The Ultimate Phoenix Sexual Exploitation Lawyer (2024)
By DM Cantor, a Top-Ranking Criminal Defense firm in Arizona for the last 5 years in a row by Ranking Arizona Magazine! (2020, 2021, 2022, 2023, 2024)
161 Complete Criminal Jury Trial Acquittals (i.e., Not Guilty on All Charges). The most in Arizona history by a single law firm!
Plus an additional 500 Sex Crimes Pre-Indictment “Turn-Downs,” Dismissals, and Charge Reduction Sex Crime Victories!
Beware of Child Pornography Defense/Sexual Exploitation With A Minor Defense “Pretenders”: Any Attorney or Law Firm can take DM Cantor’s Phoenix Child Pornography Defense and Sexual Exploitation Defense website information and have it rewritten by artificial intelligence (AI), and then try and pass it off as their own “knowledge base.” However, these “Pretenders” cannot falsely list our Jury Trial Complete Acquittals, or our Board-Certified Criminal Law Specialization as their own. In addition, many Lawyers claim that they “Specialize” in defending Child Pornography or Sexual Exploitation charges, but only a “Board-Certified Criminal Law Specialist” is permitted by the State Bar of Arizona to use this title as their own, per the Arizona Board of Legal Specialization.
Board Certified Criminal Law Specialization
There are only 19,000 attorneys in Arizona who are eligible to practice law. At the start of 2024, the State Bar of Arizona Board of Legal Specialization had listed only 54 Certified Criminal Law Specialists in the entire state. What this means is, approximately only 3 out of every 1,000 lawyers in Arizona are Board-Certified Specialists in Criminal Law. DM Cantor has 3 Board-Certified Criminal Law Specialists to handle your Child Pornography Defense, or Sexual Exploitation of a Minor Defense case. This is the most Board-Certified Criminal Law Specialists at any single Law Firm in Arizona. In defending Child Pornography or Sexual Exploitation Allegations, it is critical to have as many Board-Certified Criminal Law Specialists on your legal team as possible.
The specialization process is so rigorous in Arizona, that in the last 24 years, only 31 new specialists have been minted. In addition, every Specialist must Re-Certify every 5 years in order to maintain this prestigious honor. At DM Cantor, our 3 Board-Certified Criminal Law Specialists have conducted Jury Trials on countless Sex Crimes.
DM Cantor includes at least 1 Board-Certified Criminal Law Specialist on your Legal Team who is directly handling or supervising the Defense on any major Felony Sex Crime.
The Best Phoenix Child Pornography Defense and Sexual Exploitation of a Minor Defense Team in Arizona
What do you look for when you are determining who is the Best Sexual Exploitation Defense Team. The first thing to look at is experience. At DM Cantor, the Firm was founded by David Michael Cantor in 1996, after he had been a Prosecutor with a Jury Trial record of 30 wins and 0 losses. After being a Prosecutor, he then worked for a very prestigious Criminal Defense Firm and conducted another 80 Jury Trials. Once David founded his own Firm, he then became a Board-Certified Criminal Law Specialist in 1999.
After determining the qualifications of the leader of a Criminal Defense Firm, you next look to results. At DM Cantor, David’s two partners are also Board-Certified Criminal Law Specialists (Christine Whalin and Joey Hamby). The Firm has over 160 complete jury trial Acquittals (i.e., Not Guilty on All Charges) in the State of Arizona – the Most of any single Law Firm in Arizona history! In addition, DM Cantor has the Most “turn-downs” (i.e., decisions to Not prosecute Sex Crimes) – the Most of any Arizona firm! Click the link below to receive a list of questions to ask when interviewing for a Criminal Defense Attorney or Law Firm.
Beware: Never meet with a Criminal Law Firm that has you do your initial consultation with a Non-Attorney Salesperson, instead of a Licensed Attorney! A Non-Lawyer is not allowed to “sell” legal services, but many firms employ sales people. At DM Cantor, you will always meet with at least one (1) Board-Certified Criminal Law Specialist regarding your Child Pornography Defense or Sexual Exploitation Defense Case. We wouldn’t have it any other way.
