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New York Child Pornography Frequently Asked Questions

It is important to understand a bit about child pornography and the criminal penalties associated with it in New York City if you are serious about learning how the law works in this area. Unfortunately, it might be necessary if you find yourself in the defendant’s chair facing any charge related to this kind of activity in the state of New York.

What Does It Mean To Possess Child Pornography?

The exact definition of possession of child pornography in the state of New York is pretty straightforward. It is literally being in possession of a piece of material that shows a sexual performance of a child under the age of sixteen. If the material in any shows actual or even simulated sexual activity of that child, then it is considered to be child pornography in New York.

There are two categories of crime that can be charged under this statue. Those being possession of a sexual performance of a child and possession of an obscene performance of a child. There may seem to be little difference between the two, but the truth is that there is a bit of daylight between these two legal definitions. Each is considered a Class E Felony in New York.

How Can I Defend Myself Against This Charge?

This is an incredibly serious charge that you will want to obtain a lawyer to help you defend yourself against immediately. If you think that it is possible to get away with defending yourself against such a charge, think again. You will be buried by the prosecution so fast on this one that you won’t even know what hit you. Your only hope is one of the two following defenses:

Age Mistake- This is the defense that there is a reasonable assumption that the person in the material that you have is under the age of seventeen then you might be able to defend yourself in court by making this claim. The court would have to agree that there was reason to believe this to be the case. It might be difficult to get away with this one for the simple fact that everyone sees age a little differently. What is clearly a child to one person may be obviously an adult to another. It is mostly a matter of definition.

Occupation- There are a limited few occupations in which it might be necessary to be in possession of child pornography. Think of the role that some specialized law enforcement officers play for example. They may find the need to be possess these materials from time to time. These are very rare cases though.

What Happens If You Are Found Guilty?

The reality is that you could face prison or probation or some combination of the two. If you receive probation as either part or all of your sentence, you are going to have at least ten years of it. You might also go to prison for up to four years depending on what the judge decides.

Besides all of that you will have to registered on the sex offenders watch list which is a huge black mark to have in a society that does not give any mercy to sex offenders. It is something that you have to realize could happen to you. Never take a chance when accused of this kind of crime. It can ruin your entire life to even be accused of something like this. If you happen to be found guilty then things only get worse from that point. Hire a lawyer right away.

by Leonard on Spodek Law Group
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