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Child Pornography

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Child Pornography – Crimes and Punishment

California has some of the most complex child pornography laws in the country, with many different Penal Code sections and subsections devoted to specific criminal acts related to child pornography. (See Penal Code section 311 through section 312.7).

What is Child Pornography?

These statutes, taken together, generally define child pornography as depictions of people under the age of 18 engaged in sexual conduct, except emancipated minors. The depictions can be in the form of photographs, digital images, DVDs, film strips, and may even include drawings and computer-generated images.

Are all child pornography charges the same?

No, there are about 10 different child pornography crimes in Los Angeles, California.

Punishments vary greatly among the various charges, ranging from a year in county jail to 8 years state prison.

Because there is so much overlap between the various types of child pornography crimes, it is difficult to know which crime you will be prosecuted for until charges are filed against you. Here are some brief descriptions of the various crimes and their worst possible punishments:

  • 1 – “Possession or Duplication with Intent to Distribute”
    3 years state prison maximum, life time sex registration, $10,000
  • 2(b) – “Possession or Duplication with Intent to Distribute for Commercial Consideration”
    6 years state prison maximum, lifetime sex registration, $100,000 fine
  • 2(c) – “Possession or Duplication with Intent to Distribute to Adults”
    3 years state prison maximum, lifetime sex registration, $10,000 fine
  • 2(d) – “Possession or Duplication with Intent to Distribute to Minors”
    3 years state prison maximum, lifetime sex registration, $10,000
  • 3(a) – “Duplicating or Trading”
    3 years state prison maximum, lifetime sex registration, $10,000
  • 4(c) – “Using a Minor to Make Child Pornography”
    3 years state prison maximum, lifetime sex registration, $10,000
  • 10 – “Advertising Child Pornography for Sale”
    4 years state prison maximum, lifetime sex registration, $50,000
  • 11 – “Possession or Duplication”
    5 years state prison maximum, lifetime sex registration, $10,000

Are there any defenses to child pornography in Los Angeles?

Yes, there are legal defenses available.

  1. It wasn’t obscene

Some of the child pornography statutes, specifically, 311.1, 311.2(b), and 311.10 require that the child pornography be obscene.

Obscenity is any matter (picture, recordings, drawings, etc.) taken as a whole, that to the average person seems to appeal to overly sexual interests, and that, taken as a whole, depicts or describes sexual conduct in a patently offensive way, and that, taken as a whole, lacks serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value.

So, if there is some serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value to the child pornographic images, that would be a defense to those charges. Common examples are films which concern broader topics than sex between children, but which have graphic depictions of such acts.

  1. I didn’t know it was child pornography

Every child pornography crime in the state of California has a knowledge requirement.

To be convicted of any criminal act related to the possession or distribution, you must know that the matter depicts people under the age of 18 engaged in sexual conduct. This defense is most applicable to people charged with possession (311.1, 311.2(b), 311.2(c), 311.2(d) and 311.11) who may have been in possession of the images accidentally (malware delivered the image to your computer or untrustworthy links on pornographic websites)

What should I do if I am charged with a child pornography crime?

You should immediately contact an experienced Los Angeles attorney, like those at Manshoory Law Group, APC to assist you in analyzing the specific facts of your case, preparing and presenting defenses before and during trial, and making sure you understand your rights and helping you enforce them. The risks of a child pornography conviction are too great to go-it alone. Contact us or Call now for a free consultation (877) 977-7750.