Phoenix Child Pornography/Sexual Exploitation of a Minor Charges And Their Elements
There is a 7-year statute of limitations in Arizona to bring charges for Child Pornography. This time begins from the date in which the violation is discovered, and the identity of the person possessing it is known. Punishment Ranges vary widely depending on the age of the victim depicted. The DM Cantor Sexual Exploitation of a Minor Defense Team knows how the Allegations of Prior Convictions, or how “multiple offenses committed on different dates” can impact the Penalties and Sentencing Range. We also know all the possible Defenses that can help have the charges either dismissed, or never filed in the first place. Check below to see the elements of the crimes and the Possible Punishment Ranges.
Sexual Exploitation of a Minor/Child Pornography – ARS 13-3553(A)
Definition: In Arizona, per ARS 13-3553(A), Sexual Exploitation of a Minor is defined as “knowingly” recording or photographing; possessing; or distributing “any visual depiction in which a minor is engaged in exploitive exhibition or other sexual conduct”. It is also now a violation in Arizona to possess any type of sex doll which has a likeness of a minor who is under 12 years of age, with the intent of using it for sexual stimulation. All images have to be sexual in nature, and not merely medical or innocent nude photos of children playing on the beach, etc.
Stacking: Under Arizona law, each individual photograph or video constitutes its own violation with its own Penalties under the Statute. This means that if a person has multiple images, each image carries its own Punishment, and the Punishment has to be “Stacked,” and run Concurrently with each other count. What this means is that three counts/images will result in three times more Prison time than a single photograph!
[A] Class 2 Punishment for Sexual Exploitation of a Minor under 15 years of age (DCAC)
- DCAC: DCAC stands for Dangerous Crimes Against Children. Because the images depict a minor 14 years or younger, this charge automatically becomes a DCAC enhancement.
Class 2 Felony: Possible Punishment for Sexual Exploitation of a Minor For a First Offense (i.e., DCAC) per ARS 13-705(F).
- The Mandatory range is 10 years in Prison per image or video (Minimum) – 17 years presumptive Prison time – and 24 years maximum in Prison. This Prison time is “day for day” and cannot be commuted, reduced or forgiven in any way.
What if a person has a Prior Felony Conviction?
If a person has a single Allegeable Prior Felony Conviction, now the Mandatory Minimum in Prison will become 21 years; the Presumptive term will be 28 years; and the Maximum term will be 35 years in the Department of Corrections. Again, each image can be “stacked” on another. Therefore, if a person has a Prior Conviction and is caught with three images, the Minimum they would serve in prison is 63 years of “day for day” time. This is why these cases are often called “Life-Enders.”
Fines: Although fines are not normally assessed in cases such as these, it is possible to be assessed $150,000 per charge as a penalty. In addition, 84% surcharges can be added on top of that, bringing it to a whopping quarter million dollars – plus for each charge.
[B] Class 2 Felony Punishment, Sexual Exploitation of a Minor if the images are of a person 15-17 years of age (i.e., Non-DCAC) per ARS 13-702(D)
If the Alleged victim was between 15 to 17 years of age, then the Dangerous Crimes Against Children (DCAC) enhancement statute will not apply.
- First offense, Class 2 Felony, Non-DCAC: A Minimum Punishment of Probation with zero days in jail, up to one year in jail, or a Prison sentence of Minimum of 3 years in DOC: 5 years Presumptive Prison time – and 12.5 years of Maximum Prison time. At least 85% of this time must be served before it can be reduced in any way.
What If The Defendant Has A Prior Felony Conviction, But The New Charges Are Non-DCAC?
- If there is One Prior Eligible Felony Conviction, then the range becomes a Mandatory Minimum of 4.5 years in Prison – 9.25 years Presumptive Prison time – and 23 years of aggravated/Maximum time in Prison.
- If the person has Two Eligible Prior Historical Felony Convictions, then the Mandatory Minimum is 10.5 years in Prison – 15.75 years Presumptive Prison time – and 35 years Maximum in Prison.
It is critical that you have at least one (1) Board-Certified Criminal Law Specialist who is a Phoenix Sex Crimes Lawyer to represent you on a Child Pornography or Sexual Exploitation of a Minor charge. The ranges of punishment are just too high to risk!
