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How many indecent images cases get dropped?

Being accused of any sexual offence can be extremely worrying. If you or a loved one has been charged with possession or distribution of indecent images, you’re likely to have a long list of concerns and questions.

Your very first port of call should be to get in touch with specialist sexual offence solicitors. They’ll be able to give you advice on the likely outcome of your case, possible defences that you could use, and what your options are.

In this blog, we discuss the definition of the term ‘indecent images’, along with the various categories that images fall into, and statistics relating to indecent images prosecutions.

Indecent images meaning

In the UK, the term ‘indecent image’ can be broken down into two components – ‘indecent’ and ‘image’.

Let’s take the ‘indecent’ part first. Images that are classified as indecent include sexual images of children (under 18) or animals. These could include:

  • Images of partially clothed or nude children.
  • Images of children or animals engaging in sexual acts.
  • Images of children in sexual poses, including those that have been generated by the offender.

This list is not exhaustive, and whether or not an image is classed as indecent will ultimately be for a jury to decide.

Next, we’ll take the second part of the phrase. An ‘image’ doesn’t just mean a photograph. It also includes videos, as well as computer data that could be converted into a photo or video file.

How many indecent images cases get dropped?

It can be harder to prove guilt in indecent images cases than with other crimes. In fact, only around half of all indecent images cases result in a conviction in the UK.

Many of these cases don’t even make it to trial, which is known as ‘having the charges dropped.’

There are many different reasons why indecent images charges can be dropped, including:

  • Lack of evidence.
  • New evidence provided by the defence, causing the CPS to reconsider their decision.
  • The defendant pleading guilty to a lesser offence.
  • Legal reasons, such as improper police procedure.

Categories of indecent images UK

You may have been charged with possession of indecent images, distribution of indecent images or even making / producing indecent images. The latter two charges are more severe and come with much harsher sentences.

Below, we discuss the categories of indecent images in the UK, and the sentence you can expect if you’re found guilty of these sexual offence crimes.

Category A indecent images – These images are the most obscene, and depict penetrative sexual activity with a child or animal. If you’re found guilty of possessing category A indecent images, you can expect a maximum custodial sentence of 3 years. Producing category A indecent images is the most serious indecent image offence, with a maximum sentence of 9 years in prison.

Category B indecent images – These are defined as images that include non-penetrative sexual activity with a child or animal. Category B indecent images carry custodial sentences of 26 weeks up to 4 years.

Category C indecent images – These are the least explicit images. They include any indecent image that does not show sexual activity. Possession of category C indecent images can result in sentences from community service up to 3 years’ imprisonment.

Indecent images solicitors

As well as criminal proceedings, there are also other negative outcomes of being found guilty of indecent images offences. These include breakdowns in relationships with family and friends, employment disciplinary proceedings and loss of livelihood.

The severity of the consequences mean that it is critical that you get in touch with sexual offence solicitors specialising in indecent images cases as soon as possible.

PCD Solicitors are nationwide specialist sexual offence solicitors, with particular expertise in indecent images cases. Not only will they help you to build a solid defence, but they have years of experience in helping to protect reputations, limit emotional trauma and reduce intrusions on their clients’ personal lives.

Get in touch with their understanding and knowledgeable team today by calling 0151 7058488. Alternatively, fill in the contact form on their website for a swift response.