Cases involving allegations of child pornography are extremely serious. Despite this fact, people are often surprised when someone who has never been arrested before faces significant amounts of jail time for this type of offense.
While the sentence for possession of child pornography has come down in recent years, an individual is still looking at extensive charges. If you were charged with—or believe you are under investigation for—a sexually-based offense, consider reaching out to a seasoned lawyer to discuss DC child pornography penalties and how to best proceed.
Possession of child pornography has no mandatory minimum sentence. However, in a receipt of child pornography case, each image carries a mandatory minimum sentence of five years in jail. This compulsory minimum sentence is often used by prosecutors in plea negotiations to get defendants to plead guilty because no one wants to face this mandatory sentence.
Instead, under these circumstances, a skilled defense attorney will work tirelessly to get their client a guilty plea with less than the minimum sentence. Aside from the potential mandatory minimum prison sentences, a person convicted of a child pornography charge is required to be on the sex offender registration list for many years. This is often the most significant collateral consequence for a person, as it might affect their ability to obtain housing or obtain gainful employment in the future.
Under certain circumstances, it is possible for someone to be charged with multiple offenses. Sometimes, for example, a person might send a sexually illicit image of a minor to an undercover agent during a sting. When a search warrant is then executed, images of child pornography are found on that person’s electronic device which might result in multiple charges: distribution, possession, and/or receipt of child pornography.
If you are under investigation for charges involving child pornography, you might benefit from contacting an attorney to discuss your circumstances. In many cases, a search warrant is executed, but an arrest is not made immediately. Furthermore, it could be months before electronic devices are searched.
Because of the potential severity of DC child pornography penalties, having an experienced lawyer on your side through the ensuing legal process might help to clarify your options. To learn more, call a legal professional today.
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