If you are arrested for a child pornography crime under PC 311, you could face harsh punishment, including a prison sentence, expensive fines, and lifetime registration as a sex offender. However, in order to be convicted of possession of child pornography, the prosecution must prove that you knowingly obtained it. 1
The Internet makes it very easy to access, sell, and exchange child pornography. Because of this, you could obtain child pornography without being aware you did so, and without ever having sought it out, purchased it, or looked at it. Below are some ways you could accidentally obtain child pornography, and ways you can protect yourself from facing charges under PC 311.
Somebody Else Downloads It on Your Computer
Most people don’t live alone. Many people share a house with family members or roommates. But that doesn’t mean you have to share your computer.
Protect yourself by putting a password on your computer that only you know, and if you allow somebody else to use it, make sure you know why they are using it. It might be a good idea to check your Internet search history regularly, especially after somebody else had access to your computer.
You Accidentally Visit a Porn Website Where the Actors are Minors
You are bored and you’re surfing the Internet. You check out a website that advertises beautiful girls who are “barely legal” and download some content to your computer. What you don’t realize is that some of the nude models are actually not legal – they are minors.
You should be careful about visiting new websites, especially pornography sites. Websites that advertises “barely legal” models or actors could actually be showing you persons who are underage.
You Buy a Used Computer with Files on the Hard Drive
You buy a computer second hand from a Craigslist ad. You don’t know, but there are files of child pornography saved in a hidden folder on the hard drive.
Any time you buy used electronics, wipe out the hard drive or memory immediately. This will erase any files and restore the electronic device to factory settings. You don’t know what the previous owner did with the device, and since you now own it, you could be charged with a serious crime if there are illegal files saved onto the hard drive.
Your Vehicle Contains Child Pornography
As part of your job, you drive a company car to another state. You have no idea that the car has child pornography hidden in the trunk.
If you have a job where you must drive a shared company vehicle or you borrow someone else’s car, you should check the car carefully to make sure there isn’t anything illegal hidden in the vehicle.
You Buy the Contents of a Storage Unit
When people abandon storage units, the contents are sold at auction. Buyers bid on the contents of the entire unit without knowing what exactly is in there and hope that the unit contains valuable stuff. But what if the unit contains child pornography? It could be hidden in the hard drive of a computer, or there could be pictures and films mixed in with the jumble of other stuff contained in boxes.
If you buy the contents of a storage unit at an auction, go through the stuff right away. Don’t take any boxes home without first finding out what’s in them. If you obtain a used computer or any used electronic devices, wipe out the hard drive immediately.
Call Wallin & Klarich Today if You Have Been Arrested for a Sex Crime
If you have been accused of possessing child pornography and violating PC 311 or another law, you need to talk to an experienced criminal defense attorney immediately. At Wallin & Klarich, our skilled sex crime defense attorneys have been successfully helping our clients facing these charges for over 30 years. We know how devastating a sex crime conviction can be, and that is why we are here to help you.
With offices located in Los Angeles, Sherman Oaks, Torrance, Orange County, San Diego, Riverside, San Bernardino, Ventura, West Covina and Victorville, there is an experienced Wallin & Klarich sex crimes attorney available to help you no matter where you work or live.
Call us today at (877) 4-NO-JAIL or (877) 466-5245 for a free phone consultation. We will be there when you call.