The Collateral Consequences Of A Sex Crime Conviction
The Collateral Consequences of having a Child Pornography or Sexual Exploitation of a Minor conviction on your Criminal Record are devastating. These can include everything from restrictions from where you are allowed to live; who’s allowed to live in your house; where you can work; whether you can use a computer or internet; and whether you are placed on Lifetime Probation – all after you are released from a lengthy Prison Sentence! Other Harsh Consequences can include the loss of your Professional Licenses, whether you can travel, whether you have to Register as a Sex Offender, etc. It is critical to have a Board-Certified Criminal Law Specialist on your Legal Team to help you fight these charges.
The 20 Best Child Pornography Defenses And/Sexual Exploitation of a Minor Defenses In Phoenix, Arizona
1-4: False Allegation of Sexual Conduct or Non-Consent
1. False Allegations Regarding Minors In Custody Battles
Allegations of Sex Crimes and of Possession of Child Pornography are becoming more and more common as an offensive tactic in custody battles during divorce. Read More
2. False Allegations Made by Children 13 to 17 Years of Age
Studies have shown that teenage girls between the ages of 13 and 17 are the highest categories of False Allegations against adults for Sexual Assaults or Sexual Exploitation (and as shown through multiple scientific studies). Read More
3. False “Me Too” Allegations by Minors
Given the rise in “Me Too” Allegations, it is not uncommon for minors to accuse adults of being responsible for elicit images that are being viewed on a computer. Read More
4. Suggestibility of Minors by Police/Improper Interview Techniques
Many younger children are highly Susceptible to Suggestion by Forensic Interviewers, and they may simply be agreeing with questions that are being asked, which can have a devastating effect on the Defendant. Read More
5–12: False Allegations Regarding Sex Crimes and Involving Computers
5. Unknowingly Downloading and Sharing of Child Pornography on the internet
Numerous File-Sharing Websites have emerged throughout the internet, which involve mislabeled items being passed to other people’s computers (which may inadvertently contain Child Pornography). Read More
6. Wi-Fi being Hijacked by the Real Perpetrator
We have seen numerous cases where a neighbor has “Hi-jacked” a Defendant’s Wi-Fi and then used that access to download Child Pornography … all unbeknownst to the Defendant. Read More
7. A Different Person in Residence used the Defendant’s Computer
Most times the Police will arrest the person who actually owns the computer, and they will not do a thorough investigation as to who else had access to the device, or to the password. Read More
8. Tainted and Improperly-Handled Evidence
Detectives are required to use the proper Computer Forensic Techniques when gathering and analyzing computer evidence which may relate to Sexual Exploitation of a Minor. Read More
9. Planted and Falsified Evidence Against the Defendant
We have seen many cases where an ex-spouse, ex-boyfriend/girlfriend, or disgruntled fellow co-workers have falsified and planted evidence on a Defendant’s computer out of anger and spite. Read More
10. Online Undercover Sting Operations
Unfortunately, this is a new tactic utilized by many of the Police agencies in Phoenix. Many times we are able to show that the Detectives are misleading Defendants, and actually entrapping them to “commit crime.” Read More
11. The Online “Victim” Lying About Their True Age
Many younger people are going on adult websites and then lying about the fact that they are actually minors. Read More
12. Emojis and Text Strings Which are Misleading Online
Many Detectives attempt to adopt the victim’s persona, and they improperly use emojis, and improperly use the most recent “slang” being utilized online by the general population. Read More
13-15: Age-Based Defenses
13. Alleged Victim is Met in Person, but Lied About Actual Age
If an Alleged Victim is 15, 16, or 17 years of age, and claims to be 18, then it may be a Defense per ARS 13-1407(B) if they were sending elicit images of themselves over the internet to the Defendant. Read More
14. Romeo and Juliette laws and the Close-In-Age Defense
If two high school students are dating, and one of them is 19 years old and they are within two years of age of each other, then this can be a Statutory Defense to a Sex Crime. This includes both consensual sexual activities, and images being sent to each other over computer. Read More
15. Marriage Exception
In Arizona, spouses who are 16 and 17 years of age can be married to somebody 18 years of age or older, and be treated as consenting adults if certain Statutory Requirements are met. Read More
16-19: Evidence-Based Defenses
16. Illegal Search and Seizure of Evidence
If a Search Warrant’s “Affidavit” is not specifically followed, then evidence can be Suppressed as being illegally gathered by the Police. Read More
17. Coerced Statements and Miranda Violations
