Online Pornography Defense Lawyer
Under 18 U.S.C. § 2251, certain types of Child Pornography are punishable by imprisonment of not less than 15 years and up to 30 years if the criminal depictions are transported in interstate or foreign commerce.
The Internet has led to an extraordinary shift in both the amount of media people consume and the way they consume it. By some estimates, 90 percent of all of the data humans have ever produced has been generated in just the last two years. This explosion is directly attributable to the Internet and the proliferation of online media.
When you consider the vast size of the Internet and the fact that roughly four percent of all websites are pornographic, you can start to get a sense for just how much pornographic content is available on the Internet. Unfortunately, a significant portion of these websites contains or are specifically devoted to child pornography. The Association of Sites Advocating Child Protection (ASACP) estimates that close to 50 percent of commercial online child pornography websites are run from the United States.
Online Pornography Crimes Explained
Child pornography is a serious crime, with serious ramifications for the victim and serious penalties for the perpetrator. Federal and state law enforcement agencies vigorously pursue cases of child pornography, and rarely have any sympathy for the targets of their investigations. At Oberheiden, P.C., we provide legal representation to those accused of involvement with child pornography. We are passionate about using the justice system to obtain the best possible results for our clients in cases involving all types of state and federal charges. If you are facing charges of child pornography, our criminal defense attorneys can help you present the strongest possible defense.
Defending Against Online Pornography Crime Charges
Child pornography is illegal under state and federal law. Our attorneys represent clients across the country on both state and federal charges. While state laws can vary, the federal child pornography statutes are generally representative of the prohibitions on child pornography throughout the nation. These laws make it illegal to:
- Use, persuade or coerce a minor to engage in child pornography
- Permit your own minor son or daughter or a minor in your custody to be used in child pornography
- Produce or distribute child pornography
- Receive or possess any pornographic images or videos of children
Federal law defines child pornography as any “visual depiction of sexually explicit conduct” involving a child under 18 years of age. For purposes of the federal statutes, the age of consent in your state is irrelevant. If you have any involvement whatsoever in the creation, transmission, or viewing of pornographic content involving a child age 17 or younger, you can face federal charges for child pornography.
What constitutes a “visual depiction of sexually explicit conduct” is quite broad. As you would expect, it includes photographs and videos of children engaged in sexual conduct. However, beyond actual images of children, the federal child pornography statutes also apply to computer-generated images that are indistinguishable from actual photos and videos, as well as sexually explicit depictions of individuals over age 18 who are made to appear as identifiable, actual minors. Federal child pornography laws also apply to undeveloped film and videotape, as well as electronically stored data that can be converted into illegal imagery.
Supposedly, images do not need to depict sexual activity in order to be deemed pornographic. The U.S. Department of Justice has stated that, (a naked child may constitute illegal child pornography if it is sufficiently sexually suggestive.)
Penalties for Child Pornography Crimes
Federal child pornography laws apply to all instances involving interstate commerce. While this may initially sound like it insulates many people who create or view pornographic material in their homes from federal prosecution, the reality is that federal jurisdiction covers virtually all Internet-related activity. If you access pornographic material created in another state, use a regional or national Internet service provider, or even if you purchased your computer that traveled across state lines, this is enough to implicate federal charges.
The criminal penalties for child pornography are severe. For example:
- A first-time offender convicted of producing child pornography faces fines and a minimum of 15 years of incarceration, up to a maximum sentence of 30 years.
- A first-time offender convicted of transmitting child pornography in interstate commerce faces fines and 5 to 20 years of incarceration.
- Second-time offenders and offenders who have been convicted under state sexual abuse, child sex trafficking, child pornography, and similar statutes face 25 to 50 years in federal prison. A third offense can lead to a life sentence.
The punishment for a first-time offense increases in cases involving images that are violent, sadistic, masochistic, or depict sexual abuse.
Contact Oberheiden, P.C. for a Free Consultation
If you are facing child pornography charges, it is important to hire experienced legal representation. The prosecution will be gunning for a maximum sentence, and you need someone on your side who can protect your legal rights. Our attorneys can make sure that you receive a fair trial, and we will do everything in our power to fight to have your charges dismissed. To schedule a free consultation, call (888) 727-5154 or contact us online today.
Dr. Nick Oberheiden is a national litigation and trial criminal defense attorney who practices exclusively in the area of federal law.