Penal Code 311.3 & 311.11 PC — Child Pornography
California’s laws punishing child pornography are generally prosecuted under Penal Code 311.3 and 311.11. Common Child pornography charges may include one or more of the following charges:
- Distribution of child pornography (Penal Codes 311.1(a) and 311.2(b))
- Possession of child pornography (Penal Code 311.11)
- Advertising child pornography (Penal Code 311.10)
- Developing, duplicating, printing, or exchanging child pornography(Penal Code 311.3)
Child pornography charges typically result from possessing or distributing materials online, including through chat rooms and other forms of peer-to-peer messaging.
“Sexting”– the crime of sharing child pornographic messages and photographs through portable devices such as smart phones — is increasing as portable devices continue to grow and develop.
Punishments for Child Pornography
Child Pornography offenses may be charged as misdemeanors, however, the vast majority are charged as felonies. The punishment for child pornography depends on the specific charge. For example, possession of child pornography is considered a less serious offense than the distribution of child pornography and carries less severe punishments.
Misdemeanor child pornography charges carry jail sentences of up to 1 year and fines of up to $2,500. Felony child pornography charges may be punished by a state prison sentence from 16 months to 8 years, depending on the severity of the offense and the defendant’s criminal history.
All persons convicted of misdemeanor or felony child pornography charges must register as a California lifetime sex offender under Penal Code 290.
What the Prosecutor Must Prove to Convict a Defendant of Child Pornography Charges
In order to convict a person of child pornography charges, the prosecution must prove all of the following facts beyond a reasonable doubt:
- The Defendant intentionally and knowingly distributed, possessed, advertised or otherwise developed child pornography, AND
- The Defendant actually knew, or reasonably should have known, that the persons involved were minors
Defenses to Child Pornography Charges
While every child pornography case must be evaluated on its own facts, a common defense is that the defendant did not know, and should not have reasonably known, that the individuals participating in the sex acts were under 18 years old. In some cases, it is obvious that a person is under 18. However, in other cases, minors engaged in sex acts may appear to be adults based on their bodies, dress, language and overall conduct. In these cases, the Defendant may be reasonable in thinking that the sexual participants were over 18.
Contact Us Now
Schwartz & Naderi’s team of criminal defense attorneys has over 80 years of combined experience aggressively defending clients facing all types of sex-related charges, including child pornography charges, and will strategize a vigorous defense from the moment of arrest until the completion of the case.
If you or a loved one has been charged with any sex offense, contact a Los Angeles criminal defense attorney from Schwartz & Naderi today at (310) 246-9550.