Cell phones are not just for making calls. Baton Rouge residents use their handheld devices to search the Internet, find driving directions, make dining reservations, send emails and quite often take pictures. The high resolution of many phone cameras makes them a good option for people who do not wish to carry separate cameras so that they may capture the special moments in their lives. And thanks in part to the ubiquity of cell phone cameras, individuals across the nation have begun taking “selfies” at an incredible rate.
A selfie is a self-portrait, and individuals of all ages snap these shots when they are with friends and family, visiting famous sites or simply on their own and playing with their phone cameras. Many selfies are harmless images of individuals enjoying life or catching exciting events as digital images. However, some selfies lack this innocence and can lead to felony charges if they are found in someone’s possession.
Selfies of children that depict nudity or that depict children in sexual situations may be considered child pornography and their possession by an individual may serve as the basis of their arrest on federal child pornography charges. An individual caught in this difficult legal situation may also find themselves facing state child pornography charges as well as felony charges, which can add to their potential punishments if they are convicted.
As the law changes to address the speed at which digital images can be shared through texting, emails and social media, individuals may find themselves in legal battles over how they acquired potentially offending images and whether their possession of them meet the criteria for conviction on child pornography charges. Although readers of this Louisiana criminal defense blog are encouraged to use the information contained herein as a starting point to learn more about this topic, individuals should consult with their own criminal defense attorneys to address questions about their particular legal situations.