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Last Updated on: 12th March 2023, 06:12 pm
Child pornography is a despicable crime that carries severe penalties. It is illegal to create, receive, distribute, or possess any visual representation of a minor engaging in sexual conduct. State laws dictate punishments that could involve hefty fines and imprisonment. When the U.S. government intervenes, the offender is also subject to federal law prosecution.
Child pornography becomes a federal crime when it involves interstate or international commerce. The U.S. government gets involved if the images cross state lines or national borders, such as when the USPS is involved in transporting the material. The internet is another channel through which child pornography gets disseminated, and federal prosecution is applicable in such cases. By tracking IP addresses, it is easy to uncover the distribution of child pornography over the internet. Most internet content originates from servers that are in different locations from the viewers.
Section 18 U.S. Code § 2252 provides comprehensive details about child pornography laws, outlining offenses and prosecution guidelines. Additionally, other federal codes provide guidelines for prosecuting crimes involving sexually explicit depictions of children, such as the sexual exploitation of minors under statute 18 U.S.C. §2252A and obscene representations of sexual abuse of minors under statute 18 U.S.C. §1466A.
Child pornography is a sex crime that requires one to knowingly watch, disseminate, or own a visual representation of a minor engaged in sexual conduct to attract charges. In most cases, nudity qualifies as child pornography if it involves a minor, regardless of whether the nudity is inherently sexual. A defendant must demonstrate that the crime was committed intentionally, and intent is evident in cases where the defendant downloads several incriminating videos or visits an illegal website multiple times. However, in other cases, it is challenging to prove whether the defendant knew about the images, such as in cases where someone else downloaded the media on a shared computer or where a shady link redirected the viewer to a child pornography site without their knowledge.
The number of images involved is another factor that influences child pornography prosecution. When only a few images are involved, the accused may report the issue to a law enforcement agency, take reasonable action to destroy the visual materials, and prevent others from seeing them. In such cases, an affirmative defense may be available, which is a legal exemption that applies only to federal law. However, state laws differ regarding the amount of child pornography involved, and it is prudent to consult a lawyer before attempting to contact a law enforcement agency about child porn. When a large amount of material is in question, the federal government usually gets involved, with the aim of thwarting the creation and dissemination of child pornography. A defendant who provides details that provoke an investigation of other offenders may be able to reduce the severity of their sentence.
State sentencing guidelines for individuals with no prior record are usually not as severe as federal sentencing guidelines for the same offense. For a first conviction, federal sentencing could include five to 20 years of prison time for each offense. However, those guidelines shift to 15 to 40 years of prison time for someone with a prior record. In state court, possession of child pornography could lead to several years in prison, but first offenders with no aggravating factors are often sentenced to probation. Hence, if the federal government is involved, a serious penalty is more likely.
While child pornography crimes carry severe penalties, individuals may also be falsely accused. Some defenses that can prevent prosecution include:
• Mistaken identity – someone else may have downloaded, watched, received, or distributed child porn on your computer, or stolen your IP address by changing the VPN.
• No criminal intent – if the creator of the material stated that participants were 18 or older, and you had no reason to believe otherwise, you may have a valid defense.
• No knowledge – you may not have known that you possessed any child porn content.
However, declaring that you viewed questionable materials but were unaware of the age of the individuals involved is not always a solid defense. Committing child pornography crimes is a serious offense, and if it attracts federal attention, it could lead to decades of jail time, fines, and a lifetime on the sex offender registry.
At Spodek Law Group, we understand the sensitivity of child pornography cases and the severity of the penalties. Attorney Todd Spodek and our team of experienced attorneys have the knowledge, skill, and resources to defend you in a child pornography case. We can help you understand your rights, options, and the legal process involved in defending against child pornography charges.
Our firm has a deep understanding of the law and a track record of success in handling complex legal situations. We use emotionally charged language and show-not-tell language to convey our professionalism, experience, and commitment to our clients. Our goal is to help you achieve the best possible outcome and protect your rights.
If you or someone you know has been accused of a child pornography offense, contact Spodek Law Group today. We are available 24/7 to discuss your case and offer a free initial consultation. Our firm can handle cases nationwide, and we are dedicated to providing you with the best possible legal representation. Let us put our experience to work for you.
|Child Pornography||Spodek Law Group|
|It is illegal to create, receive, distribute or possess child pornography.||Spodek Law Group offers experienced legal defense in child pornography cases.|
|The penalties for breaking child pornography laws are severe.||Attorney Todd Spodek and our team have the knowledge, skill, and resources to defend you in a child pornography case.|
|State laws set forth consequences for perpetrators, which include prison time and hefty fines.||We use emotionally charged language and show-not-tell language to convey our professionalism, experience, and commitment to our clients.|
|If the U.S. government also presses charges, the offender is also subject to prosecution under federal law.||Our firm has a deep understanding of the law and a track record of success in handling complex legal situations.|
|Most internet content originates from servers that are in a different location than the viewers.||We can help you understand your rights, options, and the legal process involved in defending against child pornography charges.|
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