Thursday, September 19, 2019

Child Pornography Charges

The police arrive at your house with a search warrant for all of your devices. Unbeknownst to you, child pornography is deeply embedded in one of your files. How did that happen? How can you defend yourself? Call Beles & Beles and we will get you through this nightmare successfully.

Child Pornography is Illegal, Regardless of Circumstance

Pornography of all types is legal and accessible on the Internet. However, nude images of people under 18 are not legal under any circumstances. The problem is that many pornographic images are downloadable as a group. Sometimes, child porn is a part of a greater package. You didn’t mean to download it. You didn’t even look at it. But the government discovers through the sender that you have received it. There is a defense to this situation.

Child Pornography Crimes Can Be State and/or Federal

Child pornography can be charged in state court or in federal court. California Penal Code section 311.11 makes it illegal to “knowingly possess” images depicting people under 18 in sexual situations. If you or a loved one has unknowingly received child porn, then you are not guilty of the crime.

Often, law enforcement will conduct a search before charging a person with a crime. We can help by communicating with the prosecutors after the search. We try to convince them not to charge people who unwittingly possessed inappropriate material.

Felony or Misdemeanor?

In state court, child pornography can be a felony or a misdemeanor. (Penal Code section 311.11(a). However, if a person possesses more than 600 images or the images depict sado-masochism, then it is automatically a felony. In federal court, all child pornography cases are felonies, and there are many factors that increase the potential punishment, such as sado-masochism, the age of the person depicted, and whether the material was just received, or also distributed.

How about the exchange of pornographic photos directly between known people? Did a teenager send a topless photo? Unfortunately, that, too, is illegal to possess. And distributing it, for whatever reason, puts you at risk of criminal prosecution.

We have handled hundreds of these allegations successfully. Call us now if you or a loved one are at risk of investigation.

State Certified Specialists
Robert Beles - State Certified Criminal Law Specialist
Anne Beles - State Certified Criminal Law Specialist
Paul McCarthy - State Certified Appellate Law Specialist
Emilio Parker - State Certified Immigration Law Specialist
California Board of Legal Specialization

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