Child pornography is the illegal use of children in pornographic pictures or films. It may be simulated child pornography or produced with the direct involvement of the child. If you are convicted of child pornography in New York, then you should immediately contact an experienced and aggressive New York sex crime attorney to protect your rights.
What is Child Pornography?
Section 2256 of Title 18, United States Code, defines child pornography as any visual depiction of sexually explicit conduct involving a minor (someone under 18 years of age). Visual depictions include photographs, videos, digital or computer generated images indistinguishable from an actual minor, and images created, adapted, or modified, but appear to depict an identifiable minor. Undeveloped film or videotape, and electronically stored data that can be converted into a visual image of child pornography are also illegal visual depictions under federal law.
Federal law defines anyone under 18 as a child for these purposes. Under New York law, possession of a “sexual performance by a child” younger than 16 is a felony. A picture of a naked child may constitute illegal child pornography if it is sufficiently sexually suggestive. Federal law prohibits the production, distribution, reception, and possession of an image of child pornography using or affecting any means or facility of interstate or foreign commerce. In order to be convicted, the defendant must know the material involved the actual abuse of a child.
Prosecution of Child Pornography
Federal law enforcement agencies aggressively hunt child pornography on the internet, and then try to link it back to the person possessing it. Virtually anything you do on the internet is traceable back to you. Generally, in such cases, you might get a call from federal law agencies enquiring about your internet usages. You are advised to consult a lawyer before you respond to such enquiries.
Penalties for Child Pornography
Any violation of federal child pornography law is a serious crime, and convicted offenders face severe statutory penalties. A first time offender convicted of producing child pornography faces fines and a statutory minimum of 15 years to 30 years maximum in prison. A first time offender convicted of transporting child pornography in interstate or foreign commerce faces fines and a statutory minimum of 5 years to 20 years maximum in prison.
Convicted offenders may face harsher penalties if the offender has prior convictions or if the child pornography offense occurred in aggravated situations. Aggravated situations are (i) the images are violent, sadistic, or masochistic in nature, (ii) the minor endures sexual abuse, or (iii) the offender has prior convictions for child sexual exploitation. In these circumstances, a convicted offender may face up to life imprisonment.
Sex Offender Registration
All child pornography cases require sex offender registration in New York State. If you have been convicted of possession of child pornography and live in New York State, then you have to register. This applies even if your conviction was federal or from another state. Sex offender registration will follow you for many years. It can prevent you from obtaining housing, employment and other benefits.
When your reputation, your job and your livelihood are on the line, the law office of Paul D. Petrus, Jr. & Associates can assist in investigating and preparing your case. Paul and his associates work to maximize your ability to obtain a successful resolution of your case.
Please feel free to call our office at 212.564.2440 for further information on sex offender registration for people convicted of child pornography offenses .