Under Maryland law, it is illegal to be involved in the making, distribution or possession of child pornography. Code section 11-208 sets out these laws. Distributing and possessing child pornography in Maryland is a serious crime. Child pornography penalties can be enforced in state court or federal court.
Anyone under the age of 16 is considered a child. Code section 11-208 prohibits the distribution and possession of child pornography. The possession and distribution of any visual representation of a minor under the age of 16 engaged in any sadomasochistic abuse or sexual conduct is illegal under Maryland law. A person may not knowingly possess any film, video, photograph or other visual representation of a child under the age of 16 as a subject of any sexual conduct. The law also prohibits a minor engaged as a subject of sadomasochistic abuse, engaged in any sexual conduct or in a state of sexual excitement. If you are a parent and possess visual representation of your child in the nude then it does not violate code section 11-208 and cannot be punished for it. However it is illegal and the act is punishable in a court of law if a parent possesses visual representations which show the child engaged as a subject of sadomasochistic abuse, engaged in any sexual conduct or in a state of sexual excitement.
A person who violates this section is guilty to a felony. On conviction, a person who has violated this section is subject to a maximum conviction of 5 years or a fine of up to $2,500 or both. If a person has previously been convicted of distributing and possessing child pornography and has continued to violate this section on conviction they are subject to a maximum of imprisonment 10 years or a fine not exceeding $10,000 or both. If a person is convicted of distributing and possessing child pornography then they are registered as a Tier 1 registered sex offender in Maryland. They will then remain on the registry for 15 years. Other sex crimes or multiple convictions can get a person on the sex offender registry for life. Being convicted for the distribution and possession of child pornography can affect a person in the long term. Because they will be registered as a sex offender, it might prevent a person from seeking employment, finding an apartment to rent or obtain credit.
In Maryland these laws do not apply to a person if they have jurisdiction for the possession or distribution of the prohibited child porn materials, to use them for any scientific, educational, governmental, artistic or news purpose. A person may not be subject to these punishments and may not be convicted for child pornography.
There are affirmative defenses which can be used if a person is convicted of the distribution and possession of child pornography. A lawyer can display to the court that a person promptly and in good faith that the defendant took respectable measures to destroy the child pornography or reported the matter to the police.
If you need a Maryland child pornography lawyer to help you with your child pornography case in Maryland, call us at 888-437-7747. Our Maryland child pornography attorneys can help you.