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In California, distributing or even possessing child pornography is a serious criminal offense. Child pornography is defined as any materials (such as digital images, videos or photographs) depicting a person under the age of 18 engaged in a sex act or in any behavior intended toarouse the viewer in a sexual manner. If you live in or near Los Angeles and have been accused of one of these crimes, a child pornography defense attorney in Santa Monica can help you fight your charges in court.
The laws against possessing or distributing child pornography are rooted in California’s obscenity laws. Section 311 of the California Penal Code defines what child pornography is and outlines the penalties for possession, production, advertisement or distribution of these materials. These are felony offenses, and all of these charges result in lifelong sex offender registration for parties who are convicted. However, punishments (such as jail or prison terms) are more severe for parties previously convicted of these or similar charges.
Most people who are facing these charges for the first time will run the risk of up to one year of jail time and a fine of up to 2,500 dollars if convicted. However, for repeat offenders the incarceration periods may be longer, and even in first-offense cases when a person is accused of distributing child pornography specifically for the reason of financial gain or other commercial purposes, the penalty is far harsher: the minimum fine is 50,000 dollars and the prison sentence could be up to six years behind bars.
It is possible to be charged with multiple offenses when you are accused of a child pornography-related crime. Depending on the volume of the materials in question and the role you are alleged to have played in the crime, you could face multiple counts under Section 311 of the California Penal Code. For example, if you are alleged to have participated in producing the materials and to have had them in your possession, you could be charged with child exploitation and possession of obscene materials depicting a minor engaged in a sex act.
Although being charged with these crimes can come as a devastating blow, defense attorneys know how to combat them in the courtroom. For example, if the materials in question were intended to be used solely for educational reasons and not for the purposes of sexual titillation, your defense lawyer can argue against the charges in court. Similarly, if you were unaware that the materials depicted a minor because the individual depicted appeared to be over the age of legal majority, this is another defense that can be raised in the courtroom.
If you need a child pornography defense attorney in Santa Monica, Okabe and Haushalter can help you. We are experts in California criminal law and can assist with fighting the charges against you in the court of law. Our lawyers are experienced and use defense tactics that could get the charges against you reduced and penalties minimized if convicted. We pride ourselves on our reputation for courtroom excellence. You need a strong legal advocate who will fight for you. Contact us today for a free consultation.