Federal Child Pornography

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Federal Child Pornography

Child pornography images are not protected under the First Amendment and are illegal contraband under federal law. Images of child pornography are also referred to as child sexual abuse images. Federal law prohibits the production, distribution, importation, reception, or possession of any image of child pornography. Of course, offenders may be prosecuted under Ohio child pornography laws in addition to, or instead of, federal law.

Federal law prohibits the production of child pornography (18 U.S.C. § 2251) and the possession, distribution, and receipt of child pornography (18 U.S.C. § 2252). Federal law (18 U.S.C. § 2256) defines child pornography as any visual depiction of sexually explicit conduct involving a minor (someone under 18 years of age).

Visual depictions include photographs, videos, digital or computer-generated images indistinguishable from an actual minor, and images created, adapted, or modified but appear to depict an identifiable, actual minor. Undeveloped film, undeveloped videotape, and electronically stored data that can be converted into a visual image of child pornography are also deemed illegal visual depictions under federal law.

Ohio Federal Child Pornography Attorney

If you have been arrested for federal child pornography in Ohio, do not hesitate to contact Joslyn Law Firm. Joslyn Law Firm understands the law as it pertains to your case, and will make sure your rights under the law are protected. Our attorneys can help you develop a strong defense.

Joslyn Law Firm accepts federal child pornography cases in the Cincinnati area including Franklin County, Madison County, Licking County, Union County, Delaware County, and Pickaway County. Call (513) 399-6289 to set up a consultation with Joslyn Law Firm.

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Federal Child Pornography

Federal law (18 U.S.C. § 2252(a)(4)) makes it a crime to possess child pornography when a person knowingly possesses images or videos of a minor engaging in sexually explicit conduct. It is important to note that the legal definition of sexually explicit conduct does not necessarily require an image depicting a child engaging in sexual activity. For example, a picture of a naked child may constitute illegal child pornography if it is sexually suggestive. Also, a state’s age of consent does not affect federal child pornography laws. The image is illegal if the depiction is of a minor under eighteen engaging in sexually explicit conduct.

Federal law (18 U.S.C. § 2260) also prohibits any person outside of the United States from knowingly producing, receiving, transporting, shipping, or distributing child pornography with the intent to import or transmit the visual depiction into the United States.

Federal jurisdiction applies if the child pornography offense occurred in interstate or foreign commerce. Also, federal jurisdiction typically applies when the internet is used to commit a criminal offense involving child pornography, even if the child pornography image did not cross state lines or international borders. Any materials originating from or having traveled previously in interstate or foreign commerce trigger federal law applicability.

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Penalties for Federal Child Pornography

First-time offenders convicted of producing child pornography under federal law (18 U.S.C. § 2251) face fines and a minimum prison sentence of fifteen years and a maximum sentence of thirty years.  A first-time offender convicted of transporting child pornography in interstate or foreign commerce under federal law (18 U.S.C. § 2252) faces fines and a minimum prison sentence of five years up to a maximum sentence of twenty years. Additionally, federal law (18 U.S.C. § 3583(k)) requires a federal judge to impose at least five years of supervised release following any term of imprisonment.

Prior convictions will cause any convicted offender to face more severe penalties. Also, the offender will face more severe penalties if the child pornography offense occurred in an aggravated situation, which is defined as follows:

  1. The images are violent, sadistic, or masochistic,
  2. The minor was sexually abused, or
  3. The offender has prior convictions for child sexual exploitation. If so, a convicted offender may face a maximum sentence of life imprisonment.

Possessing child pornography involving a minor twelve or older is punishable by up to ten years in prison, lifetime supervised release, and $250,000 in fines. Possessing child pornography involving a prepubescent minor or a minor under twelve is punishable by up to twenty years in prison, lifetime supervised release and $250,000 in fines.

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Statute Of Limitations

The statute of limitations for federal sex crimes is five years. No person may be prosecuted, tried, or punished for any offense that is not a capital offense unless the case is brought (the indictment is found, or the information is instituted) within five years after the offense was committed. (18 U.S.C. § 3282).

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Defenses for Federal Child Pornography

The defendant may raise several defenses to a child pornography charge. These include:

  • Good faith
  • Alleged illegal material is not child pornography
  • Possession is unintentional
  • An educational or scientific purpose

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Additional Resources

The F.B.I. Child Pornography Victim Assistance (CPVA) Program – This serves as the primary information hub for information on identified victims depicted in distributed child sexual abuse material. The CPVA uses the automated D.O.J. Victim Notification System to minimize any additional trauma by limiting unnecessary contact with victims.

National Children’s Alliance Learning Center – The learning center offers a toolkit to respond to the needs of victims of child abuse images, child sexual abuse material, and child pornography.

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Ohio Federal Child Pornography Lawyer | Joslyn Law Firm

If you are facing federal child pornography charges in Ohio, it is advisable to retain an experienced criminal defense attorney with trial experience. Our defense lawyers understand this is a difficult and stressful time for you. We can work hard to reduce if not eliminate your charges.

Contact Joslyn Law Firm at Joslyn Law Firm to discuss your rights, defenses, and learn how Joslyn Law Firm‘s years of experience defending the rights of Ohio residents could help you in your time of crisis. Joslyn Law Firm serves clients in Hamilton County, Butler County, Warren County, Clermont County, and Clinton County.

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