purpose, of any sexual activity with a person who is younger than eighteen years, that would be considered a crime under the Criminal Code.

Are there Different Child Pornography Offences?

Yes. There are four different child pornography offences listed in section 163.1 of the Criminal Code including accessing child pornography, possession of child pornography, making child pornography and distributing child pornography.

Accessing Child Pornography

The offence of accessing child pornography is outlined in section 163.1(4.1) of the Criminal Code. The Code states that an individual is guilty of the offence of accessing child pornography when they access child pornography in any way. This means if an individual looks at child pornography online, they have committed an offence.

Possession of Child Pornography

Possession of child pornography is outlined in section 163.1(4) of the Criminal Code. The Code states that an individual is guilty of the offence of possession of child pornography when they have in their possession any material outlined in section 163.1(1) of the Criminal Code. An individual is in possession of child pornography when they download or save child pornography material to an electronic device. An individual can also be in possession of child pornography if they have drawings or other written material that are considered child pornography under section 163.1(1) of the Code.

Making Child Pornography

Making child pornography is outlined in section 163.1(2) of the Criminal Code. The Code states that an individual has made child pornography when they publish, print, or possess for the purposes of publication any material that can be considered child pornography under section 163.1(1) of the Code.

Distribution Child Pornography

Distribution of child pornography is outlined in section 163.1(3) of the Criminal Code. The Code states that an individual has distributed child pornography when they advertise, sell, transmit, make available, import or export or possess for the purpose of transmission, making available, advertising, sale, distribution or exportation.

How to Defend Child Pornography Charges in Brantford?

When defending an individual charged with a child pornography offence there is a lot at stake. Those who are convicted of such offences are almost always sentenced to a period of incarceration and will be forced to register as sex offenders. Both consequences can have an immense impact on an individual’s life.

Depending on the facts of the case and the allegations being made, those charged with child pornography offences may use one of three defences. These defences include public good, private use and innocent possession.

Public Good

The defence of public good may be used in situations where an accused was accessing or in possession of child pornography material for some legitimate purpose related to the administration of justice. For an individual to successfully use this defence they must demonstrate to the Court that the material did not cause undue risk of harm to a person under the age of seventeen years old.

Private Use

The defence of private use may be used in situations where the child pornography material was created for private use, by the individual depicted in the material and in possession of the material, and where the sexual activity depicted in the material is lawful. This defence creates an exemption for young people who possess intimate images of themselves that they have created for their own personal use.

Innocent Possession

The defence of innocent possession may be used in situations where an individual possesses child pornography material for an innocent purpose. For example, an individual who possesses child pornography for the purpose of surrendering the material to law enforcement or destroying it.

Charter Challenges

Child pornography charges can be particularly difficult to defend because of the technical evidence often collected against those who are charged. As a result, in many cases the three defences outlined above will not be applicable.

As a result, Charter challenges may be the only line of defence for an accused. Law enforcement agencies must have authorized search warrants to monitor or access a specific internet user’s online activity. If these warrants are not properly authorized or do not exist, the accused’s Charter rights have been violated and they are entitled to a remedy. This remedy is generally to have the evidence excluded. In some cases, having this evidence excluded will result in the Crown’s case falling apart and the charges against the accused being dropped.

Charter challenges are complicated and difficult to launch. As a result, it is important to contact and consult with qualified legal counsel prior to advancing any such argument. Donich Law has experience launching a variety of Charter challenges in cases where an individual has been accused of child pornography offences.

What are the Sentences for those Convicted of Child Pornography Offences?

Child pornography offences are among the most serious offences an individual can be convicted of in Canada. This is reflected in the penalties that are associated with child pornography offence convictions. The sentence that will be imposed on an in individual convicted of a child pornography offence will depend on a number of factors.

When selecting an appropriate sentence for an accused the Court will consider the offence charged, the nature and severity of the allegations, the type and amount of child pornography material, the accused’s criminal history and any other factors the Court deems relevant.

Those charged with making child pornography will face a maximum of fourteen years in prison and a minimum of one year in prison. Those charged with distributing child pornography will face a maximum of fourteen years in prison and a minimum of one year in prison.

Those who are charged with possession of child pornography will face a maximum of ten years in prison and a minimum of one year in prison where the Crown proceeds by indictment and a maximum of two years less a day in prison and a minimum of six months in prison where the Crown proceeds summarily. Finally, those charged with accessing child pornography will face a maximum of ten years in prison and a minimum of one year in prison where the Crown proceeds by indictment and a maximum of two years less a day in prison and a minimum of six months in prison where the Crown proceeds summarily.

What is a SOIRA Order?

In addition to the period of incarceration an accused will face once convicted of a child pornography offence, they will also be required to register as a sex offender. Upon conviction of a designated sexual offence, an offender will be issued a SOIRA order by the Court. This order requires that the offender register as a sex offender under the Sex Offender Information Registration Act.

All four child pornography offences are considered designated sexual offences. As a result, everyone who is convicted of a child pornography offence will be issued a SOIRA order upon conviction and required to register as a sex offender for ten years, twenty years or life.

Quick Facts

What is the Difference Between Possession of Child Pornography and Accessing Child Pornography?

An individual has committed the offence of accessing child pornography when they view or access child pornography material. This would include viewing child pornography online. An individual is guilty of possession of child pornography when they have in their possession child pornography. This would include situations where an individual downloads child pornography material onto an electronic device.

What is Making Child Pornography?

An individual is guilty of making child pornography when they publish, print, make, or possess for the purpose of publication any child pornography material.

What is Distributing Child Pornography?

An individual is guilty of distributing child pornography when they make available, transmit, distribute, advertise, sell, import, export or possess for the purpose of transmission, making available, distribution, sale, advertising, importing, or exporting child pornography material.

Will I be a Registered Sex Offender?

Yes. Child pornography offences are designated sexual offences. Those who are convicted of a designated sexual offence will be issued a mandatory SOIRA order during sentencing, requiring them to register as a sex offender.

How Long will I be Required to Register as a Sex Offender?

Individuals who have been issued a SOIRA order will be required to register as a sex offender for a period of ten years, twenty years, or life. The duration will be determined by the Court.

Will I go to Jail if I am Convicted?

Yes. All child pornography offences in Canada currently carry mandatory minimum prison sentences. These mandatory minimum sentences range from six months to one year. This means that virtually all offenders convicted of a child pornography offence will be sentenced to at least six months in prison.

How Long Will I go to Jail?

The length of incarceration may vary significantly from one offender to the next and will depend on several factors. These factors include the offender’s criminal history, the nature of the child pornography material, the amount of child pornography and any other aggravating or mitigating factors. Prison sentences for those who are convicted of child pornography offences range from six months in prison to fourteen years in prison.

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