Burlington County, NJ Law Blog

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

The Law Relating to Child Pornography

What are Child Pornography Laws?

Any criminal charge involving child pornography is serious and demands the attention of an experienced criminal defense attorney. The state and federal laws are strict, and potential punishments are severe.

It is illegal under New Jersey state law to possess, view, distribute, share, receive, photograph or allow a child to engage in child pornography. The state law defines a child as anyone younger than 16 years old. Penalties for a conviction vary on the particular charge and can range from 18 months to 20 years, with the fines ranging from $10,000 to $200,000. Most convictions will lead to registration on the state’s Sex Offender List.

Child pornography is also subject to federal law. Child pornography is defined under federal law as any visual depiction of sexually explicit conduct involving someone under 18 years of age. The image need not be of sexual activity; it can be illegal if it is sufficiently sexually suggestive. Federal law prohibits the production, distribution, reception and possession of an image of child pornography using or affecting any means or facility of interstate or foreign commerce. Federal agencies can get involved when the offense occurred in interstate or foreign commerce, including the use of the U.S. Post Office, common carriers or the Internet to transmit images. A first time offender convicted of transporting child pornography in interstate or foreign commerce faces fines and a statutory minimum of five to twenty years in prison.

Arrests for child pornography are not uncommon. A North Plainfield man was arrested after a joint investigation by local and federal law enforcement. He allegedly had more than 1,300 image files of child pornography on his computer. Officials claim the images were available through a file sharing network. The man is facing charges of distribution of child pornography and endangering the welfare of a child/possession of child pornography.

If you or a family member has been charged with a child pornography crime, the Burlington County, New Jersey criminal defense attorneys at Sitzler & Sitzler have the experience needed to effectively represent you. Contact us at (609)267-1101 today.

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