Call Us 03 9670 5111

Possession of child pornography

Possession of child pornography is an extremely serious charge for which more and more people are being charged. An easy access to child pornography through the internet and file-sharing software that moves folders from one computer to another have made it a law that is easy to fall foul of.

The maximum penalty applies for each charge. Often there are multiple charges depending on when and where the pornography is downloaded onto a computer or whether it is stored to an external hard drive.

The maximum penalty does not mean that a person will receive that punishment on being found guilty. The maximum is reserved for the worst example of the charge.

People charged in Child porn cases are typically people who have never been before the Courts previously and lead otherwise good lives. The key to explaining this conduct to the Court, on a plea of guilty, is by providing detailed reports from a forensic psychologist to explain the conduct. An explanation is not an excuse but often there are underlying reasons for compulsions that help a Magistrate or Judge understand it more clearly.

Child porn possession is a charge that often involves the AFP as there are Commonwealth criminal offences relating specifically to child pornography.

The seriousness of the offending is determined, in part, by the number of images and the categories of pornography.

This offence can be heard in the Magistrates Court or County Court and that depends on the volume of images and who is prosecuting your case.

There are defences to child porn case such as factual disputes about how the images ended up on computers and whether in fact the images are pornographic.

Deciding on whether to plead guilty or not has huge consequences for you and should be made after proper discussion with a criminal lawyer.

The section that covers this offence is section 70 of the Crimes Act.


Further information on Possession of child pornography

Possible Defences

In a case of Possession of child pornography, the following defences may be applicable to the charge:

  • Lack of Intent
  • Factual Dispute and Concept of Beyond Reasonable Doubt


What penalties can be imposed for a charge of Possession of child pornography?

  • Deferral of Sentencing
  • Diversion
  • Without Conviction Order
  • Adjournment of the Charges on Undertaking (Good Behaviour Bond)
  • Fine
  • Community Corrections Order
  • Suspended Prison Sentence
  • Term of Imprisonment


What is the legislation for the charge of Possession of child pornography?

The legislation for this offence can be found on section 70 of Crimes Act 1958.

Case Studies

Media Articles

Further Info


Need further legal advice on this charge?
Contact one of our barristers specialising in cases of Possession of Child Pornography, Bill Doogue.