Have you been arrested and charged with a criminal offense under California Penal Code Section 311(11)? If so, the consequences could be earth-shattering. Take steps to protect your future by retaining a powerful legal defender who can help you challenge the allegations against you.
When you have been accused of possession of child pornography, your personal and professional reputations, and your liberties are in jeopardy. Start working on your defense strategy as soon as possible by retaining a California criminal defense attorney to represent you.
What Is California Penal Code 311(11): Possession of Child Pornography
Possession of child pornography under California Penal Code §311(11) is generally considered a felony offense, but since it is a Wobbler, it can also be charged as a misdemeanor. Under the law, it is a criminal offense to be in control or possession of any type of child pornography.
It is important to note that each visual depiction, including pictures, images, photographs, or computer-generated images will be considered a separate offense. Movies, video clips, or videos are considered 50 images each. For the prosecutor to secure a conviction in your case, they will need to prove that the elements of the events have been met as follows:
- The defendant must have knowingly or willfully been in control or possession of materials that are considered child pornography.
- The defendant must have known that the materials in question depicted a minor engaging in any type of sexual conduct.
What Are the Penalties for a Conviction?
If you are convicted under California Penal Code Section 311(11), you could be facing misdemeanor or felony charges based on the specific circumstances of your case. The greater the number of images or materials you are accused of being in possession of, the more likely it is that you will face felony-level charges.
If you are convicted of misdemeanor possession of child pornography charges, you could spend up to one year in county jail and be ordered to pay fines as high as $2,500. However, if you were convicted of felony-level possession of child pornography charges, you could face a minimum of three years in state prison and fines as high as $2,500 per image.
In addition to jail or prison time and fines, you could also be ordered to pay restitution to victims, participate in mental health counseling, complete drug or alcohol treatment, and be ordered to register as a sex offender upon your release from custody.
Types of Crimes Related to California Penal Code 311(11)
There are several crimes related to the possession of child pornography under California Penal Code Section 311(11). Some of the more common offenses include:
- Statutory rape under California Penal Code §261.5 – Statutory rape is a Wobbler offense in the state of California. You could be charged with a misdemeanor or a felony based on the mitigating or aggravating factors in your case.
- Lewd acts with a child under California Penal Code §288 – Under California law, lewd acts with a child are always considered a felony offense.
- Revenge porn under California Penal Code Section 647 – Revenge porn can involve adults and minors, and can also be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony offense.
How to Challenge Allegations Under California Penal Code 311(11)
If you are hoping to avoid the consequences of a conviction, working with the prosecutor may be one of the best ways to protect your future. In some instances, you may be able to work out a plea agreement or enter a pretrial diversion program. You will need to meet specific criteria, but once you do, the charges against you could be reduced or dismissed entirely.
Not every offender under California Penal Code Section 311 will be eligible for a plea agreement or pretrial diversion program. When this happens, you will need to prepare a powerful defense strategy. Some potential defenses you could use to challenge possession of child pornography charges include:
- You did not know that the person depicted in the pornographic material was a minor – If you were unaware that the subject of the pornography you are accused of being in possession of was under the age of 18, you should not be found guilty of these charges under California law.
- You were not in possession of child pornography – The materials in question must be considered child pornography under the California legal definition of the term. This means if the materials in question were not considered child pornography, you should not be convicted of this offense.
- Your constitutional rights were violated through unlawful search and seizure – Law enforcement must have had a valid warrant or legal justification if they do not have one after conducting a search and seizure. Any evidence police may have obtained through an illegal search and seizure should be considered inadmissible at trial and, if this evidence is critical to the state’s case, the charges against you could be reduced or dismissed altogether.
Can Your Record Be Expunged After a Conviction?
If you are convicted of possession of child pornography charges under California Penal Code Section 311(11), it is possible that you could be eligible for expungement depending on the circumstances of your case. If you were convicted at the felony level, you will not be eligible for expunction under California law.
However, if you were found guilty of a misdemeanor offense, you may be eligible for an expungement once you have completed the terms of your sentence. If you have a conviction on your record, your attorney can explore your options for expungement further during your initial consultation.
Meet with a California Criminal Defense Attorney Today
If you have been charged under California Penal Code §311(11), you may have very serious concerns about what your future may bring. When you do not know where to turn for help, make sure to connect with an aggressive California criminal defense lawyer to advocate for your future.
Schedule your confidential case review today when you fill out our secure contact form or call our office to start working on your defense strategy.