You could be charged with a serious crime if you own, send or simply view child pornography. A conviction for a child pornography crime could impact you for the rest of your life. But what happens if you did not know you were viewing images of child pornography?
If you thought the pornographic material you were watching depicted adults 18 years of age or older, you may have a valid defense to child pornography charges.
Understanding Child Pornography Charges (PC 311.11)
Under California Penal Code Section 311.11, it is illegal to possess any form of media that depicts a person under the age of 18 engaging in or simulating sexual conduct. This could mean you own physical copies of the material or you were viewing it through the internet.
If you are convicted under PC 311.11, you face severe consequences. This crime is a “wobbler” offense, meaning prosecutors could choose to charge you with a felony or a misdemeanor based on the facts of your case. Misdemeanor child pornography possession is punishable by up to 364 days in jail. A felony conviction carries a sentence of up to six years in prison.
You could also be required to register as a sex offender for the rest of your life if you are convicted of a child pornography crime.
The Lack of Knowledge Defense
In order for you to be convicted of child pornography possession under PC 311.11, the prosecution must prove that you:
- Knowingly possessed or viewed the illegal material, and
- You knew the material depicted a person under the age of 18 who was engaging in or simulating sexual conduct
One way your attorney may be able to defend you against these harsh consequences is by arguing that you lacked knowledge that the persons in the material in question were minors.
If the person(s) depicted in the pornographic material is 18 years of age or older, or if you reasonably believed the person(s) to be 18 or older, you have a very strong defense to the charges against you. This lack of knowledge can be difficult to show in court. It is ultimately up to a jury to determine if your belief was reasonable under the circumstances. That is why it is so important that you have an experienced criminal defense attorney representing you in your child pornography case.
Contact the Child Pornography Attorneys at Wallin &Klarich Today
Child pornography crimes are some of the most harshly punished crimes in California. Not only do you face jail time and expensive fines, you could be required to register as a sex offender for the rest of your life. That is why you should contact a skilled and knowledgeable child pornography attorney to defend you if you are accused of a child pornography crime. At Wallin & Klarich, our criminal attorneys have been successfully defending our clients facing child pornography crimes for over 35 years. Let us help you now.
With offices in Orange County, Riverside, San Bernardino, Los Angeles, San Diego, West Covina, Victorville and Torrance, you can find an experienced Wallin & Klarich child pornography attorney available to help you no matter where you are located.
Call us now at (877) 4-NO-JAIL or (877) 466-5245 for a free phone consultation. We will get through this together.