In Virginia, any crime against a minor is taken very seriously by prosecutors and judges and is punished harshly. If you are charged with a child pornography crime, you could face decades in prison and long-term consequences in your life.
One of the most serious child pornography charges you could face is the distribution of child pornography. If you are charged with this crime, you need to contact a criminal defense lawyer in Virginia immediately to develop a strong defense strategy.
What Is Considered Child Pornography Under Virginia Law?
Under Virginia Code §1.2-374.01, child pornography is defined as sexually explicit material which utilizes a minor or has a minor as an identifiable as a subject. The child depicted must be a minor at the time that the pornography was created.
Sexually explicit materials can include depictions of bestiality, lewd depictions of nudity, sexual excitement, sexual conduct, or sadomasochistic abuse. Visual materials are broadly defined under Virginia law and can include photos, drawings, movies, sculptures, digital images stored on a computer, and more.
Creation of Child Pornography Offense and Penalties
Virginia Code §1.2-374.01:1 makes it a crime to produce child pornography. It can include the following:
- Soliciting or enticing a minor to create child pornography—even if the child agrees to the act
- Producing, preparing to create, or attempting to produce child pornography
- Knowingly taking part in or participating in the production of child pornography
Here are some examples of when someone can be charged with creating child pornography:
- Asking a minor to take a photo of them while nude and producing the image
- Taking a nude picture of a minor or attempting to take a picture by placing a cellphone camera under a girl’s skirt
- Helping or encouraging a friend to download, edit, or create a pornographic photo of a minor child
- Loaning a friend your cellphone camera or other camera to use to create child pornography
- Being the lookout for someone who is producing child pornography
Creating child pornography is a serious felony in Virginia. If convicted, a person could face these punishments:
- Between 1 and 15 years in prison if the minor child is 15 years old or older
- Between 3 and 30 years in prison if the accused is seven years or older than the child
- Between 5 and 30 years in prison if the minor is under 15 years old
- Between 15 and 30 years in prison if the minor child is under 15 years old and the offender is seven years or older than the victim
If the offense is a second conviction, the punishment may be 15 to 40 years in prison.
Have you been charged with the production of child pornography or another child pornography offense in Virginia? Our experienced criminal defense lawyers will mount an aggressive defense strategy for you that could result in the charges being dismissed or reduced. Start a live chat or fill out our online form to schedule your free consultation to learn more about how we can help you.