It is against the law to possess child pornography in California. Individuals can face criminal charges under Penal Code 311 for the possession of child pornography. It is a crime to possess child pornography even without making it yourself.
Possession of child pornography is a “wobbler” charge in California. Prosecutors may treat it as a misdemeanor or a felony.
Understanding Possession of Child Pornography
PC 311 is one of California’s primary laws used to prosecute child pornography accusations. This charge deals specifically with individuals who possess child pornography. Individuals may face this charge if they are accused of sending, duplicating, producing, or transporting child pornography.
Child pornography refers to material that shows minors engaging in sexual conduct. Anyone under the age of 18 is considered a minor in California. Any material showing sexual conduct involving minors is child pornography. California considers the following acts to be sexual conduct:
- Sexual intercourse—the penetration of one individual’s vagina by another person’s penis. Even minimal penetration qualifies as sexual intercourse.
- Oral copulation—an individual placing his or her mouth on another person’s genitals or anus.
- Sodomy—when an individual penetrates someone’s anus with their penis
Charges Related to Child Pornography in California
PC 311 is only one charge used to prosecute child pornography cases in California. There are several other charges closely tied to PC 311 accusations, which include:
Penal Code 311.3
Individuals may face charges under PC 311.3 for developing or printing child pornography. PC 311.3 also makes it illegal to duplicate or exchange child pornography. This can include pictures, films, videos, and other materials.
Penal Code 331.4
PC 311.4 charges are used if someone hires or employs a minor to create child pornography. This charge also applies if someone coerces or convinces a minor to take part in the creation of child pornography in California.
Penal Code 311.10
It is against the law to advertise child pornography. People cannot try to convince others to sell or distribute it. This act is prosecuted under PC 311.10.
PC 311 Charges and Legal Penalties in California
Possession of child pornography in California is a wobbler charge. This means that it may be treated as a misdemeanor or a felony. Misdemeanor convictions may lead to:
- Fines of up to $2,500
- Jail time of up to one year
Felony charges for PC 311 are more serious. Individuals could end up facing up to three years of prison time for a felony conviction. Additionally, individuals convicted under PC 311 must register as sex offenders in California.
There are many additional sex crime charges used in court. A criminal defense lawyer can help you understand the results of a conviction. Call (310) 997-4688 to contact a lawyer in California right now.
Defenses to Possession of Child Pornography Charges
You can build a defense if you were accused of possession of child pornography in California. A sex crimes lawyer in Los Angeles may help you take on these charges. A lawyer can go over your specific situation and work to show that:
- You did not possess sexual material featuring minors
- You did not knowingly possess child pornography
- Any illicit material was found during an unlawful police search
- You had the material for a legitimate reason
Not all of these defenses work in all cases involving child pornography. However, a lawyer can focus on getting your charges reduced if you are accused of a PC 311 violation. This could allow you to avoid a conviction here in California.
Fight Child Pornography Charges with the Simmrin Law Group
California prosecutes individuals involved with child pornography very harshly. Penal Code 311 is used in some child pornography cases and is an example of a sex crime charge in California. This charge handles the possession of child pornography. The Simmrin Law Group can help you build a defense against sex crime charges. Find out more by contacting a criminal defense lawyer in Los Angeles now. We offer a free consultation after your arrest.
Find out more by calling (310) 997-4688 or completing our online contact form.