Child Pornography Punishment & Sentencing — California PC 311
Most convictions for child pornography or “kiddie porn” offenses under California law are felonies under California Penal Code 311. However, there are certain circumstances which could result in you being charged with a misdemeanor. In many cases your experienced child pornography defense attorney may be able to speak to the prosecutor prior to the formal filing of charges in an attempt to have your charges reduced from a felony to a misdemeanor. This is why it is never a good idea to wait to retain an experienced lawyer if you are under investigation or have been arrested for a violation of California Penal Code 311 PC.
What are the potential punishments I face at sentencing?
If you are convicted for a child pornography offense under California Penal Code 311 PC, your punishment will be based on three factors:
- The exact offense that you were charged with under California Penal Code 311 PC;
- Your criminal history; and
- The quality of legal representation provided to you by your experienced criminal defense attorney.
Child pornography punishment often carries a more severe sentence than other crimes. In addition, if you have previously been convicted of a child pornography crime then the sentence you face can increase. The following describes what sentence and punishment you face for specific child pornography offenses:
(1) Child pornography possession (CPC 311.11) –Possession of child pornography under California Penal Code 311.11 is a felony and carries a sentence of imprisonment in the state prison or county jail for up to one year, a fine not exceeding $2,500, or both. A second conviction for child pornography possession increases the sentence and requires that you serve two, four or six years in the state prison.
(2) Child pornography distribution (CPC 311.1(a)) – If you are convicted of distributing child pornography that you knew depicted minors under the age of 18 in sexual acts you face imprisonment in the county jail for up to one year, a fine up to $1,000, or both. California Penal Code 311.1(a) also provides that you can be sentenced to prison for three years, instead of county jail for this offense and be required to pay a fine of up to $10,000. California Penal Code 311.2(a) explains that if you are charged with knowingly sending, bringing, possessing or producing pornographic material with the intent to distribute to others and it is your first offense you will only be guilty of a misdemeanor.
(3) Child Pornography distribution for commercial consideration (CPC 311.2(b)) – A conviction under 311.2(b) for knowingly distributing child pornography for commercial consideration is a felony. If you are convicted under this section you face a state prison sentence of two, three or six years, a fine not exceeding $100,000, or both.
(4) Employing minors to participate in child pornography (CPC 311.4) – If you are convicted of employing, hiring or using a minor to assist you to distribute child pornography you can be punished by imprisonment for up to on year in the county jail or by imprisonment in the state prison. (CPC 311.4(a)). You can also be subject to a fine not exceeding $2,000. If you induce or coerce any minor to pose, model, or participate in any pornographic material you can be convicted of a felony and sentenced to imprisonment in the state prison for three, six or eight years. (CPC 311.4(b)).
(5) Advertising child pornography (CPC 311.10) – If you advertise for the sale or distribution of child pornography you can be found guilty of a felony. If you are convicted under California Penal Code 311.10 you face imprisonment for two, three or four years in the state prison, or imprisonment in the county jail for up to one year. You may also face a fine of up $50,000.
Child Pornography Punishment: Sex Offender Registration
Perhaps the most serious consequence of a child pornography conviction is that you must register as a sex offender under California Penal Code 290. Your status as a sex offender will be for life and may subject you to a harsh social stigma.
If you fail to register as a sex offender pursuant to California Penal Code 290, you may face additional punishments. If you were charged with a misdemeanor for child pornography and fail to register, you face an additional year in jail. (CPC 290.018(a)). If you were charged with a felony for child pornography and fail to register you could face up to three years in prison. (CPC 290.018(b)).
Why do I need an attorney for my sentencing hearing?
As discussed above, the possible sentence you face for charges related to child pornography punishment can have a disastrous effect on your life. Often times, additional factors such as a clean record, enrollment in a treatment program, and other positive life-steps can go a long way in influencing the judge to be lenient in sentencing you and could even eliminate jail time.
With so much at stake in a child pornography case, you need the guidance of an experienced Southern California child pornography defense attorney to ensure that the mitigating facts and circumstances particular to your case do not go unheard.
Call Wallin & Klarich
At Wallin & Klarich, we have over 30 years of experience successfully winning cases and reducing sentences for our clients. Our attorneys are experienced in defending a wide range of sex crimes, especially those relating to child pornography offenses.
If you would like to know more about how we can help you at your sentencing hearing call us today to schedule a phone consultation at (877) 4-NO-JAIL (877-466-5245).