The mere mention of the words "online child pornography" when it is related to state charges in Pennsylvania or federal charges has the potential to stigmatize a person regardless of their guilt or innocence. However, no matter the situation, it is important for a person who is accused of exploiting children or being involved in child pornography to be aware of the need for a strong legal defense.
With the legal penalties and inevitable aftermath of needing to be part of a National Sex Offender Registry after a guilty verdict, understanding the law for child pornography and how it is graded is vital. If a person views, possesses or is in control of a book, a pamphlet, a magazine, a video, a film, an image or a depiction on a computer of a child who is younger than 18 who is taking part in sexual acts that are illegal or is simulating such acts, it will be considered child pornography.
With grading, there is an exception where a person who is under 18 and is viewing images of him or herself in the above circumstances will not be charged with child pornography. Apart from that, the charges and the penalties will be assessed as a third-degree felony if there are films, photos, or are depicted on a computer and it is done while knowing the person is under 18. If the person disseminated images of those under 18 in sexual acts, it will be a third-degree felony for a first offense. If it is a second or subsequent offense, it will be a second-degree felony. A second-degree felony can result in up to 10 years in prison. A third-degree felony can result in up to five years in prison.
Some of the worst accusations a person can face are related to child pornography. Lodging a defense against these allegations can be difficult. considering the penalties with jail time and fines; the aftermath of needing to register as a sex offender and the negativity surrounding these crimes; and how it can hinder a person's ability to get a job and be admitted to a school, it is crucial to contact a law firm that defends those accused of these crimes. A law firm that is experienced in state and federal charges related to child pornography should be called as soon as possible.