Federal Child Pornography Charges
Charges of pornography possession or distribution can be extremely damaging to you and your loved ones. In addition to the hit your reputation may take from an indictment on child pornography, federal agents may obtain search warrants allowing them to pour through every manner of personal detail.
Computers are porous and unsecured machines that can be accessed from anywhere in the world. Though it may be easy to jump to conclusions, proving fault in a court of law will require the government to have concrete evidence to prove child pornography possession or distribution.
Child Pornography Criminal Defense Lawyer in Salt Lake City
Child pornography charges carry significant stigma and tough penalties. Attorney Darren Levitt will be in your corner with legal counsel before, during, and after trial. While Levitt Legal, PLLC is focused on your criminal case, you can maintain control of your life. Legal services are available across Salt Lake County, Box Elder County, Tooele County, Weber County, and surrounding regions.
At your first consultation, your charges will be reviewed and you will learn in greater detail the process through federal court and likely penalties you are facing. Call (801) 455-1743 today to schedule a convenient meeting time with a skilled Salt Lake City federal child pornography defense lawyer to start working toward your day in court.
Federal Child Porn Charges Information
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Defining Child Pornography in Federal Statutes
A visual depiction of someone under the age of 18 engaged in a sexually explicit conduct is illegal to buy, sell, possess, or produce, and the federal government has jurisdiction to prosecute the case if the digital file(s) entered into interstate or foreign trade.
There is room for interpretation in digital images of whether they are of a sexually explicit nature. The child in question need not be engaged in sexual activity to constitute a sexually suggestive image. Your defense lawyer will carefully review the digital files for the content of the image as well as to investigate how this image came to be on your computer or other electronic device. It is possible to acquire and send illegal files because your machine has been prey to a hacker or virus.
Federal statutes relating to child pornography are:
- 18 U.S.C. § 2251- Sexual exploitation of children
- 18 U.S.C. § 2251A- Selling and buying of children
- 18 U.S.C. § 2252- Certain activities relating to material involving the sexual exploitation of minors
- 18 U.S.C. § 2260- Production of sexually explicit depictions of a minor for importation into the United States
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Penalties of Federal Child Pornography Charges
18 U.S.C. § 2251 - Sexual exploitation of children
Enticing, persuading, or forcing a minor into creating a sexually explicit digital image will result in 15 to 30 years in federal prison. The charge also applies to a parent or legal guardian that knowingly permits a minor to be involved in a sexually explicit image.
18 U.S.C. § 2251A - Selling or buying of children
Extreme penalties are handed down to parents or legal guardians that sell or transfer minors in their care with the knowledge that minor will be used to engage in sexual behavior or produce pornographic material. The person obtaining a minor for the same purpose will be punished equivalently. Minimum 30 years to life imprisonment in addition to a fine will be levied.
18 U.S.C. § 2252 - Certain activities relating to material involving the sexual exploitation of minors
Sending or receiving files containing pornographic material involving minors can be prosecuted under this statute. The defendant must knowingly distribute or receive the material, so being unaware that the file is on your personal device is not illegal. Cases have been won by showing the defendant was not at home at the time of the file download or that the email was the result of a hacker.
A conviction will result in five to 20 years in prison, a felony, and a fine. If a person has any prior conviction on child pornography or sexual abuse charges, the defendant may be facing 15 to 40 years behind bars.
18 U.S.C. § 2260- Production of sexually explicit depictions of a minor for importation into the United States
The federal government will prosecute parties outside of the United States if it suspects they intend to import child pornography. Someone who entices or coerces a minor into producing a sexually explicit image can be charged with this statute. Also, a person in a foreign country, not engaged in the actual production, but simply with the intent to import child pornography into the U.S., may be prosecuted as well.
Those charged with production of child pornography can be penalized with 15 to 30 years imprisonment with a fine. For the distribution or possession with intent to import child pornography into the U.S., the penalty is five to 20 years in federal prison. A prior pornography or sexual abuse conviction carries 15 to 40 years in prison.
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Hire the Best Criminal Defense Attorney in Utah for Child Pornography Charges
Levitt Legal, PLLC believes you are innocent until proven guilty. Though accusations of child pornography can upend your life, Attorney Darren Levitt will work diligently to ensure the accusations do not lead to a criminal conviction.
A timely review of the evidence is crucial to your case. Call (801) 455-1743 to schedule a no-obligation consultation to learn about the federal court process and your next steps.