Child Pornography on the Internet
Have You Been Charged with a Child Pornography Offense in State or Federal Court?
What is Child Pornography?
It may seem like a silly question, but the legal definition of child pornography is not as clear cut as many may think. For example, in order to be considered pornography, an image does not necessarily need to show a minor engaging in a sexual act, it is enough to show any sexually explicit image. This means that even a picture of a naked child may be sufficient to be considered pornographic if the picture is sexually suggestive.
Another common point of confusion is consent. Consent from a minor is no defense to a child pornography charge. This is because, as the law sees it, there is no way for a minor to give valid to consent to these types of sexually explicit acts. So, as long as the subject is under the age of 18, there can be no consent defense. Similarly, a lack of knowledge of the true age of a minor may or may not be a valid defense, depending on the facts of the case.
Punishments for Child Pornography in State and Federal Court
As is the case with most offenses, the punishments for possession, distribution, or manufacture of child pornography vary greatly based on the jurisdiction and specific facts of the case. Even a first-time offender convicted of possession of child pornography is facing a minimum sentence of between 5 and 25 years plus heavy fines.
In addition to a term of imprisonment, most people convicted of a state or federal sex offense will be required to register as a sex offender for the rest of their life. This means that, even if that person moves from one city or state to another, they will still be required to register in the new location. Failure to register may result in an additional serious felony charge.