What are the Penalties for Possession of Child Pornography in California?

Possession of sexual material involving children is a serious crime in California. In such cases, determining exactly what is considered pornographic, what the intention of the material is and whether or not the suspect was even aware of the existence of the material can become complicated.

Child pornography is material that clearly depicts minors simulating or engaged in sexual conduct. Children and adults cannot legally consent to this type of activity with a minor. So such depictions of sexual conduct are illegal. Forms of sexual conduct include sexual intercourse, lewd acts, oral sex, sadomasochistic abuse, masturbation or the exhibition of genitals. Penal Code 311.11 makes it a crime to possess any material depicting these acts. The penalties for possession of child pornography in California include a fine of up to $2,500 and imprisonment for up to one year.

To obtain a conviction in a child pornography case, the prosecution will have to prove that the suspect knowingly had these types of materials in his or her possession and that the suspect was aware that the people in the pictures were underage. There are also other factors and questions that determine the course and outcome of these cases. Did the authorities legally seize the materials? Were any of the defendants’ constitutional rights violated? What was the suspect’s intent? Was the material used for some type of research? Did the defendant know that the materials were in his or her possession?

The experienced Simi Valley sex crime defense attorneys at Sitkoff & Hanrahan handle cases throughout southern California. We have a long history of fighting wrongful charges and getting charges dismissed or lessened. If you have been accused of possessing child pornography, please call our offices at 866-430-8383 to discuss your case.

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