Child Pornography Offenses in Lexington, SC

Laws on Possession, Distribution & Production of Child Pornography

Under federal laws, it is a crime to produce, distribute or possess child pornography in the United States. 18 U.S.C. § 2256 defines child pornography as any "visual depiction of sexually explicit conduct involving a minor"—meaning anyone under the age of 18. This area of the law is not exactly black and white, however, as the First Amendment of the United States Constitution has placed certain protections over materials that have been deemed valuable for scientific, artistic, literary or political purposes. For this reason, it has been hard for lawmakers to develop a concrete, and all-encompassing, definition of what actually constitutes child pornography. Instead, the courts have been left with the responsibility of making this distinction, as it has been decided that "you'll know it when you see it."

18 U.S.C. § 2251 – Production of Child Pornography / Sexual Exploitation of Children

  • Under federal law, it is illegal to coerce, persuade or entice a minor to participate in the production of child pornography. The subsequent materials do not necessarily have to show a minor engaging in sexual acts in order for it to be considered "legally obscene," however, as simply depicting a naked child in a suggestive manner would be enough. Additionally, conspiring or attempting to produce child pornography is also a crime.

18 U.S.C. § 2252 – Possession, Distribution and Receipt of Child Pornography

  • Under federal law, it is illegal to possess any materials that depict a minor under sexual suggestive circumstances—including, but not limited to, photographs, videos, computer generated images and electronically stored data that can be converted into illicit images of child pornography. This means that it is also a federal crime to knowingly distribute, receive or attempt to receive any such materials in the United States.

Examining the Penalties for Crimes Related to Child Pornography

If you were to be convicted of possessing, distributing, transporting and/or producing child pornography in the United States, you could face serious legal consequences. For a first-time offense of producing child pornography, the offender could be sentenced to prison for 15-30 years. For a first-time offense of transporting child pornography, the offender could be sentenced to 5-20 years in prison. For a first-time offense of possessing child pornography, the offender could be sentenced to 10 years in prison.

If the individual has prior convictions and/or the offense was committed under aggravated circumstances—which could mean that the material was violent or sadistic in nature—they could be facing life in prison. For this reason, it is recommended that you call a Lexington criminal lawyer if you have been charged with a crime related to child pornography in South Carolina. You could be prosecuted under both state and federal law, so you will need the help of an attorney who can successfully defend a complex sex crime case.

Charged with a sex crime? Let our Lexington criminal attorney help!

Have you been accused of committing a crime related to the illicit possession, manufacture, transport or distribution of child pornography? If so, it is important that you act quickly to protect yourself against a conviction. Not only could you be facing decades behind bars, but you may even be forced to register as a sex offender for the rest of your life. For this reason, the Law Office of James R. Snell, Jr., LLC encourages you to take action now by enlisting the help of a Lexington criminal attorney from our firm. Your initial consultation is free when you call our office at (888) 301-6004, so you should not hesitate to get started today.

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