Child pornography is a serious crime under California and federal law and the punishments can have significant consequences on an individual's personal life, career, and future. Regardless of whether a person is facing simple possession of child pornography or distribution of child pornography, a defendant is likely facing possible incarceration, a tainted reputation, and mandatory registration as a sex offender for life. The nature of the charges and the penalties involved often depend on the nature of the offense and the type and quantity of the pornographic material involved. The most important step you can take to preserve your rights if you have been charged with child pornography is to contact an experienced defense lawyer who can help you fight those charges.
What Constitutes Child Pornography?
Possession of child pornography is illegal in California. This could include photos (digital or hard copy), videos, DVDs, or film portraying a minor in a sexual context. The material may be found at a person's home, place of work, cell phone, computer, or some other digital device or location. E-mailing or receiving emails of pornographic material featuring children is also illegal. If a defendant is found to have such content in large quantities or copied for distribution, these circumstances could greatly increase the severity of the charges and penalties.
Child Pornography Laws
California child pornography law is clearly defined under Penal Code Section 311. Child pornography includes depiction of a variety of sexual conduct including sexual intercourse, oral sex, lewd acts, sadomasochistic abuse, masturbation, exhibition of genitals, or even simulation of sexual conduct. Distribution of child pornography or employing minors to produce such material is also a serious crime.
In California, child pornography crimes can be considered either misdemeanors or felonies, depending on the circumstances. A misdemeanor can result in a jail sentence of up to one year and a maximum fine of $2,500. A felony charge of child pornography bears the consequences of 16 months to eight years in prison and fines up to $100,000. Repeat convictions can result in heavier fines and longer prison sentences. Both those accused of misdemeanor and felony child pornography issues can be mandated to register as a sex offender for life.
In order to obtain a conviction on child pornography charges, the prosecution must prove that the defendant knowingly committed the act and that the defendant knew or reasonably should have known that the people involved were minors.
Contacting a Criminal Defense Lawyer
If you or a loved one has been charged with possessing, distributing, or producing child pornography, please contact an experienced defense lawyer with the Law Offices of Daniel Kann to obtain more information about protecting your legal rights. Mr. Kann has the knowledge and experience to successfully represent your case and will examine a variety of evidence and employ independent investigators to build your defense and fight any wrongful charges on your behalf. Call us today for a free consultation and comprehensive case assessment.