Crimes against children are considered the most heinous crimes among much of the population. If something takes place and you are being accused of something like distributing child pornography or possessing child pornography, it is critical that you understand just how serious the charges can be if you are found guilty.
In 2018, there were 1,414 cases tried on a federal level, according to the United States Sentencing Commission. The people sentenced in these cases saw their lives drastically change because of the negative consequences of such crimes. Here is a look at some of the important things to know if you are accused of a crime related to child pornography.
Child pornography does not fall into First Amendment rights.
There have been defendants in the past who have claimed that having pornographic materials portraying a child in a sexual manner is a matter of First Amendment rights. The First Amendment does mention freedom of the press among other things, but possessing child pornography is not something that falls under this right.
In a well-known court case (New York v. Ferber in 1982), the defense tried to use the First Amendment defense, but the charges were upheld and the proposed defense was not recognized in court. If you have hired an attorney who is familiar with these tedious cases, they will work with you to try to build a better defense.
You will have to register as a sex offender if found guilty.
One thing some people find as a surprise if they have been charged with something related to child pornography is the fact that you do have to register as a sex offender if you are found guilty. Your crime may not have involved physical contact with a child, but the sentencing is treated just as you had because you can still be considered a risk.
Registering as a sex offender means you will always have to register and let the state know your address and whereabouts. This, along with your picture, will typically be published on a website that is publicly accessible.
Overall, being charged in a case involving child pornography can be hugely damaging to your reputation. Unfortunately, modern-day technology allows for some people to be charged who have done nothing wrong and this can be a scary place to be. Be sure that you seek out a skilled child pornography attorney who can fairly represent you at court.