Facing criminal charges related to child porn?
California obscenity laws are designed to protect children from exploitation in pornographic materials. The laws make it illegal to produce, possess, transport, distribute, and sell pornographic materials that involve or depict minors under the age of eighteen.
Just an accusation of child pornography can destroy your career, your relationships, and future. On top of the criminal penalties you might face, such as state prison time and huge fines, a conviction for possession or distribution of child pornography in California can result in mandatory sex offender registration for a considerable amount of time, or for life.
Possession Of Child Pornography Charges
Possession of child pornography is a felony under Penal Code section 311.11(a), although a person can be sentenced to county jail instead of state prison. In order to be found guilty of this offense, the prosecution must prove at trial the following elements beyond a reasonable doubt. First, the prosecution must prove that the person possessed the child pornography. Secondly, the prosecution must prove that the person knew the images/videos showed an underage minor engaging in sexual conduct. See related information: Common Internet Sex Crimes in California.
Child Pornography Distribution Charges
Possession of child pornography with intent to distribute, or actual distribution, to "others" is a "wobbler," meaning it can be charged as a misdemeanor or felony offense under Penal Code section 311.1(a). A similar statute, possession of child pornography with intent to distribute, or actual distribution, to "a person 18 years of age or older," is also a "wobbler" and can be charged as a misdemeanor or felony offense under Penal Code section 311.2(c).
Possession of child pornography with intent to distribute, or actual distribution, to "a person under 18 years of age" is a straight felony under Penal Code section 311.2(d). And possession of child pornography with intent to distribute for commercial purposes is a straight felony under Penal Code section 311.2(b). In these cases, the prosecution would have to also prove beyond a reasonable doubt the additional distribution element.
Sex Offender Registration
A conviction of these offenses will also require a person to register as a sex offender for the remainder of their life.
In any child pornography criminal case, the prosecutor is required to prove that the defendant "knowingly" participated in producing, possessing, or distributing pornography material. Under California law, "knowing" means that the defendant had an awareness of the content of the material.
Penalties and Sentencing
The penalties for violating a child pornography law can be harsh and depend on the exact offense they are facing, criminal history and whether it has been charged as a federal or state crime.
Any defendant who is convicted for possession of child pornography is guilty of a felony offense under California state law. It will require the defendant to register with the state of California through the Sex Offender Registration Act. The punishment could involve a fine up to $2,500 and up to one year in county jail. If the defendant is a repeat offender, they could be sentenced to state prison for two, four, or six years
Defending Against Child Porn Charges
If you are facing child pornography charges, you will need an experienced criminal defense attorney on your side. We will review the details of your case and outline all your legal options and start building an effective defense strategy. At Eisner Gorin LLP, we understand your freedom, future, and reputation are at stake. We want to put our 50 years of combined experience to work for you. For a free consultation with a highly experienced Los Angeles child pornography defense lawyer, contact us today at 877-781-1570. Se habla español.