Child pornography charges carry harsh punishments that have actually increased in recent years. Congress has created longer sentences for child pornography crimes and has also required the U.S. Sentencing Commission to use stricter sentencing guidelines for these offenses. In fact, in the last 15 years, child pornography sentences have increased by 500%.
Images of child pornography are not protected under the First Amendment, and are considered illegal contraband under federal law. Child pornography is defined as any visual depiction of sexually explicit conduct involving a minor. Visual depictions include:
- Digital or Computer Generated Images
- Undeveloped Film
- Undeveloped Videotape
- Electronically Stored Data
Due to the heinousness of child pornography crimes, severe punishments and mandatory minimum sentences are usually applied to these cases.
Consequences of a Child Pornography Conviction
All violations of child pornography law is a serious crime. If you are convicted, you face severe statutory penalties like:
- A first time offender convicted of producing child pornography faces fines and a statutory minimum of 15 to 30 years in prison.
- A first time offender convicted of transporting child pornography through interstate or foreign commerce faces fines and a statutory minimum of 5 to 20 years in prison.
- Convicted offenders can face harsher penalties if they have prior convictions or if the child pornography offense occurred in aggravated situations.
- Aggravated situations includes those where the minor was sexually abused or the offender had prior convictions for child sexual exploitation. Images that are violent, sadistic, or masochistic in nature are also included in the criteria for an aggravated situation. In these circumstances, a convicted offender can face a lifetime of imprisonment.
Do you have more questions about the consequences of a child pornography conviction? Call (561) 349-4856 to speak with one of our criminal defense lawyers today.