Child pornography possession, production or distribution can lead to very serious state felony charges, and in some cases, federal charges. If charged with a child pornography-related offense or similar sex crime, you need an aggressive Chicago criminal defense attorney with experience defending against child pornography cases.
What is Child Pornography?
Child pornography can include the portrayal, through film, photographs or other media, of children under the age of 18, or of severely intellectually disabled people engaged in acts that actually show or simulate sexual activity, such as penetration, oral sex, masturbation, sexual fondling or touching, and excretion or urination of a sexual nature. It is a crime in Illinois to knowingly possess, produce, make, or distribute films, photographs or any other material that is considered child pornography. (720 ILCS 5/11-20.1). It is also a crime to solicit, use, persuade, induce, entice, or force a person under the age of 18 or a person who is severely or profoundly intellectually disabled to perform in child pornography. (720 ILCS 5/11-20.1(a)(4), (a)(7).)
A person may have a defense to child pornography charges if he or she reasonably tried to find out the age of the child, or whether the person involved was intellectually disabled, before the child or intellectually disabled person engaged in the making of anything that would be considered child pornography. A Chicago sex crimes defense attorney can advise you on which other defenses may apply in your particular case.
Child pornography charges are felony charges and the degree of the felony depends on which acts the accused engages in. If the accused produces or disseminates child pornography that is not film, video or any other kind of a moving picture, the charge may be a Class 1 felony, which carries a prison term of 4-15 years. If film or other moving depictions are involved, the charge may be a Class X felony, one of the most serious felony charges in Illinois, carrying a possibility of imprisonment for up to 30 years, or in some cases 60 years imprisonment. A charge of only possessing child pornography that is not film is a Class 3 felony, which carries a prison term of 2-5 years, and if film is involved, a Class 2 felony for between 3-7 years in prison. For all these felonies, there is a possible fine of between $1,000 and $100,000. (720 ILCS 5/11-20.1(c).)
If the children depicted in the pornographic material are under the age of 13, a charge of production, dissemination or solicitation for child porn is a Class X felony. Possession of child porn depicting children under 13 is a Class 2 felony, unless the accused has prior convictions for various sex crimes, in which case the charge is a Class 1 felony. Some of the prior convictions that can elevate a charge from a Class 2 to a Class 1 felony include convictions for aggravated child pornography, aggravated criminal sexual abuse, aggravated criminal sexual assault, predatory criminal sexual assault of a child, deviate sexual assault, indecent liberties with a child, and aggravated indecent liberties with a child. The prior convictions can be in Illinois or any other state.
If you have been charged with the possession, manufacture, production or distribution of child pornography, contact the experienced Chicago child pornography defense attorneys at Goldman & Associates for a consultation on your case immediately.