The production of child pornography impacts the lives of child victims permanently. Although the possession, production, and distribution of child pornography is illegal and prohibited, it is one of the fastest-growing criminal industries.
It is a crime to possess, produce, or distribute child pornography. Under Maryland law, child pornography is defined as the visual representation of sexually explicit conduct involving a minor.
Child pornography charges carry significant penalties, including lengthy prison sentences and fines. A person convicted of child pornography offenses must also register as a sex offender. When you are charged with a child pornography offense, it is vital to hire a seasoned attorney. An Upper Marlboro child pornography lawyer could help you build a strong defense.
Child Pornography Violations
In an effort to reduce child sex abuse, prosecutors on the federal, state, and local levels aggressively pursue child pornography cases, often seeking the maximum penalty for the accused.
Under Maryland law, a person may not knowingly cause, induce, or allow a minor to participate in the production or performance of abuse or sexual conduct. This includes photographing or filming a minor engaging in this type of conduct. A person may not knowingly promote, advertise, solicit, distribute, or possess any materials involving a minor engaged in sexual conduct. When the state can demonstrate a person is guilty of possessing, distributing, or producing child pornography, they are guilty of a felony.
In most cases, state and local investigators collect and evaluate evidence of child pornography from the suspect’s computer. After a thorough review of the data, prosecutors will base charges on several factors, including:
- The number of images or videos
- Frequency of visits to child pornography sites
- The content of the video or images
- Viewing frequency
- The nature of chat room discussions, text messages, or emails, including any with undercover investigators
An attorney in Upper Marlboro can explain the laws and charges that apply to a child pornography case.
Penalties for Child Pornography Charges
Maryland law requires the state to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that a person intentionally possessed child pornography and intentionally distributed such images. When the court convicts a person of possession but not intention to sell or otherwise distribute the content, they can face five years in jail, a fine of $1,000 for each count, and sex offender registration.
The law treats the distribution and production of child pornography more harshly. When someone is convicted of knowingly promoting, soliciting, distributing, or possessing child pornography with the intent to distribute, they could face up to 10 years in prison, a fine of $25,000, and sex offender registration.
Contact an Upper Marlboro Child Pornography Lawyer
When you are facing charges for a child pornography offense, you should contact an attorney as soon as possible. Child pornography offenses carry severe penalties on the state and local levels. In some cases, state and local officials will refer child pornography cases to the FBI for federal charges.
Before you decide how to proceed, an experienced Upper Marlboro child pornography lawyer can advise you of your rights and options moving forward. We understand the state and local laws for child pornography offenses in Maryland and can help you through the legal process. Contact our office to discuss your legal rights in a free legal consultation.