FIRST OFFENDER? DEFEND CHILD PORNOGRAPHY CHARGES IN DURHAM AND COBOURG. 416-DEFENCE.
Donich Law is one of the few Firms to have defended international child pornography charges. The Firm’s results have been guilt on its background in cybersecurity. If you are arrested, you can expect to be placed on specific prohibition orders restricting your contact with children. It’s also important to get a publication ban quickly to protect your reputation.
As sexual offences involving children, child pornography offences are some of the most serious offences a person can be charged with in Oshawa, Ajax, and Bowmanville. A child pornography charge will result in serious legal penalties including jail time and can negatively affect an individual’s mental health, reputation, ability to travel, employment, and relationships. For these reasons, it is crucial for anyone charged with a child pornography offence to hire experienced counsel as soon as possible. Our Firm has successfully defended people in Oshawa, Ajax, and Bowmanville who have been charged with child pornography offences and can assist you as well.
Donich Law represented one of seven individuals around the world accused of possessing, accessing, and disseminating child pornography together in R. v. E.Z. . This defendant had already been found guilty of possessing child pornography once before, and the Crown was pushing for a lengthy prison sentence. However, after identifying a crucial mistake in the information law enforcement officers had relied upon to obtain a search warrant, counsel pursued sections 8 and 11(b) Charter challenges and succeeded in having most of the charges dropped.
Donich Law defended a client in Brampton charged with sending child pornography to someone in Europe in R. v. M.C . After dealing with law enforcement representatives from Canada, Europe, and the United States, counsel succeeded in getting the charges dropped.
In 2022, Donich Law successfully defended a youth offender charged with two counts of child pornography in R. v. S.P. , after allegedly downloading child pornography material. Law enforcement became aware of the activity after a well known social media website alerted them to the activity. The Firm ultimately secured a withdrawal of one count and a discharge on the other count after more than two years of negotiations.
Donich Law also handled R. v. H.H. , a case involving several offenders from Ontario and the United States and cooperation from Homeland Security, Toronto Police, and Cloud storage providers in New Zealand.
After conducting a forensic analysis of the evidence and examining the search warrant and production warrant, Donich Law successfully negotiated a withdrawal of the two counts of possessing child pornography the accused in R. v. M.O .
In R. v. J.M. , Donich Law used forensic information to put forward the rare defence of unintentional download and succeeded in getting a possession of child pornography charge dropped.
Donich Law obtained the dismissal of several charges of manufacturing child pornography, possessing child pornography, and voyeurism in the 2020 case of R. v. A.B.  after forensic analysis proved that the accused could not have produced the child pornography found.
Donich Law successfully represented a client who was caught distributing and downloading child pornography anonymously via file-sharing software in the 2019 case of R. v. J.T. .
Donich Law also successfully contested and overturned a bail condition in R. v. A.E.  that barred the client from seeing their child without prior approval from the Children’s Aid Society.
Donich Law has been involved in some of the biggest child pornography busts in the province and has extensive experience successfully resolving child pornography cases for their clients. Counsel works closely with forensic experts and conducts extensive analysis of digital files to find the best defences available to their clients.
Click here for more information on new changes to child sex offence sentencing and for more information on other consequences associated with a child pornography conviction. For more details on the laws about reporting child pornography and new changes to sex offence laws in 2021 click on the links above.
Having a complete understanding of the Elements of the Criminal Offence, Your Rights and the Consequences associated with a Criminal Record is necessary before any legal decisions are made.
CBC Radio: International Crime and Cyber Attacks.
Toronto Star: Pornhub and Revenge Porn.
Toronto Star: New Corporate Liability for Child Pornography in Canada.
Toronto Star: Police Power and Social Media Companies.
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.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are Common Bail Conditions for Child Pornography?
What are Aggravating Factors for Child Pornography Offences?
How Do I Defend Child Pornography Charges?
What Charter Defences Can I use to Defend Child Ponography?
Assaulting a Peace Officer
Sexual Assault Law in Canada
Consequences of a Criminal Record
Keeping Charges Private
Travel & US Waivers
Vulnerable Sector Screening
Elements of a Crime
What are Common Bail Conditions for People Charged with Child Pornography Offences?
An individual charged with a child pornography offence may be released from custody pending their trial but will very likely be subjected to strict bail conditions. They will likely be prevented from going to places where children are known to be, such as schools, daycares, swimming pools, community centres, parks, and playgrounds. They will also likely be unable to have any unsupervised contact with children or to privately telecommunicate with any children. They may also be ordered to stay off the internet unless they are using it for work or are being supervised by another person. They may be prohibited from possessing any electronic device capable of accessing the internet or storing a digital image. They may not be able to leave their home unsupervised or at certain times of the day and may not be allowed to travel outside of Ontario. They may also be required to attend counselling, and to refrain from using drugs or alcohol.
