Child pornography is a serious charge, and law enforcement may levy it against anyone involved in any step of possessing an obscene image of an underage person. This means that even if you received an unwanted explicit image of a minor, you could still be charged with a crime.

If you have been charged with child pornography, you may be facing potential jail time, as well as damage to your reputation. Take swift action by consulting a criminal defense attorney to determine the best method to handle this problem. A Summerville child pornography lawyer could help you determine what defenses you may have and how best to protect yourself.

Child Pornography Laws in Summerville

The laws in South Carolina that deal with child pornography refer to first, second, and third-degree exploitation of a minor. These laws make it a crime to engage in acts that take advantage of any person under the age of 18. A child pornography attorney in Summerville could further explain the different levels of exploitation.

Exploitation of a Minor in the First Degree

The most severe form of this law deals with the creation of sexual images of a minor, as described in the South Carolina Code of Laws §16-15-395. Violation of this law is a felony, and the court may sentence a convicted person to up to 20 years in prison.

Some of the prohibited acts include:

  • Aiding a minor in working in the adult industry
  • Making money off of sexual images of children
  • Allowing a minor in the adult’s care to create pornography
  • Transporting a minor within the state to make this material
  • Recording or reproducing pornographic material involving a young person for profit

Exploitation of a Minor in the Second Degree

The sharing of obscene images containing minors on the internet violates S.C. Code §16-15-405. Other prohibited acts include uploading such images to websites, emailing pictures, or making photocopies. If the court finds a person guilty of this felony offense, the judge may send that person to jail for ten years. The minimum sentence upon conviction of this offense is two years.

Exploitation of a Minor in the Third Degree

The least severe variant of criminally exploiting a minor in South Carolina entails the possession of sexual images of minors, as described in S.C. Code §16-15-410. If law enforcement seizes a computer or phone and finds any obscene photo of a person under the age of 18, the court may issue a warrant and hold proceedings. This is also a felony offense, and the court may sentence the accused to up to ten years in prison if convicted.

Federal Laws on Child Pornography

A person may face both state and federal charges for cases involving child pornography. Most federal crimes require some interstate action. However, most sexual images are passed between people who live in different states or countries via the internet.

If the federal government starts to investigate, a person could face two sets of criminal processes. Under federal law, a person may face up to 50 years in prison for the production of sexual images of a minor, as noted in 18 U.S.C. §2251.  Possession could carry a penalty of up to 20 years in a federal penitentiary under 18 U.S.C. §2252.

Build a Defense with Help from a Summerville Child Pornography Attorney

If the court convicts you of some involvement with sexual images of a minor, the legal system may label you as a felon and level penalties against you that could affect your entire life. A Summerville child pornography lawyer could stand in your corner and work with you to pursue a positive outcome. Call today to set up a consultation.

We know these are uncertain times, but we are still ready to assist you with your criminal case.