Though many people think of child pornography as images traded on the dark web, the legal definition is much broader than that. The police may charge anyone with violating this law if that person has an obscene image of someone under the age of 18 years old. That means that even if someone sent you a sexually explicit picture you did not want, the government might charge you with a crime if the image depicts a minor.

Given the severity of these charges, seeking advice from a qualified criminal attorney sooner rather than later may be beneficial. A Mount Pleasant child pornography lawyer could help you figure out a plan of defense and work to protect your best interests.

Federal Laws on Child Pornography

Depending on the surrounding facts, a person accused of possessing child pornography may face both federal and state criminal sanctions. As a Mount Pleasant child pornography attorney could explain, various laws ban the possession, reproduction, distribution, and creation of sexually explicit media involving children.

Production of Child Pornography

It is a federal crime to produce, attempt to provide or solicit another person to help make obscene images of young people, as noted in United States Federal Code §18-2251. If convicted, a person may receive 25 to 50 years in federal prison.

Possessing, Distributing, and Receiving Images of Minors

According to 18 U.S.C. §2252, possession or sharing images with strangers or friends is a federal crime. Even if a person sent the recipient an image without their permission, the federal government might pursue charges against the recipient.

To be convicted of this offense, a defendant must have received or sent the pictures across state or national lines. The applicable punishment upon conviction is five to 20 years in federal prison.

Exploitation of a Minor in Mount Pleasant

If a person helps to create child pornography, that is considered exploitation of a minor under South Carolina Code §16-15-395. Some of the specific acts prohibited by this law are:

  • Helping to develop sexual material with a nude minor
  • Allowing a minor to create that material
  • Transporting the child across the state to make that material
  • Recording or reproducing such material for profit

A criminal court may consider all circumstantial evidence to decide if the material in question is of a sexual nature. This offense is a felony, and a convicted individual may face three to 20 years in prison.

Second-Degree Exploitation of a Minor

S.C. Code §16-15-405 addresses copying or sharing nude images of minors without the intent to profit. The minimum punishment upon conviction for this felony offense is two years in prison, up to a maximum of ten years.

Third-Degree Exploitation of a Minor

If an arrested party only possessed sexually explicit images of a child, they may have violated S.C. Code §16-15-410. Under this statute, the court may find the possessor guilty of a felony and impose a prison sentence up to ten years in length.

Duty to Report

S.C. Code §16-3-850 requires film developers and computer technicians to report to the appropriate authorities if they see something that may constitute child pornography. If they comply with this requirement, the reporter is immune from any civil liability. A child pornography lawyer in Mount Pleasant could help an individual determine how to proceed if they find themselves in such a situation.

Get Advice from a Mount Pleasant Child Pornography Attorney

Nothing may affect your life more than allegations of possessing illicit images of underage persons. You may not know what to do or how you can protect yourself from these accusations.

A child pornography lawyer could help you learn what rights you have and how you can defend those rights. Enlist the aid of a committed Mount Pleasant child pornography lawyer today by scheduling an initial consultation.