DC Federal Child Pornography Lawyer

With the rise of the internet as the main means of modern communication, increasingly any form of crime involving media (videos, music, pictures) falls under federal jurisdiction because the internet is an interstate entity. This applies to child pornography as well.

If you are facing federal child pornography charges, you should immediately contact an experienced DC federal child pornography lawyer to understand your options.

Child Pornography Possession or Distribution

It is a crime to possess, distribute, or receive images of child pornography using any means of interstate or foreign commerce. These means can include using mail or the internet, even if the images themselves did not travel across state borders.

For distribution or sharing illicit images, someone can face:

  • A minimum of five years and a maximum of 20 years in prison for a first offense
  • 15 years minimum and 40 years maximum for a second or subsequent offense

For simple possession of such images, or for knowingly accessing them with the intent to view them, someone can face:

  • Up to 10 years incarceration for a first offense
  • No less than 10 years and no more than 20 years for a second or subsequent offense

If the child depicted is under 12 years old, the sentence for possession of child pornography can be up to 20 years. These sentences can also come with significant fines depending on a whole range of circumstances.

In addition, according to 18 US Code Section 2253, the government can confiscate any property containing visual depictions of minors (e.g. someone’s computer) or any property purchased with the proceeds from selling such images. Losing their home computer can be inconvenient enough, but this section of the law extends possible forfeiture to any other property, including their car or even their house, if the court believes they have purchased them with funds made from the distribution of child pornography.

A dedicated DC federal child pornography lawyer can help maintain possession of property.

Possible Defenses

18 US Code Section 2252 provides a few examples of affirmative defenses for possession of child pornography. An affirmative defense is a set of circumstances which, if proven, can lead to the dismissal of your charges. Someone can mount an affirmative defense for the possession of child pornography if:

  • they acted quickly to destroy such images
  • they acted quickly to alert law enforcement
  • they possessed fewer than three images

Finding evidence to support an affirmative defense of someone’s charge is exactly the kind of action the right attorney can undertake on their behalf. In addition, child pornography laws require the government to prove that a defendant acted knowingly, rather than accidentally or by mistake. A federal child pornography lawyer working in DC can help you explore accident and mistake defenses to see if they might apply in someone’s situation.

Contacting a Federal Child Pornography Lawyer

Child pornography is a serious charge that can bring significant upheaval into your life. A DC federal child pornography lawyer could be the difference between a child pornography charge and a child pornography conviction.