Sex crimes are viewed as among the most serious in the criminal justice system for the impact such crimes have on their victims and society at large. A convicted sex offender will likely face a steep prison sentence in addition to being required to register as a sex offender for the duration of his or her life. In particular, child pornography possession, production, or distribution charges are viewed as the most morally repugnant of sexual crimes and have associated penalties that can ruin an offender’s life if convicted.
California Child Pornography
California, like many states, has its own child pornography laws in addition to any associated federal crimes. The California child pornography laws, collectively, make it such that sending, transporting, producing, possessing, duplicating, receiving, making available, printing, exchanging, advertising, controlling, owning, displaying, publishing, and other related actions are illegal under state law. Essentially, being involved with child pornography publication or use in any way can expose you to criminal liability.
Though in most instances, crimes are brought at either the state or federal level, child pornography crimes are treated as especially serious by prosecutors. As such, it is likely that both state and federal charges will be brought against you if you are suspected of child pornography possession, distribution, or production. Federal crimes are implicated when they arise out of a violation of federal law or if they involve interstate commerce. Interstate commerce is essentially anything that extends over state lines. Virtually any internet-related crime will fit this requirement, as the internet is inherently interstate and available throughout the world. Federal crimes are even more severe than state charges due to the severity of the fines imposed, as well as the associated prison sentence.
Defenses to Child Pornography Charges
Child pornography broadly refers to obscene or explicit materials of individuals under the age of 18. Minors under 18 are unable to legally give consent, so even if a minor did give permission for the action, such permission is deemed void as a matter of public policy and will not be a defense.
There are, however, many valid defenses to state and federal child pornography charges. Some examples include:
- You did not know that the subject was under 18
- You were a victim of criminal entrapment
- Evidence was obtained against you unlawfully in violation of your Fourth Amendment rights
- You were not the individual using the computer where the pornography was located
- You have been mistaken for someone else
Though there are defenses to the serious charge of child pornography, the severity of such criminal charges cannot be understated. If you have been accused of committing and child pornography or other sexual related offense, it is critical to consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney right away.
Contact a San Diego Criminal Defense Attorney Today
Having a knowledgeable sex crimes defense attorney on your side from the moment suspicion arises or formal charges are brought against you can greatly improve your chances of asserting a valid offense and having the charges against you dismissed or minimized. An attorney can help you understand your rights and responsibilities, and can also help you understand what you are legally entitled to say, do, and not say to law enforcement.
The Law Office of Vikas Bajaj, APC has the experience you need to successfully defend serious child pornography or sex crimes charges. Contact Attorney Bajaj’s San Diego law office today.