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Child pornography is a serious federal crime, and the punishments that are doled out to those convicted are similarly severe. State and Federal law prohibits the production, distribution, possession, reception, or sale of pornographic images that contain children. Contact an experienced child pornography attorney immediately if you’ve been accused. Even the possession of child pornography on your computer can result in time in federal prison, depending on the case.
What is Child Pornography?
According to section 2256 of Title 18, United States Code, child pornography as “any visual depiction of sexually explicit conduct involving a minor (someone under 18 years of age).” It is important to note that the legal definition of sexually explicit conduct doesn’t require that these images depict a child engaging in sexual activity.
For example, a picture of a naked child may constitute illegal child pornography if the image is sexually suggestive. The age of consent for any sexual activity in North Carolina is irrelevant. If there are depictions of any minor under 18 years old engaging in sexually explicit activity, it is illegal.
Visual depictions include:
- Digital or computer-generated images indistinguishable from an actual minor
- Pictures created to depict an identifiable, actual minor
- Undeveloped film, videotape, and electronically stored data
Under section 2251-2260 of Title 18, United States Code, federal law prohibits the following:
- Sexual exploitation of children
- Selling or buying of children
- Activities relating to material involving the sexual exploitation of minors
- Activities relating to material constituting or containing child pornography
- Production of sexually explicit depictions of a minor for importation into the U.S.
Child Pornography Charges & Consequences
Child pornography is illegal under both North Carolina state law and federal law. A violation of federal child pornography laws is a serious crime, and the penalties are designed to be equally severe.
First-time offenders of producing child pornography are sentenced to 15 to 30 years in prison. Offenders caught with child pornography on their computers receive prison time. The sentence of those convicted of a child pornography-related crime, either federal or state, includes mandatory sex offender registration. Members of the public can always access this information for free, wherein offender names, addresses, and photos are all provided. Plus, sex offenders must obey numerous limitations in their daily lives, including where they are and are not allowed to live.
An offender can be prosecuted not only under state child pornography laws but also under federal law. Whether state or federal law enforcement officers carried out the arrest will influence whether their child pornography charges will originate from the state or federal government. However, a person arrested by local or North Carolina state police can still be charged in federal court.
Why You Need an Attorney
The expansion of the Internet and advanced technology has not only increased the incidence of child pornography but made cases more complicated. As such, defending against child pornography charges requires a multifaceted approach by an experienced team of lawyers.
Our team understands that it isn’t just a lengthy sentence that’s on the line, but the weighty, negative stigma surrounding a conviction. People who are convicted of child pornography will have a permanent felony conviction on their record. It goes without saying that this record will limit their ability to find employment, apply for financial aid, and much more.
Contact Us Today
The criminal defense attorneys at Dysart Willis have handled many cases involving child pornography and understand what it takes to investigate the matter and build an effective defense. You need someone on your side to defend you against allegations of possession and distribution of child pornography if you’ve been accused. Don’t waste any time before retaining an experienced attorney to protect your rights. Contact us today by calling 919-747-8380 or contacting us online to schedule an initial consultation.