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Child Pornography Conviction In Bowmanville, Courtice and Newcastle

A 288% increase in child pornography charges from 2010 with 6,521 police reported in 2017.[1] As the number of incidents reported has steadily continues to rise along with public interest in protecting those most vulnerable among us in society, recent changes in the law aimed to increase deterrence see harsher mandatory minimums and maximums for sentencing. Not only does a conviction lead to consequences in the legal system, media coverage and public opinion can affect you for the rest of your life. If you have been charged with a child pornography offence in Bowmanville, Courtice or Newcastle, your first step should be retaining a criminal defence lawyer who will defend your rights.

Custodial Sentences

As of 2015, making and distributing child pornography is now prosecuted by indictment only with a minimum of one year imprisonment up to a maximum of 14 years.[2] The offences of possessing and accessing child pornography are punishable summarily for a minimum of 6 months imprisonment up to a maximum of two years less a day. If indicted, the minimum is one year with a maximum term of 10 years.[3] Aggravating and mitigating factors will impact the length of the sentence.

Order of Prohibition

In addition to a custodial sentence, a common ancillary order that the courts may impose an order of prohibition pursuant to section 161 of the Criminal Code. The first may be an order prohibiting attendance at places where children under the age of 16 are present or likely to be present such as public swimming pools, schools, daycares or playgrounds.[4] The order may also stipulate prohibition from continuing of seeking employment or volunteer work that would place the convicted party in a position of trust or authority over children under the age of 16.[5] There may also include a provision that prohibits any contact or communication by any means with a person who is under the age of 16.[6] Finally, the court may also prohibit the use of the internet under specific conditions. They may place bans on using certain social media and peer to peer file sharing site such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LimeWire.

National Sex Offenders Registry

People convicted of a child pornography offence may be required to register with the National Sex Offenders Registry in accordance with the Sex Offender Information Registration Act 2004. Those who register are required to provide, among other things:

  1. their full name and every alias that they use;
  2. their date of birth and gender;
  3. the address of their main residence and every secondary residence;
  4. their place of employment;
  5. any telephone numbers at which they may be reached;
  6. their height and weight and a description of any physically distinguishing marks that they have (tattoos, birthmarks etc.)

Those on the registry are required to notify the police of any change in address or if they plan on leaving the country for more than 7 days. The registry is not available to the public. Access is only given to police services in order to effectively prevent and respond to crimes of a sexual nature.[7]

Other Ancillary Orders

In addition to an order of prohibition, there are a number of ancillary orders that the courts may also impose. Depending on the nature of the offences, a DNA Order pursuant to s. 485.051 of the Code, requires the convicted party to provide a sample of their DNA. This is to ensure that the “public interest in the protection of society and the proper administration of justice, [can] be achieved through the early detection, arrest and conviction of offenders.”[8]

An Order of Forfeiture pursuant to s. 164.2(1) of the Code, forfeit items if the court is satisfied that the item was used in the commission of the offence and is the property of the convicted person.[9] For example, the defendant in R. v. M.S. was ordered to forfeit the phone he used to take pictures and videos of his daughter.[10]

How We Can Help

If you have been charged with a child pornography offence in Bowmanville, Courtice or Newcastle let our team of dedicated and professional lawyers fight for you.


Footnotes

[1] Statistics Canada. 2019. Sexual Violations against Children and Child Pornography. https://www.justice.gc.ca/

[2] Section 163.1 (2-3) Criminal Code.

[3] Section 163.1 (4-4.1) Criminal Code.

[4] Section 161(1)(a) Criminal Code.

[5] Section 161(1)(b) Criminal Code.

[6] Section 161(1)(c) Criminal Code.

[7] Sex Offender Information Registration Act 2004 (2)

[8] R. v. M.S., 2017 ONCJ 479 para 73.

[9] Section 164.2(1) Criminal Code.

[10] R. v. M.S., 2017 ONCJ 479 para 70.

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