Child Pornography

Among the top most crimes with the ability to completely damage your reputation in California are sex crimes. It's even worse when it involves children through child pornography. In the modern world where our children are exposed to the internet, this situation may be closer to you than you care to admit. Child pornography is a serious crime with grave statutory sanctions and substantial fines. In addition, a conviction requires one to register as a sex offender for life. The advancement in technology has resulted in the increase of child pornography display. Due to the serious attention given to child pornography crimes, many of those accused in California, do not receive a fair trial.

If you’ve been accused of child pornography, it is imperative to immediately contact an experienced sex crime defense attorney. These attorneys are found nowhere further than at the law offices of Pasadena Criminal Attorney. To avoid substantial damage to your reputation, pick your phone and contact us today at 626-689-2277 for a free initial consultation. You can also fill our online contact form and one of our impeccable attorneys will get back to you.

What Does Child Pornography Entail?

According to the California Penal Code 311, it's a criminal act to knowingly possess, produce, distribute, publicize, sell or print any form of child pornography. Child pornography is a visual representation of a minor under the age of 18 years showing off their private organs or anal region or engaging in explicit sexual activities. Apart from being in video form, child pornography can also be in audio recording. Also, it can be in written form for as long as the dominant nature of the content depicts sexual purposes involving an under-aged person. Examples of sexual activities covered in this section include sexual intercourse, anal intercourse, bestiality, oral copulation, masturbation, penetration of the vagina or anus by an object, sexual sadism, and exhibition of the genitals or rectal area for sexual purposes.

Elements of Child Pornography

Child Pornography cases have one thing in common; the prosecutor must be able to prove some facts beyond reasonable doubt before being pronouncing the defendant guilty. They are stated under the California Penal Code 311 as elaborated below.

  • You knowingly possessed obscene materials portraying minors engaging in sexual activities
  • You had full knowledge that the material showed a minor simulating a sexual conduct or engaging in sexual acts

In this case, the prosecution must be in a position to prove beyond reasonable doubt that you possess or control anything at all that depicts a person under 18 years of age simulating sexual acts or engaging in sexual acts.

In any criminal case, one of the toughest element that must be proved is ‘knowledge’. In this modern era full of technological advancements, a lot of child pornography cases involve internet downloads, software, computer file, internet uploads, and so on. Therefore, it can be possible to have child pornography on your computer without really having the knowledge of its existence, or knowing that those depicted in the material below the age of 18 years. This is why you need a skilled attorney who can prove your lack of knowledge on the materials.

Child Pornography Sting Operations

Many individuals are not aware of how they could be charges with the crime of child porn or what law enforcement will use as the basis of their accusations. Well, it's common for law enforcement to conduct sting operations to catch individuals in the act of possession or attempting to possess materials that can be considered as child pornography. The primary place where the sale and purchase of child pornography occurs is the internet. Similarly, it has become the place authorities conduct sting operations. Basically, sting operations are carried out with the aim of preventing the exchange of child porn. Those who are caught attempting to exchange it over the internet are arrested. Law enforcement officers will not act as if they are conducting an investigation. They use several methods including:

  • Posing as a minor in internet chat rooms
  • Acting like an individual interested in purchasing child porn. This is aimed at exposing distributors.
  • Using fake child porn sites to get individuals trying to possess child pornography over the internet

Sting operations in California are legal. However, there’s a difference between sting operations and “entrapment”. Entrapment is when one commits a crime that they would not have otherwise committed were it not for the influence or inducement by law enforcement.

Child pornography convictions and sex offender registration

In addition to the severe punishments and penalties for child pornography, a conviction for child pornography in California will subject you to a sex offender registration for the rest of your life, pursuant to California Penal Code Section 290. Registration as a sex offender can be just as demeaning a punishment as any jail time. In child pornography convictions, sex offender registration is the most severe penalty given that you will not be allowed to be close to parks, schools, and other areas where children may gather. Registration as a sex offender is done each year. Sex offenders are categorized in three tiers. Offenders in the first tier are required to register for a minimum of 10 years. Those in the second tier are given a minimum of 20 years, while those in the third tier will have to keep up with the annual registration for life. Child pornography offenders in the first tier are those convicted of misdemeanor violations. On the contract, tier three child pornography offenders are those convicted of a felony violation.  If you fail to register as a sex offender, that very act can lead to separate misdemeanor or felony charges. The charges are punishable by up to three (3) years in prison.

Penalties for Child Pornography

Child pornography is punished in different facets depending on the facts that have been established with regard to the circumstances surrounding the case. The past behavior and record of the defendant is also factored in when allocating penalties and punishments.

