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Charged with a crime involving child pornography can have life-altering consequences. Not only does a person charged with this type of crime face significant penalties if convicted, the ramifications of a charge and conviction of a crime involving child pornography can resonate for a lifetime. Every year, residents of Long Island face child pornography charges.
If you, or a person close to you, has been charged with child pornography, you need to have a basic understanding of applicable law and of your legal rights. You must not underestimate the vital importance of retaining the services of a skilled, experienced, committed Long Island child pornography lawyer.
Definition of Child Pornography
Both state and federal laws define child pornography in a similar manner. Child pornography is defined as a visual depiction of sexually explicit conduct or activity involving a minor, according to the United States Department of Justice.
Common Types of Child Pornography Charges
There are three common types of child pornography charges faced by people in Staten Island and throughout the state of New York. One crime in this category is possession of child pornography. Possession of child pornography is having possession of sexually explicit materials involving a child or children.
Possession has been fairly broadly defined by both statutes and court decisions in the United States, including in the state of New York. Even the brief capture of a sexually explicit image of a child on a person’s computer can be deemed possession of child pornography for the purposes of the law prohibiting this activity.
Another type of child pornography charge involves distribution. Distribution of child pornography occurs when a sexually explicit image of a child is transmitted from one person to another. This transmission can occur in person, through the mail, or via some other “real world” exchange. With that noted, in this day and age, most conveyances of child pornography occurs digitally and online.
Finally, production of child pornography is the third type of charge involving sexually explicit imagery involving children according to Cornell Law School. Production of child pornography is the creation of photographs or videos depicting a minor child in a sexually explicit manner.
Keep in mind that a charge of production of child pornography rarely stands alone. By that it is meant that a person charged with this crime typically faces other criminal charges as well. These can include an array of charges arising from New York child abuse statutes.
New York and Federal Child Pornography Laws
The state of New York and the United States both main statutes regarding the crimes associated with child pornography, according to the United States Department of Justice. A person can be prosecuted by the state of New York or by the federal government when it comes to any one of the different types of child pornography charges enumerated by law.
A person potentially can be charged, prosecuted and convicted on child pornography charges by both the state of New York and the United States. Many people wrongly conclude that the concept of “double jeopardy” prevents this type of dual prosecution. In fact, because separate laws potentially are violated in a particularly child pornography case, both jurisdictions have the constitutional and legal ability to prosecute an alleged offender.
Artificially Generated or Simulated “Child Pornography”
In an attempt to circumvent child pornography laws, producers of this type of imagery began creating artificially generated or simulated “child pornography.” In these situations, the imagery does not feature an actual, living minor child.
Ultimately, laws and court decisions have caught up with technology in this area. There can now be criminal prosecutions mounted in certain circumstances, even when the “child pornography” has been artificially generated.
For example, if a person downloads onto his or her computer explicit images he or she believes are actual images of a minor, that individual can face prosecution for possession of child pornography. The individual in question intends to possess child pornography, despite the fact that simulated imagery is what has been obtained.
Penalties for Child Pornography
A conviction for child pornography can result in an extended prison term. For example, a person convicted in federal court of producing child pornography faces a statutory minimum sentence of 15 years. In addition, a person convicted of child pornography faces the requirement of registering as a sex offender, in some instances for a lifetime.
Retain a Skilled, Experienced Long Island Child Pornography Lawyer
The best way to protect your legal interests when facing child pornography charges is to retain the services of a tenacious, experienced Long Island child pornography lawyer. The first step in retaining suitable legal representation is scheduling an initial consultation about the case.
During an initial consultation, legal counsel provides an evaluation of the charges and the case. This includes an analysis of possible defenses to a child pornography charge. You can obtain answers to any questions you have about the case. As a general rule, no fee is charged for an initial consultation with a Long Island child pornography lawyer