Section 160 of the Criminal Justice Act

Written by john calhoun
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Section 160 of the Criminal Justice Act
Section 160 of the Criminal Justice Act aims to protect children. (Legal Law Justice image by Stacey Alexander from Fotolia.com)

The 1988 Criminal Justice Act prescribes many criminal acts and punishments within the United Kingdom. The Act is broken into different sections. Section 160 of the Criminal Justice Act discusses the possession of indecent photographs of children.

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Basics

Section 160 decrees that the possession of indecent photographs of children is illegal. The law recognises no difference between a digital photograph and a printed or paper photograph. It offers no specifics about what qualifies as "indecent."

Criminal Defense

According to the text of Section 160, someone cannot be punished for possession of an indecent photograph of a child if he can prove either that he has "legitimate reason for having the photograph," he "had not seen the photograph. . . and did not know. . . it was indecent" or that he did not request the photograph and did not possess it for an "unreasonable time."

Penalty

Anyone convicted of possession of indecent photographs of a child can be sentenced to up to five years in prison and may be forced to pay a fine. The felony will remain on her permanent criminal record.

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