Virginia Child Pornography Lawyer
Virginia, just like the Federal Government prohibits the creation, production, and distribution of child pornography.
Child pornography is a serious crime in Virginia and has potentially severe consequences. Prosecutors are extremely vigorous about pursuing these charges and there is a strong negative perception of people who have been accused of these crimes. Someone facing child pornography charges ought to contact a Virginia sex crimes lawyer immediately in order to begin building the strongest defense possible.
Definition of Child Pornography
Virginia Code Section 18.2-371.1:1 defines what child pornography is and what the penalties are. The simple possession of child pornography is a class six felony in Virginia. This is for a first offense. A class six felony is punishable by one to five years in the Department of Corrections or by the court’s discretion up to 12 months in jail and a fine. A second or subsequent offense could be charged as a class five felony. A class five felony is punishable by one to 10 years in prison or up 12 months in jail at the court’s discretion.
In the child pornography code section, it is inferred by text that when any person who is detected and represented as being 18 years of age or older who engages in sexually explicit visual material of someone less than 18 years of age, this constitutes child pornography. Something that attempts to show a person under 18 actually can actually be inferred to be showing a person under 18 but, generally, child pornography refers to a scene or pornographic image of persons that are clearly under the age of 18. It can still be child pornography, even if the defendant is also a minor.
Child Pornography Penalties in Virginia
Child pornography felonies in Virginia are typically classified as class six felonies for a first offense, and class five felonies for a second offense or subsequent offense. Production and/or distribution of child pornography is punished very severely, it is punishable by not less than five and no more than 20 years in prison. The second time a person commits the offense, it carries the same penalty with a mandatory minimum period of incarceration of five years. Due to the seriousness of these charges, someone facing child pornography charges should consult with a Virginia child pornography attorney as soon as possible.
In addition, there may be specific penalties to prevent the person who committed the child pornography crime from accessing the internet. It can be a specific condition of probation for child pornography where the person refrains from using the internet at all or can only use the internet for work purposes. There are also specific computer programs that can limit or monitor a person’s internet usage to make sure that they are not looking at restricted material.
Child Pornography Cases v. Other Sex Crimes
Child pornography cases are distinguishable from other sex offenses in that they are rarely ever “physical” offenses. It is rare that someone charged with child pornography physically interacts with children.. In fact, this crime is typically committed by someone who is behind the computer and may not show any outward signs of having a disposition toward committing this serious criminal offense. They also come from all walks of life—old people, young people, men and women.
Additionally, child pornography does not have a set of stereotype as far as who committed the offense and who may be charged or who may be prosecuted with this offense. This crime can be committed by people with criminal records, no criminal records, high income, low income, all races, colors, and creeds.
Because child pornography comes from diverse cross-sections, and because it is universally abhorred by society, it is generally prosecuted very vigorously. In addition, because of the technological sophistication of many child pornography investigations and many child pornography defenses, it is important to have a Virginia child pornography lawyer who understand all the relevant technology that may be applied, and how the understanding of the technology may lead to the execution of the prosecution, when planning defense strategies.
Sexting as Child Pornography
Under certain circumstances, sexting may be considered child pornography and it may violate the child pornography statute, depending on the type of image that is sent, as well as the age of the party involved.
Contacting a Virginia Child Pornography Lawyer
If someone is facing child pornography charges or is under investigation, their case is very serious. It is very common that they will be contacted by law enforcement or some sort of investigative body prior to receiving any actual charges. It is important if they are contacted by law enforcement in relation to a child pornography investigation, whether it be the local sheriff’s office, a task force, the Virginia State Police, or even some federal investigators, that they contact an experienced Virginia child pornography attorney right away.