In Arizona, the “Voluntariness Standard” must be met as to when statements to Police can be allowed into evidence. This usually involves the reading of Miranda Rights, but it is not always the deciding factor. Read More
18. Misstatements and Falsehoods Regarding Evidence
Axon Video Cameras are the body-worn recording devices that the Police currently utilize in Arizona. Unfortunately, many times the Police will manipulate the video, or shut off their cameras during critical moments during the investigation. Read More
19. Coerced Touch ID or Face ID in Order to Access Computer Devices
Many iPad, iPhone and Mac Computers utilize “Touch ID” or “Face ID” in order to access the devices. Many times, Police will use evidence improperly gathering, or use improper coercion techniques, in order to gain access to a Defendant’s devices. Read More
20: Mental Health Issues and Diminish Capacity Defenses
20. Autism and Spectrum-Bases Defenses
Being on the Spectrum can serve as a Defense, and often does, in Allegations regarding Child Pornography or Sexual Exploitation of a Minor. Read More
Many Criminal Defense Attorneys utilize “Mitigation” in order to Reduce the amount of Punishment that is imposed at Sentencing. At DM Cantor, we use Mitigation to prevent charges from being filed, or to get lesser charges filed than would normally be instituted. During the process of Mitigation, we will learn all about our Client’s life and background, and we will also gather any type of medical records, counseling records, and other items that can show a Prosecutor that charges should not be filed.
Other items which may be used in Mitigation would include Psycho-Sexual Risk Evaluations; information obtained by Private Investigators; Polygraph Examinations; and all records which could relate to Rehabilitation, Counseling, or Substance Abuse Treatment. Finally, many times we include a “Proportionality Review,” which shows the Prosecutor other cases we have had Dismissed (or Reduced) in the past, which may be similar to our Client’s current case.
What We Do When We Represent You
At DM Cantor we always keep our “Core Purpose” in mind. In other words, “We are here to help people navigate through the toughest times of their life.” We accomplish this by keeping these three principles in mind: (1) Do Hard Work; (2) have Excellent Trial Skills, and (3) – and most importantly of the three – have High-Touch Client Service.
Both the Pre-Charge/Pre-Indictment Phase as well as the Post-Indictment Phase we will start your case by doing a Timeline and Biographical Interview with you that will attempt to start the “Mitigation Process.” This is usually done purely by our Attorneys, however, sometimes we’ll employ the services of a Private Investigator to assist. As your case progresses, we will continue the Mitigation Process, along with Defending you in Court (if necessary). Many times we are able to receive permission to allow our Clients to travel out- of-State, or move back to their residence which may be outside of the County in which they have been charged. We do this by filing a “Motion to Modify Conditions of Release,” which, if granted, would require you to sign an Affidavit each time we receive a new Court date acknowledging that you will maintain contact with us, and that you are aware of the subsequent Court dates.
Beware: Many so-called Sexual Defense Law Firms will assign a case to a brand-new Associate who has never done a Jury Trial regarding a Child Pornography or Sexual Exploitation of a Minor charge. It is an absolute necessity to have at least one (1) Board-Certified Criminal Law Specialist heading up the Team of Attorneys who have been specifically assigned to handle your Child Pornography/Sexual Exploitation case! At DM Cantor, we always assign all three (3) Board-Certified Criminal Law Specialists to be on the Team for Pre-Indictment Sex Cases, and at least one (1) of the Partners will be on the Team for Post-Indictment (or Charged) Sex Crimes Cases.
What Our Clients Say
Phoenix Sexual Exploitation of a Minor/Child Pornography Defense FAQs
What if I live out of the State and I’m being accused in Phoenix?
If you’ve been accused in Phoenix, but not charged, you can remain out-of-state and all of our meetings will be held telephonically, or via Zoom. If you have been charged in Phoenix, then we will need to have a “Motion to Modify Conditions of Release” filed and granted by the Court, which would allow you to remain in your hometown. We would still have to sign an Affidavit acknowledging your awareness of the next Court date, and that you have been in contact with DM Cantor during the pendency of the charges.
While defending your case, we can have all types of tests, such as Polygraph Examination, Psycho-Sexual Risk Evaluation, or Neuropsychological Evaluations, conducted by Experts out-of-State. We would ask that you create a new email account with the word “Legal” in it, so we can communicate with you via email, and have those communications protected by the Attorney-Client privilege.
