Child pornography charges can be extremely damaging to your reputation, station, job, and future. If you are being investigated for possession of child pornography or have already been arrested and charged, it is vital that you take your case to an attorney. The penalties for child pornography possession are also very severe, and can mean spending a long time in prison, and registration as a sex offender.
If you or a loved one has been charged with possession of child pornography in Gloucester City or anywhere in South Jersey, take your case to an experienced personal injury attorney today. The Gloucester City child pornography defense lawyers at The Law Offices of John J. Zarych offer free, confidential consultations on your New Jersey criminal charges. For your free consultations, contact our law offices today at (609) 616-4956.
Gloucester City Child Pornography Possession Laws
There is no statute in New Jersey that deals exclusively with child pornography possession. Instead, New Jersey’s child pornography laws are contained within another statute that generally criminalizes endangering the welfare of a child. N.J.S.A. § 2C:24-4 criminalizes engendering the welfare of children in multiple ways. First, this law criminalizes putting a child you are supervising into physical danger. The second way, and the bulk of the statute, deals with child pornography crimes.
There are 5 types of child pornography crimes under § 2C:24-4. First is having a child participate in child pornography or allowing a child to be involved in the pornography. This includes causing or permitting a child to engage in a sexual act (or simulation of a sexual act) when it might be “photographed, filmed, reproduced, or reconstructed,” or would “be part of an exhibition or performance.”
Second, it is illegal to actually make the child pornography by photographing or filming a child during a sexual act. This also includes reproduction or reconstruction of the image of a child doing a sexual act. That could include using photo editing software or other techniques to make it look like a child is engaging in a sexual act.
Third, it is illegal to knowingly distribute child pornography. This includes over the internet or through traditional means. Fourth, you cannot knowingly possess an item of child pornography. There are two levels of crime for this conduct – one for simple possession, and one for possession with intent to distribute. Lastly, it is illegal to store or maintain child pornography on a file-sharing program.
For an image or video to constitute child pornography, it must depict a minor actually doing, or simulating, sexual intercourse, anal intercourse, masturbation, bestiality, sadism, masochism, fellatio, cunnilingus, nudity for someone’s sexual gratification, or any act of penetration. The definition of “child” for these purposes is, unsurprisingly, anyone under the age of 18. Lastly, the definition of “possession” includes receiving, viewing, or having the content under your control, including by using the internet.
Penalties for Child Pornography in Gloucester City, NJ
Under New Jersey’s statutes, child pornography crimes are extremely serious. Many child pornography crimes may appear victimless, especially simple possession without being involved in distribution or production. However, since the child pornography was still produced by putting children in those situations, mere possession is still punished harshly. Production and causing or allowing a child to participate in the production are punished more harshly because of the direct victimization of children.
Causing or allowing a child to participate in child pornography is a first degree crime. This is as serious as crimes like rape and kidnapping. Under NJ law, this carries a penalty of 10-20 years in prison and fines up to $200,000.
Producing child pornography by photographing or recording the children is a second degree crime. In NJ, this carries a penalty of 5-10 years in prison and fines up to $150,000. Distribution, possession with the intent to distribute, or storing the files online is also a second degree crime.
Even simple possession constitutes a third degree crime. This carries a penalty of 3-5 years in prison and fines up to $15,000.
On top of these penalties, you may also face registration as a sex offender. The law is very strict regarding sex offender registration, and Megan’s Law requirements can often follow sex offenders for decades or the rest of their lives. If you are given terms of probation or parole, you may also have your computer access limited and monitored by the government to ensure you do not commit further crimes.
Gloucester City, NJ Possession of Child Pornography Defense Attorneys
For a free, discreet consultation on your charges, contact the Law Offices of John J. Zarych today. Our Gloucester City possession of child pornography attorneys have decades of experience defending people from difficult charges. For your free consultation, call our defense attorneys today at (609) 616-4956.