Los Angeles Child Pornography Attorney
Child pornography has proliferated due to the availability of cellular phones with cameras and tech platforms like Google and Facebook. In 2019, over sixty-nine million reports of inappropriate postings involving children were lodged with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. Suppose you have been charged with child pornography by the State of California or the U.S. government. In that case, you need aggressive, compassionate representation as soon as possible to assess the strength of the prosecution’s case, preserve your options, and protect your rights as a criminal defendant. All defendants deserve legal representation to ensure that government operates within constitutional and statutory constraints to maintain our freedoms.
Retaining skilled and experienced counsel early in a child pornography investigation helps to maintain your constitutional rights. As soon as you learn that you might be the target of such an investigation, or upon your arrest, you should contact RP Criminal Defense Law to schedule a consultation to permit our Los Angeles-based criminal defense attorneys to assess the strength of the prosecution’s case and to guide you through the criminal prosecution process. We are conveniently located in Encino and Ontario.
RP Defense Law provides aggressive, individualized representation backed by experience and a thorough understanding of criminal law and criminal procedure. We know all the players—the police and investigators, the prosecutors in both state and federal jurisdictions, the judges who preside over Los Angeles area criminal courts, and the probation offices who oversee probation and parole.
What Is Child Pornography?
California law defines child pornography as images depicting a minor engaged in or simulating a sexual act. Current statutes include the full range of what constitutes materials, especially now that we are in a digital age. These can include:
- Computer-generated equipment
- Films and film strips
- Computer hardware and software
- Photographs and negatives
- Video laserdiscs and videotapes
The sexual conduct that is either simulated or performed by a child under the age of 18 includes:
- Anal oral copulation and anal intercourse
- Sexual intercourse
- Sexual sadism and masochism
- Oral copulation
- Use of objects to penetrate intimate body parts sexually.
- Excretory functions performed in a sexual way or to arouse sexual desire
- The exhibition of private body parts for sexual stimulation
Child pornography can be prosecuted under California or federal laws: California Penal Code sec 311 and U.S. Code Title 18 sec 2252. Prosecution by either can result in prison time, costly fines, and lifetime registry as a sex offender. A lot is at stake, so you should consult with skilled and experienced child pornography defense attorneys as soon as possible.
Frequently Asked Questions about Child Pornography Charges
My child was sexting with her friend, who is also under the age of 18. Can she be charged with child pornography? Unfortunately, for your daughter, the answer is YES. California law does not include any age requirements for possessing child pornography. Therefore, such common activities among teens as sexting can be encompassed by the breadth of California child pornography laws. Because the consequences of a conviction for child pornography are so grave, your child deserves legal representation that is aggressive and compassionate as well as skilled and experienced.
I didn’t mean to get to that site. I just clicked through some inoffensive pages and landed here. Can I be prosecuted? Sting operations conducted by the government can be embedded in any website. Even if unintentional, the government can track you through computer usage if your IP address gets picked up. However, intent is a critical element of any crime. Here is where skilled and experienced child pornography defense counsel is vital to preserve your options and protect your rights.
What are the Penalties for Child Pornography in California?
Child pornography can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony. Since every piece of pornographic material can be separately charged, several factors are used to determine whether to charge it as a misdemeanor or a felony. These factors include:
- The number of images
- The types of images, in terms of the kinds of sexual conduct portrayed
- The prior criminal record of the defendant
- Probationary reports on the possibility of recidivism
California imposes severe penalties for possessing, distributing, or peer-to-peer sharing of child pornography or procuring a minor to create pornographic materials. A first offense for mere possession of child pornography can be charged as a felony with 12 months in state prison and $2,500 in fines. A second offense is punishable with a sentence ranging from 2-6 years in state prison and registration as a sex offender.
A conviction for possessing, distributing, and transporting child pornography can result in a 2-6 year prison sentence and a $10,000 fine. Commercial distribution, meaning that you benefitted financially, requires a felony charge and not a misdemeanor.
First-time offenders of child exploitation for child pornography can be charged as a misdemeanor or felony with 12 months in county jail, if a misdemeanor, and a $2,000 fine. If charged as a felony, the sentence is 16 months to 3 years in state prison and a fine of $10,000.
Legal Defense for Child Pornography Charges
Every prosecution for child pornography is unique to the facts of the case, including the police investigation, the arrest and seizure of evidence, and the personalities of the prosecutor and investigating officers. Your defense depends on the facts of your case.
However, because child pornography is so rampant on the internet and falling into a pornographic trap is so easy, there are defenses that work. These include:
- Challenging the seizure of evidence on Fourth Amendment “search and seizure” constitutional grounds
- Innocence—lack of intent
- The content wasn’t obscene
- The actors didn’t appear to be underage
- False accusation
- Pornography addiction
Child Pornography Lawyer Serving Los Angeles & San Bernadino
Facing a charge of possessing, distributing, or procuring child pornography can be devastating, especially for a young person. You deserve a fair assessment of the strength of the prosecution’s case to determine how best to proceed. You also deserve representation that will bring skill and knowledge to examining the police reports and investigatory files, an independent investigation and laboratory testing to fully understand the weight of evidence, and the savvy one gets from years of experience representing criminal defendants in Los Angeles and San Bernadino courts. Only seasoned criminal defense attorneys can realistically evaluate the evidence, the credibility of witnesses, and the predilection of the trial judge. Our offices are conveniently located in Encino and Ontario. Contact us today for your initial consultation.
A $250 fee will be charged and credited to your account if RP Criminal Defense Law is retained.