They generally include:

  • One (1) to six (6) years in county jail or state prison
  • Fines of $2, 500 or less
  • An order to stay away from children
  • Counseling classes
  • Probation supervised by the court
  • Lifetime registration as a sex offender
  • Loss of the right to fire arms
  • A record of a felony conviction
  • Formally supervised parole

They are further classified according to their various crime categories as discussed below

Possession of Child Pornography (PC 311.11)

If you are found guilty of possessing child pornography material, then your offense is treated as a felony according to the California Penal Code Section 311.11.  If convicted, you face one to three years in state prison or county jail and a fine of up to $2,500. However, every conviction is unique depending on the circumstances surrounding the case.

Distribution of Child Pornography (PC 311.1(a))

Just like possession of child pornography, distribution of these materials is also treated as a felony under California Penal Code Section 311. 1(a). In the event you are convicted of this crime, you face up one to three years in prison or county jail plus a fine of $1,000 to $10,000 depending on the circumstances surrounding your case.

Sending, Distributing or Producing Child Pornography (PC 311.2(a))

If you knowingly send, possess, bring or produce pornographic material involving persons under the age of 18 years, then according to the California Penal Code Section 311.2 (a), the offense is considered a misdemeanor.  If one is convicted, they face up to one year in county jail plus a fine not exceeding $50,000.

Advertisement of Child Pornography (PC 311.10)

Even if you are not the one selling the pornographic materials but you are caught advertising their sale, then under California Penal Code Section 311.10, you have committed a felony. In the event you are convicted, you face two (2) to four (4) years in state prison or one (1) year in county jail. Additionally, you will also be required to pay fines of up to $50,000.

One commonality among all these penalties is that the court will always consider the circumstances surrounding your case and then allocate punishments and penalties accordingly.

What are the Defenses to Child Pornography?

The society is always very protective of children because they hold the future. It's because of this reason that the consequences for being convicted with Child Pornography are so dire and severe. This is why you need a relentless and zealous attorney to help you avoid these penalties.  At Pasadena law firm, we study your case then use all the defenses available and applicable to ensure your nightmare is over as soon as possible. Some of these defenses include:

  • Knowledge of Age

One of the things that the prosecutor must be able to prove beyond reasonable doubt for a conviction to be imposed is that you were fully aware that the pornographic material involved persons who were under the age of 18. This implies that, if you had no knowledge of this fact, then your attorney can use this as a defense to have the charges against you dropped or reduced.

  • Entrapment

This may occur in a scenario where law enforcement officers go overboard in their sting operations. While sting operations are legal, entrapments are illegal. If in the course of their operation they induced or influenced you to engage in a child pornography crime that you would have otherwise not committed had it not been for their influence, then that also forms a ground that your attorney can use to defend you against the charges.

  • Knowledge of Obscene Matter

There are also circumstances where one may not be aware that the material they were in possession of or distributing was obscene in nature. For you to be convicted of a child pornography crime, the defendant must have been aware that the material they were viewing had pornographic scenes. If had no knowledge of this, then your charges could be legally defended by a keen attorney.

  • No Possession

If you are being accused of possessing Child Pornography material, then the prosecutor must be able to prove that you indeed possess these materials. If you do not possess these materials legally, then the charges against you can be rendered null and void with the help of an experienced attorney.

  • Legitimate Purpose

You are always encouraged to be very forthcoming with the truth so that your attorney can use all the relevant information to assist you. In the event you intended or used the pornographic material for a legitimate purpose such as educational purposes or for a scientific research, your attorney can use this as a valid defense for your charges.

  • Unlawful Searches

Law enforcement officers must have a warrant before searching and seizing your house or any property. If they insist on searching without a warrant, then this may create legal ground that your attorney can use to defend you. This is why you need to get in touch with an attorney as soon as possible to avoid escalation of the situation.

  • Cases of Hacking

If someone hacked your machine and planted child pornography there, then you need to tell your attorney so that they can use it as a valid defense. Our able attorneys at Pasadena Law Firm will strive to figure out a way to prove that your computer, or phone was hacked and the materials planted therein.

How Pasadena Child Pornography Attorney Can Help You

Considering the penalties and punishments incurred if convicted of Child Pornography, no one would wish to go down that road not to mention the effect it would have on your loved ones. You should not allow one incident to affect and determine the way the rest of your life will turn out. You have a way out here. You stand a great chance of walking away a free man and live the rest of your life to the fullest. An experienced Pasadena Child Pornography attorney will hold your hand throughout the experience and make it less traumatizing for you. We have ways to ensure that we keep you away from the press and any form of publicity. Our clients are our priority and as such, we channel all our efforts to ensure that you find justice and that no innocent person is convicted for a crime they did not commit. Every minute is of the essence in this situation so take that phone immediately and call Pasadena Criminal Attorney at 626-689-2277 any time 24 hours a day. We offer free, confidential legal consultation to listen to your side of the story and learn how we can work together.

How Can We Help? 626-689-2277