In Part I of this two-part series we examined what exactly constitutes child pornography in the State of California, as well as taking a look at some of the possible charges that a California resident could face in regards to child pornography. Here, in Part II, we will overview the potential penalties associated with a conviction on these types of pornography charges, and what types of criminal defense strategies a defendant could use.
As most of our readers could probably guess, the potential penalties for a conviction on a criminal charge involving child pornography are not minor. Most charges involving child pornography are felony charges, and as such the vast majority of convictions on these types of charges are likely to involve the potential for a prison sentence. Even if a case involves a defendant facing first-time allegations of possession of child pornography - not producing or distributing the material - that defendant will still most likely be facing a felony conviction.
Of course, the potential penalties increase for anyone who is facing second or subsequent allegations of possession of child pornography. And, the penalties involved in cases with charges of producing or distributing this type of illegal material could land the defendant in prison for several years if convicted. Lastly, with almost every type of conviction involving child pornography, the defendant will need to list the pertinent information regarding the case and their identity on the California sex offender registry.
The defenses to allegations involving child pornography are few and far between, but a defendant in California does have options. The defendant could assert that the minor involved in the pornography was actually emancipated at the time it was created. Another defense, which would take quite a bit of a convincing argument, would be that the defendant did not know there was a minor involved in the pornography in question.