You will likely never face a situation more serious than being arrested for child pornography. A conviction will not only lead to a substantial prison term, but it could also result in your name being placed on a sex offender registry. It doesn’t have to be that way. You have a right to fight the charges against you, and a Ridley child pornography lawyer can help you do it.
McKenzie Law Firm, P.C. is here for you when quality legal representation is a must. Our firm was founded by a former prosecutor, and we take pride in zealously defending our clients, no matter what the charges are. The law says you’re not guilty of anything unless a jury says you are, and we’ll fight to raise reasonable doubt in your case. Our primary goal in every case we take is an acquittal.
What Constitutes Child Pornography in Ridley?
The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania has a comprehensive child pornography law that is designed to protect the welfare of minors. Pennsylvania’s child pornography law explicitly prohibits any of the following behavior:
- Downloading material or images showing minor(s) participating in sexual activity
- Creating any images, including photographs, videos, and drawings showing minor(s) participating in sexual activity
- Knowingly and consciously watching or possessing any images of minors participating in sexual activity, regardless of the medium (e.g., film, photo)
- Distributing (also known as disseminating) any images of a sexually-explicit nature featuring minors (e.g., sending emails with explicit images attached).
Pennsylvania’s child pornography law extends past sexual activity to cover simulated sexual activity or explicit behavior of any kind involving minors. The law also lists several specific behaviors as being sexually explicit, meaning they can be classified as child pornography if they involve minors. Those behaviors include:
In addition to these, Pennsylvania classifies images featuring nudity or “lewd display of genitals,” where the purpose of the nudity is to sexually stimulate anyone who might view the image as child pornography.
How do Child Pornography Lawyers Fight Cases?
The legal standard for conviction in the American justice system is guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. Our child pornography lawyers will rely on their legal knowledge to build the strongest defense possible in your case.
The burden of proof is on the state to demonstrate you knowingly and willfully viewed or possessed child pornography. If we can show that you didn’t know the image was of an explicit nature or that you didn’t intend to look at it, we may be able to secure an acquittal in your case.
We can interview witnesses, or even conduct forensic audits of your electronic devices to help prove your innocence. We won’t leave any stone unturned in giving you the quality legal defense you deserve. Through it all, we will treat you with respect, honesty, and professionalism.
We Know What Defenses Won’t Work
Many people charged with child pornography believe that they can get themselves out of legal jeopardy by stating that they didn’t know the person depicted in the explicit images was a minor. This is not a legal defense against child pornography.
Neither is saying that the person in the image lied about their age and said they were an adult. Our child pornography lawyers know these defenses will not work, and we will not waste your time or legal fees on a legally insufficient defense.
Our Child Pornography Lawyers Are There for You
Our firm takes every case seriously, and we’re committed to fighting for our clients. That commitment starts with being there when you need us. If you let us fight your case, we promise your attorney will be available to you when you need them. If you have a question about your case, reach out to us, and we’ll answer it promptly.
Penalties for Child Pornography in Ridley
Child pornography is a serious crime in Pennsylvania and will always be charged as a felony. Many criminal court judges will seek to “set an example” when sentencing people convicted on child pornography charges by giving them the maximum time allowable under the statute. Possessing or viewing just one image that is classified as child pornography is a third-degree felony and comes with a maximum seven-year prison term.
Subsequent convictions for child pornography charges are second-degree felonies, and you can be sentenced to a maximum prison term of ten years. However, producing or creating child pornography of any kind is also a second-degree felony, regardless of whether it is a first offense. With sentences this severe, it is incredibly important to have an attorney who gives you the best chance possible to win your case in a trial.
Child Pornography Is a Federal Felony
Pennsylvania’s government is not alone in taking a harsh stance against child pornography. This crime can also be charged at the federal level, and some defendants are charged at both the federal and state level simultaneously. If you’re convicted of child pornography in federal court, there is a mandatory minimum term of five years. However, you can also be sentenced to a lifetime in prison, depending on the charges.
The federal system does not have parole, and anyone convicted of a federal offense will be required to serve at least 80% of their original sentence. That means the best-case scenario for a five-year sentence is being released in four years. It’s possible to be convicted at both the state, and federal level, which means when you complete your federal sentence, you may be transferred to Pennsylvania to serve your state time.
These are the kinds of consequences our attorneys in Ridley will fight to help you avoid.
You May Have to Register as a Sex Offender If You Are Convicted of Child Pornography
In the case of most convictions, you serve your time, and then you are let out of prison to go on with your life. The conviction will remain on your record, and it will almost certainly make it more difficult to secure quality housing, employment, or education. However, a child pornography conviction at either the state or federal level in Ridley will mean you have to become a registered sex offender.
Pennsylvania maintains an active database of all the convicted sex offenders in the state. Anyone convicted of child pornography must register their name on this database, which can be searched online as a matter of public record. The severity of the conviction determines how long convicts remain in this database, but the minimum term is 15 years, and some people will remain in the database for their entire lives.
This continuing consequence of child pornography convictions can cause problems of all kinds. It is not uncommon for community members to publicize and protest the presence of any convicted sex offenders in their neighborhood or place of employment. It’s another reason our team will fight so hard for you. You deserve the strongest possible defense when the stakes are this high. Our child pornography lawyers want to provide that defense.
Work With a Ridley Child Pornography Lawyer
There are very few crimes that you can be convicted of that will do more harm to your reputation than child pornography. Going to prison and then having to register as a sex offender will both complicate your life in more ways than you can imagine. When the stakes are this high, it matters who your attorney is. Believe it or not, you can fight child pornography charges and win.
If you’re not sure what your next step is, contact us for a free case evaluation. Tell us about your situation, and we will come up with a plan to fight for your right to a fair trial. You aren’t guilty because you were arrested, and regardless of the charges, McKenzie Law Firm, P.C. can and will defend you to the best of our abilities. Don’t delay. Contact us today. We’ve got your back in the biggest fight of your life.