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Defending Sex Crimes Charges Work with Our Firm to Fight Conviction of Sexual Exploitation of a Minor.

Third Degree Sexual Exploitation of a Minor

Accused of possessing child pornography?

Sexual Exploitation of a Minor 3rd Degree is one of the South Carolina laws that make it illegal to possess child pornography. Someone can be charged both as a State offense and as a Federal Offense. Third Degree Sexual Exploitation of a Minor is a felony criminal charge pursuant to S.C. Code § 16-15-410. It is prosecuted in the Court of General Sessions by the Solicitor's Office. The maximum penalty is a ten year sentence in the South Carolina Department of Corrections.

In order to be convicted of this offense, the prosecution must prove that the defendant was in possession of materials that they knew to be a visual representation of a minor engaging in sexual activity. It is not unusual for someone alleged to have several illegal items under this law to be charged separately for each one.

If you have been charged under this section, you may have questions:

  • Did the police illegally search my computer?
  • Should I have given a statement to the police?
  • Will I have to register as a sex offender?
  • Am I going to go to prison?
  • What options do I have to fight this charge?

You can ask all of your specific questions during a case evaluation with the firm's Lexington criminal defense attorney! Call us at (803) 359-3301 today.

Does South Carolina have a Romeo and Juliet law?

South Carolina does not have a close in age exemption, often referred to as a “Romeo and Juliet” law. In some states, these laws exist to prevent individuals who are close in age to each other from prosecution under statutory rape laws. Since South Carolina does not Romeo and Juliet laws, if two individuals are under the age of 16 and engage in sexual conduct, both can receive statutory rape charges. Additionally, there are no protections in place if one party is slightly above the age of 16 and the other is 15 years old.

Defending Against a Sex Crime Conviction in Lexington, SC

There may be several defenses available to anyone charged with this section. Law enforcement must have a valid search warrant in order to seize and look through anyone's computer files, or their private materials. If police intend on questioning someone regarding suspected child pornography they may have an obligation to first provide Miranda advisement. The law also requires that anyone in possession of illegal materials must do so knowingly. So if the materials were unknowingly possessed, such as accidentally downloaded, this may create a legal defense that can be used to help fight this charge.

At the Law Office of James R. Snell, Jr., LLC, we have assisted clients in defending themselves against Sexual Exploitation charges. We do not recommend that anyone who is under investigation for this offense agree to talk with police or consent to any searches without first consulting with a Lexington criminal attorney.

If you or a loved one has been charged with any exploitation offense you should contact our office for a free consultation with an experienced Lexington sex crime attorney.

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