Producing Child Abuse Material Charges, Melbourne, Victoria
Producing child abuse material is a serious offence, if you have been charged, then you need to contact a lawyer. There are a lot of exceptions and defences to this trial and you really need a legally trained professional to help you examined what happened, what did not happen and how that affects the application of the law.
It is important to realise that ‘producing’ child abuse material can mean a lot of things. It can mean filming, printing, photographing, recording, writing, drawing or even photoshopping or altering an image to depict child abuse. Even photocopying material that someone else has made is defined in this charge as ‘producing’.
Exceptions to this charge can at times be made by the court if the alleged offending occurred under particular circumstances. Your lawyer may ask you if you committed the alleged offence as in good faith as part of your work, whether you were authorised to produce material involving a child in relation to work connected with the criminal justice system.
Have you been charged with producing child abuse material?
Your lawyer will want to know if the material in question is part of a publication, film or computer game that has not been classified RC (Restricted Content). Perhaps you are a child and have taken a selfie, what have you done with that image? Did you take a photo of yourself as a child being abused?
The law also provides defences to this charge, and your lawyer will want to know if the material in question was actually not produced with a child involved, but was produced for artistic reasons or for a public benefit – for example to educate students in what child abuse images look like, or a photo of an abused child for a news story. Perhaps you were no more than two years older than the alleged victim child and the act depicted was consensual. Did you take a photo of yourself but not distribute it? Were you ever in the care, supervision or authority of a child aged 16 or 17 who is the alleged victim? Perhaps you were married to the alleged victim or in a domestic relationship or thought you were married or in a domestic relationship with them.
What is not a defence is your opinion of whether or not the material produced was offensive to the reasonable person.
The prosecution must prove:
- The defendant intentionally produced material; and
- The materisl is child abuse material; and
- The defendant knew or probably knew that the material is child abuse material.
The Maximum Penalty
Level 5 imprisonment being a maximum of 10 years.
Where Will My Case Be Heard?
Producing child abuse material cases can only be heard in the County Court or Supreme Court of Victoria.
Questions to Consider
Do you have a defence in relation to the defences and exceptions mentioned above? Did you produce child abuse material at all? If you are planning to plead guilty, what can you do to try to minimise your sentence?
What to do Next?
Any criminal charge is complex, but the many circumstantial variations on what constitutes this charge means that you really need the advice of an expert to help you best sort out your defence.
If you have been charged with involving a child in the production of child abuse material, then you should call us right away to make an appointment. 03 8644 7320
Specialist Sex Offence Lawyers Melbourne
Don’t leave it to the last minute, give yourself time to prepare.
CRIMES ACT 1958 – SECT 51C
Section 51C Producing child abuse material
(1) A person (A) commits an offence if—
(a) A intentionally produces material; and
(b) the material is child abuse material; and
(c) A knows that the material is, or probably is, child abuse material.
(2) A person who commits an offence against subsection (1) is liable to level 5 imprisonment (10 years maximum).
(3) For the purposes of subsection (1), the ways in which material is produced may include—
(a) filming, printing, photographing, recording, writing, drawing or otherwise generating material; or
(b) altering or manipulating material; or
(c) reproducing or copying material.
1 Exceptions apply to this offence—see sections 51J, 51K and 51M.
2 Defences apply to this offence—see sections 51L, 51N, 51O, 51P, 51Q and 51R.
3 A mistaken but honest and reasonable belief that reasonable persons would not regard the child abuse material as offensive is not a defence to this offence—see section 51U.