What is child pornography?
Child pornography is the use of children or minors (under the age of 18) in the production of any form of representation (images, videos or films) that shows them engaging in any sexual acts or conduct.
Maryland, as does all other U.S. States, prohibits child pornography. In Maryland, the making or sale of child porn is more harshly punished than the possession of it. Also, a first offense is treated with more leniency than future child porn crimes.
Maryland prohibits the two main aspects of child pornography, the making of it and the possession or use of it.
The child porn statute in Maryland prohibits five different aspects of the creating or distributing side of this crime:
- Activities related to containing child pornography which includes offenses such as online solicitation.
- The creation of child pornography, including the filming or photographing of children in sexual situations.
- The trade of selling and buying of children (for sexual reasons).
- The possession of child pornography, whether on a computer hard drive, DVD, or hard copy photos.
- The distribution of child pornography through any means.
Child pornography (of the five types described above) is subject to up to 10 years imprisonment and a $25,000 fine for the first offense and up to 20 years and a $50,000 fine for each subsequent violation.
The state doesn’t have to identify the minor involved and the judge or jury can decide if the individual in the materials is a minor based on observing the material, oral testimony of witnesses, expert medical testimony, or other applicable methods.
Possession of child porn for the first offense is a misdemeanor with imprisonment of not more than 5 years and a fine of $2,500 or less.
However, future convictions of this crime are felonies that can be punished by up to 10 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000.
Additionally, conviction for possession of child pornography will make you a Tier I registered sex offender in Maryland. You will have to remain on the sex offender registry for 15 years. Conviction of the creation or distribution of child pornography will get make you a Tier II registered sex offender with 25 years on the registry. Other sex crimes or multiple convictions for either of the child porn crimes can get you on the sex offender registry for life. Being on the sex offender registry will severely impact where you can live and work.
Child Pornography Distribution
Child pornography is one of the most rapidly growing online businesses, with annual revenue estimated at $3 billion and growing. The Association of Sites Advocating Child Protection states that child pornography is distributed through two major ways. First, it is a commercial product that is distributed and sold for profit. Second, it is a non-commercial product that is offered at no charge and traded among various sex offenders, such as P2P networks. The ASACP states that the US has the biggest share of commercialized child porn websites, with more than 50% of the volume of the entire world.
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.
WHY YOU NEED A MARYLAND CHILD PORNOGRAPHY LAWYER WITH IT SKILLS
People violating the laws on child pornography in Maryland face harsh punishments and other damaging consequences that have become even more severe in recent years. In addition to long prison sentences and very high fines, those convicted of sex crimes in Maryland have to register as sex offenders.This makes it all the more important that the defendants hired an experienced child pornography lawyer in Maryland to speak up for them. Local, state, and possibly federal investigators collect and evaluate all evidence, including those that are on your computer. After a thorough forensic analysis of the data and analysis of other information, the prosecution will determine what specific charges for child pornography. The charges could be brought either in Maryland State Court or Maryland Federal Courts.
They will be based on many factors in Maryland, including the following:
- The number of pictures on your computer
- The number of times you’ve visited Internet sites that deal with child pornography
- The type of videos or pictures
- How frequently the videos or images were viewed by you
The nature of a chat room or text messages and emails on your computer, including conversations with undercover police officers, if any
Maryland child pornography offenses
According to Section 11-207 of the Maryland Criminal Code, which governs the offense of illicit pornography of minors, a person may not: Knowingly bring a minor to participate in the production of obscene thing or performance that shows a minor involved in sadomasochistic abuse or sexual behavior. Photograph or film a minor involved in any of the above mentioned behaviors. Individuals involved in any of the sexual behaviors that knowingly promote, advertise, promote, disseminate or own (with the intention of spreading) any visual or verbal material that affects minors who are involved in any of the above sexual behaviors or describe sexual behaviors.
If the prosecution can prove that a suspect has violated any of these laws, he or she will be found guilty of the serious crime of illicit pornography of minors in Maryland.
As our kiddie porn lawyer in Maryland explains, there are some examples of charges against a suspect who can be proven to have violated child pornography laws in Maryland:
A suspect; knowingly to promote, solicit, disseminate or possess (with the intention of spreading) any visual representation or performance of a minor who engages in sadomasochistic abuse or sexual behavior. “Punishment in convictions may take up to 10 years in state prison and a fine of $ 25,000 [Maryland Code Section 11-208]. Subsequent convictions can double both the prison sentence and the associated fine. If it can be proven that the suspect has requested a minor to perform an obscene act, the sentence is up to one year in prison and / or a fine of up to $ 1,000 per offense. If it can be proven that the suspect has requested a minor to perform an obscene act, the sentence is up to one year in prison and / or a fine of up to $ 1,000 per offense. All subsequent convictions will result in a penalty of no more than three years and / or a fine of no more than $ 5,000.
Maryland Code Section 11-209: If it can be proven that the suspect has requested a minor to perform an obscene act, the sentence is up to one year in prison and / or a fine of up to $ 1,000 per offense.
Maryland Possession, but not intended to sell or distribute – essentially for your own use. At least one year imprisonment after the first conviction and a fine of $ 1,000 for each count and up to three years and a fine of $ 3,000 for all subsequent convictions per count [Maryland Section 11-202 (b)].
Federal Child Pornography Charges
As our illicit pornography of minor lawyer in Maryland explains to our clients, many cases of Illicit pornography of minor begin as a local or state investigation, but then develop into federal cases. Depending on the extent of Illicit images of minor violations – usually in the context of inter-state crime, especially when it comes to the internet without borders – some of the more common federal Illicit pornography of minor charges may include: Sexual exploitation of children (production of child pornography) [18 U.S. Federal Code Section 2251] Buying and Selling minors [18 USA Federal Code Section 2251A] Certain activities related to material that constitutes or contains Illicit images of minor, including offenses such as online advertising [18 USA] Federal Code Section 2252A] Making sexually explicit representations of a minor for import into the United States [18 US Code Section 2260]
Multi jurisdictional Illicit images of minor Investigations In the US, federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies work together in regional task forces that search the Internet and search for people who receive, share, distribute, and / or produce illicit pornography of minor in Maryland. Many of these agencies operate under the guidance of the US Department of Justice, Office of the Department of Justice for Juvenile Justice and Crime Prevention (OJJDP). The agencies that specifically investigate these crimes include the FBI, the Immigration and Customs Authority (ICE), and the United States Postal Inspection Service (USPIS), together with state and local authorities. The Maryland / DC ICAC Task Force includes 35 law enforcement agencies across the state, including the Department of Computer Crime of the Maryland State Police. This group focuses on reports of sexual exploitation and pornography of children. It works in conjunction with appropriate state agencies to prosecute individuals charged with these types of crimes.
If you have been charged with any kind of Maryland sex crimes related to the computer or internet, call and speak with our Maryland sex crimes lawyers. The primary Maryland lawyer who handles computer related sex crimes in Maryland has over 20 years of experience, is a former prosecutor and has six IT certifications. There are very few Maryland sex crimes lawyers who can claim to have such a high degree of skills and knowledge. C