Will I be required to have an Ankle Monitor?
Per ARS 13-3967(E)(1), the Judge will be required to impose “Electronic Monitoring” (i.e., an Ankle Bracelet) “where available.” Many of the outlaying Counties do not have the availability of Ankle Monitors, so it will not be required. However, Maricopa County (where Phoenix is located) does have this technology available and it will be required. If we do receive permission for you to live out-of-state, we need to make sure it is also available in your home town.
Am I allowed to be around Children (especially my own) while my case is pending?
If you have not been charged with any crime, then you are in the Pre-Indictment Phase, and there are no restrictions regarding your contact with children. If you are charged, we need to specifically ask a Judge to include contact with your own children and grandchildren as part of the “Conditions of Release.” This is almost always granted, unless the Alleged Victim is one of your own children.
If I am Not Charged, or the case is Dismissed, can I “Seal” those records?
If you are charged, and then those Allegations were subsequently Dismissed, then per ARS 13-900, et seq., you could have your record “Sealed.” It depends on which type of charge is involved, but it is possible to do this in many types of scenarios. It is also possible to get your record Sealed after Conviction, as long as the offense was reduced and did not require a finding of “Sexual Motivation,” and you are not Required to Register as a Sex Offender. You will also have to wait five years after the Conclusion of Probation to file this Request.
Can I have my Conviction Expunged?
Arizona does not have an “Expungement” statute. However, a “Judgment of Guilt” can be “Set Aside” for certain types of cases. Normally, this occurs when a more serious charge is reduced (such as an “Attempt”) and this “Set Aside” basically serves as an Expungement. We also recommend that you have your record Sealed once a Judgment of Guilt has been Set Aside (if possible).
Who has the most Board-Certified Criminal Law Specialists, and the most Complete Acquittal at Jury Trial wins in Arizona?
DM Cantor is the only law firm throughout the State of Arizona that has 3 Board-Certified Criminal Law Specialists on staff! We also have the most Jury Trial Complete Acquittals (i.e., Not Guilty on All Charges) of any Firm in Arizona history. We are above 160 Complete Acquittals and rising, and the next closest law firm in the entire state only has 20 listed on their website.
What To Do If Accused of Sexual Exploitation of a Minor/Possession of Child Pornography In Phoenix, Arizona
If you have the feeling you are being Accused of Possession of Child Pornography (usually during a Contested Custody Battle), then you need to beware of what is known as a “Confrontation Call.” This is a very common tactic utilized by Detectives in which they have the Accuser “Confront” the potential Defendant. They then try to get them to make various admissions over the phone (while they are recording), so they can use this as Probable Cause for a Search Warrant or Arrest Warrant. If you feel this occurring, Immediately Hang up the phone and call DM Cantor.
If you are confronted face-to-face and accused, also immediately end the conversation and contact our office. Do not try to “apologize,” or make somebody “feel better,” so they will leave you alone if you just admit that you did something wrong.
Lastly, do not speak with your family or friends about any allegations until you have had a chance to meet with us in the privacy of our office. You do not want to inadvertently turn your family members or friends into witnesses against you.
Beware: Always watch out if a firm has an “Of Counsel” Attorney on staff. This is usually a lawyer that they pay to use their name and qualifications in order to sell the firm’s services. This “Of Counsel” will have their own law firm but will contract themselves out to a different law firm. This is especially risky if they are a Board-Certified Criminal Law Specialist, but they are merely renting out their qualifications to an otherwise unqualified law firm.
Finally – always call DM Cantor if any of these Allegations have arisen. We will not talk about specific facts over an open phone line, but we will get you in to meet with us in the privacy of our office. You will always meet with at least one (1) Board-Certified Criminal Law Specialist, who is a partner, and the Initial Consultation is always Free.
Work With a DM Cantor Sexual Exploitation Lawyer Today!
We will be happy to provide you with a Free case evaluation and Free in-office consultation with one of our Partners and Board-Certified Criminal Law Specialists regarding your Child Pornography Defense or Sexual Exploitation of a Minor case, call our 24 hour Phoenix Sexual Exploitation of a Minor Defense Lawyers Hotline at 602-307-0808 , or click here for a free consultation on any criminal cases.