Being accused of child pornography can destroy the career, family, reputation, and life of the person accused. The accusation alone, even if later proven to be unfounded can create tension, hostility, and ostracization for the person in their community. Being accused of child pornography is an extremely serious matter.
The State of California defines child pornography as an image, video, data, computer file, etc. that depicts a person under the age of 18 in any sexual act. The act can even be simulated and involves such acts as oral copulation, masturbation or any display of the genital region for sexual gratification.
Persons who are aged 18 are not considered minors nor are married persons or those who have been legally emancipated. An example of this would be a married couple who are 18 and 17 years old and creating a home video of themselves engaged in sexual intercourse for their own use and not intended to be shared or distributed.
California’s child pornography laws are found in Penal Code 311. The Code contains statutes that define how California finds child pornography illegal:
California law does not criminalize the “viewing” of child pornography but does prohibit anyone from any of the above including advertising, sharing, emailing or downloading it. Child pornography charges can be both a misdemeanor or a felony. Felonies are usually the result of aggressive prosecution due to the fact that:
Most child pornography charges are considered felonies which carry fines up to $100,000 and up to 8 years in a state prison. Depending on the nature of your charge, all the facts and elements, prior criminal history and other factors, a child pornography charge can also be a misdemeanor. If you have a previous conviction for a child pornography offense or you are a registered sex offender the penalty can be quite severe.
Even if you are convicted of a misdemeanor in a child pornography case, you will have to register as a sex offender in the California three-tier Sex Offender Registry. This can, in some cases, be the most devastating aspect of a conviction for some.
Under California Penal Code 290.006, a judge has the authority to order a person to register as a sex offender for any crime committed with an intent to sexually arouse or sexually satisfy themselves. Although it is not common for courts to impose this penalty on those not directly involved in violating child pornography or sex crime laws, there are some instances where this statute does apply. The court can order the convicted party to register as a sex offender anywhere from 5 years to a lifetime.
Recently, the issue of whether Anime or Manga (Japanese illustrations, art, and videos of cartoon characters) is considered child pornography when it depicts childlike cartoon figures engaged in sexual acts with adults, has been answered by the State of California who has decided that neither Anime nor Manga is considered child pornography. Child pornography must depict real, living persons and does not include art, illustrations or drawings.
A person convicted of possessing child pornography is subject to fines up to $2,500 and 1 year in county jail or both. A previous conviction for possession can in a prison term of up to 6 years. A person convicted of advertising, distributing or transporting child pornography for commercial gain, increases their penalty by up to $100,000 in fines and a prison term of up to 6 years.
If you have been charged with a child pornography offense in Los Angeles, an experienced lawyer has many ways to defend you in your case.
They can defend you by using some of these strategies:
If you’ve been charged with any crime under California’s child pornography laws, it is imperative to contact an attorney immediately.
For those seeking help with child pornography defense, it is vital to seek a reputable and knowledgable legal firm that understands California child pornography laws. Under California child pornography laws, it is illegal to print, exchange, advertise, or possess child pornography. It is also against the law for individuals to use minors to make child pornography. Although California does not have specific laws in place regarding the viewing of child pornography, the laws prohibit individuals from having pornography involving individuals under the age of 18 on their computers or phones.
California Child Pornography Laws
According to the California Penal Code, there are many types of pornography, which can be videos, movies, photographs, or files that are saved on computers. In order to be considered child pornography, the material must involve individuals under the age of 18 participating in sexual conduct.
A prosecutor must prove without a doubt that the defendant was part of the production, possession, or distribution of pornography involving minors who are under the age of 18. A prosecutor must also prove the defendant “knowingly” knew minors were involved in the production of the material. California laws state that “knowing” is defined as the defendant being aware of the age of the individuals in the material.
Penalties for Those Prosecuted
For those prosecuted for child pornography in California, the penalties are severe. The severity of the penalty is dependent on if the defendant sold, possessed, produced, or distributed the pornographic material.
Possession of Child Pornography
If a defendant was convicted for possession of child pornography, then he or she is guilty of a felony, according to California laws. If convicted, a defendant must register with California as a sex offender through the Sex Offender Registration Act. For this charge, the penalties could include a fine up to $2,500. Those charged with possession of child pornography could also face a sentence up to one year in county jail. If the defendant is a repeat offender, then the penalties can increase. If an individual was previously convicted, then he or she could face a sentence of imprisonment in a state penitentiary for up to six years if charged with possession.
Distribution of Child Pornography
If an individual is charge with distribution of child pornography, then penalties are based on specific actions of the defendant. If a defendant is charged with transporting the material into California or distributing it to individuals, he or she could face one year in a county jail or state prison and a fine of $2,000. If the defendant has previous charges for distribution, then he or she could have to pay a fine up to $50,000.
If an individual is charged in any activity where he or she is involved in the child pornography industry for commercial benefits, then the penalties are extremely severe. If the defendant is charged with transporting, distributing, or advertising child pornography for commercial gain, then a prison sentence can range from two to six years and a fine that can be $50,000 to $100,000. If an individual is charged with hiring a minor to participate in pornography, then the sentence be up to eight years in a state penitentiary.
There are many reasons an individual who has been charged with child pornography will need a good defense. In many cases, the defendant did not know a minor was in the pornography. Here are some other reasons an indivdiual will need a solid defense:
For those who have been charged with child pornography, then a defensive team with knowledge in child pornography laws can fight to ensure they are protected under California laws.
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