Los Angeles Child Pornography Attorney
Are you facing child pornography charges in California? Get in touch with a California child pornography attorney who will work hard for you, no matter what.
Have you been accused of possession, distribution or another offense related to child pornography? These are serious crimes, and the potential penalties are significant. A conviction could lead to years in prison and mandatory registration as a sex offender. Mere possession of child pornography can be charged as a felony.
To protect yourself you need a strong defense, and the strength of your defense is based in large part on your choice of legal counsel. At CBS Law, we represent clients charged with serious crimes, including sex crimes. Contact us for a free consultation.
“I felt like I was in nightmare. Chris literally saved my life.” – Jesus L.
What is Child Pornography?
The phrase “child pornography” is not specifically defined in the California Penal Code. It does, however, define “obscene matter,” as matter that appeals to the prurient interest, and that describes or depicts sexual conduct in a “patently offensive” way. The term is described in PC 311.
The next question is how “sexual conduct” is defined for purposes of the California obscenity law as it applies to children. “Sexual conduct” in this context means sexual intercourse, vaginal or rectal penetration, and masturbation, sadomasochism, genital, pubic and rectal exhibition, or defecation or urination, involving a minor (under the age of 18) for the purpose of sexual stimulation of the person viewing the exhibition. The offense itself is known as sexual exploitation of a child.
Child pornography is also a crime under federal law, 18 U.S.C. § 2252. The language in the federal law is similar to language in the California statute. Federal law will generally apply if the conduct involves interstate or foreign commerce. The penalties for a violation of the federal law, as you might expect, are also severe. A conviction carries a prison sentence of between 5 and 20 years in prison. For a person with a prior conviction for sexual abuse, possession of or trafficking in child pornography, sex trafficking of children, and certain other offenses, the federal sentence if convicted will be from 15 to 40 years.
Classification of Child Porn Charges under California Law
In California, the classification and penalty imposed if you are convicted of an offense relating to child pornography varies with the specifics of the case. A person who sends, receives, distributes, possesses, etc. a photograph, videotape, film, computer disc, etc., depicting a person under the age of eighteen engaging in or simulating sexual conduct, can be charged with a misdemeanor or a felony. A second conviction will be charged as a felony.
“From the moment I met Chris, I knew I was in good hands.” – Kevin H.
Sex Offender Registration – Megan’s Law
In your defense, you could say that you did not know you were looking at child pornography and thought the actors were of age, you clicked a bad link, or you accidentally downloaded malware on your computer, and it contained child porn in it. You could also claim you were part of an entrapment scheme from the police or an illegal search or seizure without the proper warrants occurred.
In addition to incarceration and fines, a conviction under the California or the federal law will require registration as a sex offender, which will have major negative consequences for your future.
In California, under PC 290 (commonly referred to as “Megan’s Law”), a charge for any of the offenses referred to above will include not only the possibility of jail/prison time and fines, it will also include registration as a sex offender. Depending upon the specifics of the conviction, you will be assigned to a tier, which will dictate the length of time you must maintain your registration. The registration itself will affect where you may live, whether you can work with minors, and your record will become publicly available through online registration. This will obviously have an impact not only on your work, but also on your family and your reputation in the community.
Defenses to Child Pornography Charges
As noted above, sexual exploitation of a minor includes more than what most people think of when they hear the phrase “child pornography.” It covers not only knowing possession of child porn; it also includes, among other things, knowingly distributing, electronically transmitting, recording, or selling any visual depiction of a minor engaged in sexual conduct or an “exploitive exhibition.”
There are defenses that may apply in response to a charge of sexual exploitation of a minor. They include, among others:
- Unintentional Possession. An example of this defense would be a computer at your workstation that is sometimes used by other employees. The computer could have many pictures that would qualify as child pornography, but you were unaware of the fact, and had no control over what other employees may have viewed or saved.
- It is possible – perhaps even likely – that at some point in your life your computer will be hacked or otherwise compromised. If that happens, you may have just about anything installed in the device – including child porn – without your knowledge or control.
- No Child Involved. In some cases, what looks like it might be child porn does not fit the statutory definition. If may be that the age of the “child” is actually eighteen or older. And if the child is legally emancipated, the statute likely will not apply.
Other defenses may also apply in your case.
Child Pornography Attorney in Los Angeles
If you are facing a child pornography charge, the stakes are huge. A conviction will lead to a massive change in all aspects of your life. You need to take advantage of every possible benefit that exists, including hiring the best criminal defense lawyer you can find.
At CBS Law, we are experienced sexual offense defense attorneys who understand the law and its impact on our clients. Contact us for a free consultation.
Call CBS Law at (213) 800-8005
“Do NOT speak to law enforcement or investigators about your child pornography charges, as that information can and will be used against you in a court of law.”
Christopher J. Bou Saeed Founding Attorney of CBS Law