Possession and distribution of child pornography is a sex crime that is punishable under both Maryland and federal laws. Federal law defines child pornography as any visual depiction of sexually explicit conduct involving a minor, persons less than 18 years old. This crime typically occurs over the Internet or by downloading files from the Internet that contain illegal images.
Federal charges need not be exclusive however and an individual may face criminal liability under both United States and state child pornography laws, which are largely similar to and sometimes more comprehensive than the federal statutes.
The most common mistake that people make is believing that a “deleted file” is no longer on the computer. Most of us know that when a file is deleted by the user, it goes to the computer’s recycle bin. Many people do not know what happens to the file after it leaves the recycle bin.
In order to be considered child pornography, the content must meet a specific definition. This content is typically that representing naked children or sexually explicit content featuring children. If the content does not include children, it cannot be considered child pornography. There is also content that is exempted by the Motion Picture Association of America, such as specific drawings or films.
“Sexual performance by a child” means sexual conduct by a child who is less than 16 years old.
Maryland Code Section 11-207 – No one may knowingly be involved in soliciting, employing, or allowing a minor to engage in the production of any visual representation that shows them engaging in any sadomasochistic act or sexual conduct; create any visual representations like film, video, image of the above-described acts, or use a computer to create, edit or store such representations; possess such pornographic representations with intent to promote or distribute them
Maryland Code Section 11-208 involves possessing any visual representation of a child under the age of 16 years who is engaged in sexual behavior, any form of sadomasochistic abuse, or a state of sexual excitement. Penalties include up to five years imprisonment and/or a fine of up to $2,500 for a first offense; up to 10 years in prison and/or a fine as high as $10,000.
Child pornography has two categories: possessing child pornography, and producing and distributing child pornography. Each of these charges has serious consequences that can include long jail sentences, hefty fines, and require sex offender registration after the prison time is finished.
Child pornography charges will be based on many factors, which includes:
- The number of images on your computer
- The number of times you have visited Internet destinations that deal in child pornography
- The type of video or images
- Frequency of viewing
- The nature of any “chat room” or text messages and e-mails on your computer including conversations with undercover police officers if any have occurred.
Possession of Child pornography in Maryland is a very serious crime and can result in horrific consequences if you are convicted of a crime related to child pornography. Contact a child pornography lawyer in Maryland immediately if you have been contacted by the police.
In Maryland, if you need help with this type of an issue in Montgomery County, Charles County (Waldorf), Rockville, Bethesda, Baltimore County, Baltimore City, Anne Arundel (Annapolis), Howard County, Ellicott City or Frederick, do not hesitate to call us for a consultation and speak to a child pornography defense lawyer about your options.
If you wish to consult an SRIS Law Group, P.C. child pornography attorney in Maryland, call us at 855-696-3348. B