Federal Child Pornography

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Child Pornography under Federal Law

Federal law defines Child Pornography as any visual depiction of sexually explicit conduct involving a minor (someone under 18 years of age). This can be any photographs, videos, digital or computer-generated images indistinguishable from an actual minor, and images created, adapted, or modified, but appear to depict an identifiable, actual minor. It is important to understand that legal definition of sexually explicit conduct does not mean that only a child engaging in sexual activity can be considered Child Pornography. A simple image of a nude child can be enough for a conviction for possession of illegal child pornography if it is sufficiently sexually suggestive.

Specifically, Federal criminal law makes it a federal offense to produce, distribute, receive, or possess an image of child pornography using or affecting any means or facility of interstate or foreign commerce (18 U.S.C. § 2251; 18 U.S.C. § 2252; 18 U.S.C. § 2252A). Additionally, Section 2251 makes it illegal to persuade, induce, entice, or coerce a minor to engage in sexually explicit conduct for purposes of producing visual depictions of that conduct. Federal jurisdiction is only triggered under certain circumstances such as using U.S. Mails or common carriers to send or receive child pornography across state lines. If the internet is used, as is most often the case, Federal jurisdiction almost always applies.

Severe Consequences

Under federal law, a conviction for most child pornography related offenses can mean severe consequences, such as mandatory minimum sentences in the bureau of prisons and participation in your state’s sex offender registry. A person convicted of producing child pornography under 18 U.S.C. § 2251, can expect steep fines and a statutory minimum of 15 years of active prison time.

Child pornography offenses for transportation, receipt, distribution, and possession with the intent to distribute or sell child pornography offenses have a mandatory minimum term of 5 years and a maximum of 20 years.

Under the Federal sentencing guidelines, there are additional enhancements based on the number of images possessed or distributed, whether the victims were 12 years of age or younger, whether the material is "sadistic" that can result in substantially higher sentences.

Aggressive Defense

Our firm is prepared to help you with a defense for these offenses. Our attorneys have experience with the prosecution’s methods and are ready to fight by reviewing the governments evidence such as computer forensic analysis, questioning the credibility and truthfulness of witnesses, and finding motivations for someone to bring such charges against you. Our skilled child pornography defense lawyers understand the value of forensic computer evidence when someone is charged with child pornography possession or distribution. Every method we use is focused on creating reasonable doubt in the minds of the judge or jury about your guilt. Just because you have been accused of a child pornography offense does not mean you need to assume the worst. There may be substantial defenses available in your case. An experienced child pornography defense lawyer will know what elements of your case to pursue to defend your rights.

Being charged with these types of crimes can quickly ruin your reputation and there is too much to risk not to seek an aggressive criminal defense lawyer in Virginia Beach. The prosecutors will vigorously pursue a conviction in your case, and we will defend your rights against a lengthy jail sentence or other serious result.

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