To ensure these conditions are met, the accused may have to reside with a surety. A surety is an individual who agrees to be responsible for the accused, and who will have to pay a sum of money to the court if the accused contravenes any of their bail conditions. An accused or their surety may also have to pay a cash deposit to the courts to secure the accused’s release, and if the accused does not breach any of their bail conditions, this deposit will be returned to them. Cash deposits are rare and only imposed where there are significant concerns that the accused will not abide by their conditions of release.
What are Aggravating Factors for Child Pornography Offences?
Aggravating factors are circumstances of the accused’s case that will increase the severity of their sentence. Some aggravating factors that could be present in any case include the accused having a lengthy criminal history, the accused having done extensive harm to the complainant, or the accused having a long relationship of trust or authority with the complainant. For child pornography offences, the court may also consider the following factors to be aggravating factors:
- The content depicted in the child pornography is particularly explicit, graphic or violent, and involves real children as opposed to adults pretending to be children or drawings of children.
- There is a significant amount of child pornography found as opposed to one or two images.
- The content was widely distributed as opposed to only being shared with one or two persons.
- The content was created, published, or distributed with a view to make profit.
How Do I Defend a Child Pornography Charge?
Counsel at Donich Law has successfully utilized several defences in child pornography cases. The Firm analyses police investigation protocols, search warrant procedures, and will work with forensic analysts to examine forensic reports of evidence to determine which defences will work best in each case.
One possible defence to viewing or making child pornography is to argue that you genuinely thought you were looking at or producing legal pornography. If an accused genuinely believed that they were looking at was not child pornography and even took reasonable steps to check and make sure it was not before viewing it, they may have a defence to a charge of accessing child pornography. If an accused believed that they were making pornography with of age actors and took reasonable steps to ascertain the true age of these actors, the accused may have a defence to a charge of making child pornography.
Two common defences are the public good defence and the innocent possession defence. The public good defence can be used where the materials are accessed, possessed, shared, or produced for a legitimate purpose related to the administration of justice or science, medicine, education, or art. The materials must also not risk harming anyone under the age of 17. The innocent possession defence can be used to fight a charge of possession of child pornography where the accused can show that they possessed the material with the intention to destroy the pornographic materials or hand them over to law enforcement.
Another defence is that of private use, which was designed to prevent minors who take nude images of themselves from receiving child pornography charges. This defence requires the material was created for private use by the person in possession of the material, and that depicts the person in possession of the material engaged in lawful sexual activity.
What Charter Defences can I use to Defend Child Pornography Charges?
An accused can bring a Charter challenge when police officers or Crown attorneys violate any of their rights and freedoms as guaranteed under the Charter during the investigation and prosecution. If a Charter challenge is successful, all charges against the accused could be stayed by the court to compensate for the violation, or important evidence could be excluded. One of the many Charter challenges available to accused persons charged with child pornography offences concerns unreasonable delay.
Where the Crown is being extremely slow to release disclosure despite the accused’s persistent efforts to obtain it, or where the Crown continuously postpones meeting or trial dates despite the accused being ready to proceed, the accused may be able to present a section 11(b) Charter challenge. This challenge can be brought where there is an unreasonable delay in bringing the accused to trial. In the Ontario Court of Justice, anything over 18 months is considered unreasonable. In the Superior Court of Justice, anything over 32 months is considered unreasonable. The delay must be solely attributed to the Crown and/or court. A successful 11(b) challenge can result in the accused’s case being stayed, regardless of the severity of the charges.
Will I go to Jail if Convicted of Child Pornography?
As the mandatory minimum sentence for all child pornography offences is a six-month jail sentence, those convicted of a child pornography offence will likely have to spend at least that much time in jail. However, sentences may vary significantly from case to case.
Can I ever Work as a Teacher if Convicted of a Child Pornography Offence?
In Ontario, under the Ontario College of Teachers Act, a teacher will have their teaching certificate revoked if they have been found guilty of a child pornography offence. Further, as part of a new initiative by the Ontario College of Teachers, individuals convicted of a child pornography offence are very likely to receive a lifetime ban from the profession.
Do Child Pornography Charges Ever Get Dropped?
Child pornography charges very rarely get dropped as that requires permission from the Deputy Crown. Child pornography offences are generally in the public interest to prosecute. Where the accused has a strong defence, there is always a potential for the charges to be dropped.
What if the Pornography has been Deleted?
Law enforcement officials are still able to charge individuals with child pornography offences if the pornography has been deleted and will often use software to recover files that have been hidden or deleted. However, deleting pornography is a mitigating factor and can reduce the sentence received.
What if I Thought I was Sharing Legal Pornography?
If the accused intended to share the pornography, and the pornography is child pornography, then they could still be convicted of sharing child pornography even though the accused thought it was legal pornography.