New York City Child Pornography Lawyer to Protect Your Rights

Child pornography charges are some of the most difficult charges you can face. Not only do they carry the possibility of years in prison, but they can seriously damage your reputation even if you aren’t convicted. And if you are convicted, you will have to register as a sex offender, likely for the rest of your life. The best thing to do is to contact NYC child pornography lawyer Cody Warner; the sooner you call, the sooner he can help.

Federal vs. State Child Pornography Charges

Child pornography is illegal under both New York and federal law. Whether you face state or federal charges depends largely on which law enforcement agency conducted the investigation and made the arrest. Federal law enforcement tends to focus on those cases that involve interstate child pornography rings, but simply sending an email can subject you to federal jurisdiction.

The federal government has much more extensive resources to investigate and prosecute crimes. They tend to build their cases slowly, which means that any charges they bring are very well documented. Federal cases are typically much more challenging than criminal cases brought at the state level. Federal conviction rates are generally higher than state conviction rates. That said, New York City has considerable resources that it can bring to bear in pursuing child pornography charges, so these cases should be taken very seriously.

If you are facing child pornography charges in New York City, you should hire someone who has deep knowledge of New York law and knows how to navigate the New York court system.

New York Pornography Charges

New York penal law has several offenses related to the creation, distribution, and possession of child pornography. Each of these is a severe crime, and all of them are felonies. It is not uncommon for defendants to face multiple child pornography charges simultaneously, and the differences between them can be unclear. In some cases, the age that triggers criminal liability is 16 years old, but with other offenses 17 years old is the triggering age. Whether the pornography is deemed “obscene” is also relevant for certain child pornography offenses.

A conviction carries harsh consequences. If you are facing any charges related to child pornography, an NYC child pornography lawyer can explain your charges, the potential consequences of a conviction, and your options.

Use of a Child in a Sexual Performance

This offense (P.L. 263.05) consists of employing, authorizing, or inducing a child less than 17 years old to engage in a sexual performance. You can be charged with the Use of a Child in a Sexual Performance for involving a child in the creation of child pornography. Either parents or unrelated parties can be charged with this offense.

The Use of a Child in a Sexual Performance is a class C felony. If convicted, you could be sentenced to prison for up to 15 years.

Promoting an Obscene Sexual Performance by a Child

You can be charged with this offense (P.L. 263.10) if you allegedly produced, directed, or promoted any obscene performance that includes sexual conduct involving someone who is less than 17 years old.

People who are charged with this offense are often, but not always, also charged with the Use of a Child in a Sexual Performance. However, you can be charged with Promoting an Obscene Sexual Performance by a Child even if you were not directly involved with the creation of child pornography.

To better understand this charge, it may be helpful to understand the word “promoting.” P.L. 263.00(5) defines to promote as follows:

To procure, manufacture, issue, sell, give, provide, lend, mail, deliver, transfer, transmute, publish, distribute, circulate, disseminate, present, exhibit or advertise, or to offer or agree to do the same.

As you can see, this definition is extremely broad. In this day of the internet and other modern devices, a couple of mouse clicks could result in being charged with Promoting an Obscene Sexual Performance by a Child.

Promoting an Obscene Sexual Performance by a Child is a class D felony. If convicted you face up to seven years in prison or more if you have been convicted of a felony within the last ten years.

Possessing an Obscene Sexual Performance by a Child

It is also a crime simply to possess child pornography. You can be charged with Possessing an Obscene Sexual Performance by a Child (P.L. 263.11) if you knowingly possess child pornography involving a child of less than 16 years old or access it with the intent to view it. This offense is a class E felony that carries a potential prison sentence of up to four years.

Promoting a Sexual Performance by a Child

This offense (P.L. 263.15 ) is essentially identical to the charge of Promoting an Obscene Sexual Performance by a Child. The only difference is that you can be charged with Promoting a Sexual Performance by a Child even if the material isn’t necessarily obscene. By way of contrast, obscenity is defined in P.L. 235.00:

  • The predominant appeal to the prurient interest in sex; and
  • It depicts sexual intercourse, a criminal sexual act, bestiality, masturbation, sadism, masochism, excretion, or lewd exhibition of the genitals; and
  • It lacks serious literary, artistic, and scientific value.

As a class D felony, if convicted you face a prison sentence of up to seven years, and you face even more if you have been convicted of a felony within the last ten years.

Possessing a Sexual Performance by a Child

This charge (P.L. 263.16) is the companion charge to Possessing an Obscene Sexual Performance by a Child. The difference is that you can face a child pornography charge even if the material isn’t obscene. This is also a class E felony that carries the possibility of up to 4 years in prison. If you have been convicted of a felony within the last ten years your sentence range will be more severe.

Facilitating a Sexual Performance by a Child with a Controlled Substance or Alcohol

The most serious child pornography charge (P.L. 263.30) involves the creation of child pornography by means of providing a minor with alcohol or drugs. This is a class B felony, and if convicted you face up to 25 years in prison, and if you have been convicted of a felony within the last ten years your sentencing range will be more severe.

Defenses to a Child Pornography Charge

Many defenses may exist if you are facing a child pornography charge.

One common defense is that you didn’t knowingly possess the pornography. To successfully argue this defense, certain facts are crucial, such as who owned the device on which the content was stored, the nature of your access to the device, and whether proof exists that you are the entity that put the content on the device.

Another common defense is that the alleged child in question was not actually a child. To determine the age of the alleged child, the court will consider a variety of factors, such as the overall appearance of the person and the circumstances surrounding your case. Expert testimony regarding the child’s age may be necessary. Due to the complexities of child pornography cases, it’s critical to hire a skilled NYC child pornography lawyer.

How an NYC Child Pornography Lawyer Can Help

Your attorney can evaluate your case and help you understand the charges you are facing. From there, your attorney can work with you to start developing a carefully tailored strategy to get you the best possible result.

An experienced NYC child pornography lawyer will be able to evaluate the evidence the prosecution has and identify its weaknesses. They can gather evidence that supports your innocence or justifies a lesser charge or a lighter sentence. They can speak on your behalf and protect you from saying anything that could later be used against you. Your attorney is by your side to protect you.

Arrested for Child Pornography in New York? Contact Cody Warner Today

Cody Warner provides strategic legal representation for people accused of crimes in New York City. Cody has helped thousands of people across the New York metro area put their charges behind them by tirelessly working to get them the best possible result. If you have been charged with a crime related to child pornography, contact Cody to schedule a free consultation to discuss your case and determine the best path forward.