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Child Porn Laws

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Punishments regarding the exploitation of children are very serious in nature. Recently, the federal government placed concerted emphasis on catching and punishing those who possess or distribute child pornography on the internet. This is a criminal offense and is dealt with very harshly. At the New Mexico Criminal Law Offices, we are committed to providing legal defense for those accused of violating child porn laws. If you have recently been charged with viewing, possessing, or distributing child pornography in Albuquerque, New Mexico, or suspect you may be in the near future, don’t hesitate to contact us immediately. The sooner you team up with a defense attorney, the better the outcome.

What is Child Pornography?

From a legal standpoint, child pornography is any visual depiction involving a minor (or an individual appearing to be a minor) engaging in sexually explicit conduct. These visual depictions could be pictures, photographs, film, video, or computer-generated images. While child pornography has become particularly problematic with the spread and adoption of the internet, it does not only pertain to online content.

The term ‘minor’ refers to any individual under the age of eighteen years old, while ‘sexually explicit conduct’ means actual or simulated sexual intercourse, including oral, anal, bestiality, masturbation, sadistic abuse, or lewd exhibition of genitals.

Prohibited Acts Related to Child Pornography

While the production of child pornography demands the strictest punishments, it is also illegal to knowingly distribute, receive or possess any form of child pornography. While inadvertent access is usually not considered illegal, repeated patterns of behavior can be proof enough for conviction.

Child Pornography Laws

The federal law prohibiting child pornography is 18 U.S.C. Chapter 110, Sexual Exploitation and Other Abuse of Children. Additionally, the Child Online Protection Act and Children’s Internet Protection Act also prohibit child pornography. Child pornography laws provide minimum sentences for each type of offense. They are as follows:

  • Possession of child pornography – No minimum sentence
  • Receipt of child pornography – Minimum of 5 years
  • Distribution of child pornography – Minimum of 5 years
  • Possession of child pornography with intent to distribute – Minimum of 5 years
  • Transportation of child pornography – Minimum of 5 years
  • Production of child pornography – Minimum of 5 years

In the last 15 years, the length of child pornography sentences has increased 500 percent. This is just one example of the federal government’s crackdown on child pornography.
Alleged child pornographers can be prosecuted by any number of law enforcement agencies, including the FBI, DOJ, U.S. Postal Inspection Service, U.S. Attorney General, U.S. Customs, state attorneys general, local prosecutors, and state and local law enforcement.

Exceptions to Child Pornography Laws

There are exceptions to child pornography laws if it can be proven that the alleged pornography has serious artistic, literary, scientific, or political value. In many cases, if the definition of pornographic images is questioned, the court will refer to the case of U.S. v Dost to determine the legality. The Dost Test has six criteria:

  1. Whether the focal point of the visual depiction is on the child’s genitalia or pubic area.
  2. Whether the setting of the visual depiction is sexually suggestive (i.e., in a place or pose generally associated with sexual activity).
  3. Whether the child is depicted in an unnatural pose or inappropriate attire given the age of the child.
  4. Whether the child is fully or partially clothed/nude.
  5. Whether the visual depiction suggests sexual coyness or a willingness to engage in sexual activity.
  6. Whether the visual depiction is intended or designed to elicit a sexual response in the viewer.

Contact Us

If you have been accused of possessing, distributing, or viewing child pornography in Albuquerque, New Mexico, or the surrounding areas, please contact us today. At the New Mexico Criminal Law Offices, we are committed to providing top-notch legal services to all of our clients. Call us at 505-200-2982 to schedule a free initial consultation.