Possessing Child Exploitation Material
What the law says
Sections 228D of the Criminal Code Queensland states:
A person who knowingly possesses child exploitation material commits a crime
What the police must prove
In order for the Police to prove their case at Court, they must prove each of the following matters beyond a reasonable doubt.
- The accused possessed child exploitation material. Possession involves custody or control of the thing and /or right to obtain custody or control of the thing.
- The accused knowingly possessed the material. It is necessary for the prosecution to prove a guilty knowledge of having possession of the offending material as an essential element of the offence.
It will be necessary for the Police in every offence to prove that the accused was the person who committed the offence. Click here to learn more about identification evidence.
The Maximum penalty for the offence of Possessing child exploitation material is 5 years imprisonment.
Which court will hear the matter
This matter is indictable which means it is dealt with in the District Court.
Possible defences to this offence include but are not limited to
- The accused engaged in the conduct that is alleged to constitute the offence for genuine artistic, educational, legal, medical. Scientific or public benefit purpose; and the person's conduct was, in the circumstances, reasonable for that purpose.
- A classification exemption had been given to an entity for the material that is alleged to be child exploitation material; and the person engaged in the conduct that is alleged to constitute the offence for the purpose for which the exemption was given; and in a way that is consistent with the exemption, including any conditions imposed on the exemption.
- The material alleged to be child exploitation material is a computer game, that, under the Classification (Publication, Films and Computer Games) Act 1995 (C'wealth), is a film classified R or R 18+ or X or X 18+ or a computer game, film or publication that is classified as something other than RC.
- Identification i.e. not the accused
- Accused had no knowledge of or control over the image
Criminal Law Article written by Bill Potts (a Queensland criminal defence lawyer who is experienced in Possessing child exploitation material matters)