Virginia Federal Child Pornography Penalties

Child pornography charges generally fall under federal jurisdiction if the material was produced or distributed across state lines. There are large maximum sentences and stiff mandatory minimums for child pornography offenses. The looming threat of jail time, fines, and additional social consequences (such as difficulty maintaining the custody of your children, a job, or even a place to live) can make facing this kind of charge overwhelming. Luckily, a knowledgeable Virginia federal child pornography lawyer will be able to help you through the ordeal.

Offenses and Penalties

There are a number of different laws involving child pornography, and they are all covered under Chapter 110 of the U.S. Code. The main charges are the production of child pornography and the distribution, receipt, or possession of child pornography.

Production of child pornography (18 U.S. Code 2251)

There are many different specifications to this section, but the law basically states that if you are in any way in control of a minor, you use that minor to produce material of a sexually explicit nature, and that material is intended for foreign or interstate distribution, then you are guilty under federal law. The penalties for this include:

  • 1st offense: 15 to 30 years in prison
  • 2nd offense: 25 to 50 years in prison
  • 3rd offense: 35 years to life in prison

A violation of this law also carries a fine of $17,500 to $175,000. The fines are assessed according to federal guidelines and can increase or decrease based on circumstances.

Distribution, receipt, and possession of child pornography (18 U.S. Code 2252)

An individual can be charged with breaking this law if they:

  • Knowingly mail, ship, or otherwise transport (e.g., by computer) the offending material across state or national lines
  • Knowingly possess with intent to sell any material so mailed or transported
  • Knowingly possess or access with intent to view any media containing an image of child pornography

The gray area of whether you knowingly or intentionally possessed or accessed the offending images is exactly the type of information an experienced Virginia federal child pornography attorney can help to argue in your favor.

The fines assessed for this transgression can range from $6,000 to $60,000.

The jail-time penalties for possession include:

  • 1st offense: Up to 10 years
  • 2nd offense: 10 to 20 years
  • If the child depicted is under 12: Up to 20 years

The jail time penalties for distribution or sharing include:

  • 1st offense: 5 to 20 years
  • 2nd offense: 15 to 40 years

In the case of simple possession, it may lessen or remove the charges if you:

  • Possess fewer than 3 images
  • Promptly destroyed the images upon receipt
  • Promptly notified law enforcement

Contact Us for Assistance

Few things can be more disruptive to your life than a federal child pornography charge, but a Virginia federal child pornography lawyer can help you through by:

  • Questioning the validity of evidence laid against you
  • Working to present mitigating factors to lessen jail time and fines
  • Collecting evidence and testimony in your favor

Do not hesitate. Call today for a free consultation.