Child Pornography Charges Can Do More than Embarrass You
As far as you’re concerned, it was nothing more than an innocent mistake. Yet, you are facing child pornography charges. Assuredly, you are embarrassed and find it difficult to look in the eyes of family and friends. In the meantime, you have more than mortification to worry about as you look into the future. Could you be labeled as a sex offender?
Here’s how you might find yourself in a situation regarding child pornography charges. It’s not something you readily share with anyone else. In the past, you’ve visited some adult erotica websites. From what you understand, there’s nothing illegal about visiting porn sites as long as the materials don’t depict children.
One day, you follow a few links from your favorite adult site. You’re shocked at what appears on your screen and quickly close your internet browser. The fact that you’re not computer savvy compounds your issue. As it turns out, you’ve actually downloaded some photographs of young teens engaging in sexual acts.
Your horror turns to shame when your wife comes across the child pornography on the family computer. She was already contemplating filing a divorce complaint against you. It’s not beyond the realm of possibilities that your innocent mistake can find you with newly added problems.
In the meantime, your story may be different entirely than the one presented here. Read on to learn about child pornography charges and the associated penalties.
NJ Law and Child Pornography
Your initial instincts about the legality of viewing or reading sexually explicit materials is somewhat correct. Your choice to look at pornographic images falls under the protections of the First Amendment. However, your right to free speech and expression excludes anything concerning children.
There are a number of federal statutes regarding child pornography. In New Jersey, the laws regarding endangering the welfare of children start at NJSA 2C:24-4 and provide valuable insight into what could result in criminal prosecution. These include:
- Possession of Child Pornography
- Causing or permitting a child to engage in sexual acts for purposes of sharing with others – by photographs or videos
- Producing Child Pornography by film or video
- Distribution of Child Pornography
- Storing or maintaining Child Pornography using file-share programs
In the meantime, New Jersey law also identifies prohibited acts that constitute child pornography. These include any of the following: sexual and/or anal intercourse, masturbation, bestiality, sadism, masochism, fellatio, cunnilingus or any act of sexual penetration or sexual contact.
Child pornography may also contain nude photographs of children, provided their purpose is to stimulate or gratify the viewer sexually.
The penalties for child pornography are strict. For example, a first-time offender could face up to a five-year sentence behind bars. Like other sex crime convictions, there are no early release programs. This means the offender would need to serve at least 85% of the sentenced time in jail.
However, that’s not all. A child pornography conviction means your name gets added to the New Jersey Sex Offender’s List as required by Megan’s Law.
At the Law Offices of Anthony Carbone, we help clients facing child pornography charges and use our experience in providing the best possible defense. Contact our office and learn how we can assist you.