The penalties for possessing and distributing internet child pornography in Maryland are getting tougher. Not only do people convicted of these offenses face prison time and steep fines in Maryland, but they may also be forced to register as sex offenders.
Few serious criminal charges and convictions in Maryland carry the severe consequences and social stigma as a Maryland possession of child pornography. Prison sentences and fines are only the beginning. The seemingly never-ending penalties may also involve lifetime registration as a sex offender. No longer can you move to a new area without notification and objections from area residents.
The State of Maryland does not have mandatory sentences for the posession and distribution of internet child pornography, but the consequences of a conviction can still be severe. A person who is convicted of possessing child pornography could be sentenced to as much as five years in prison and a $2,500 fine for a first offense. The penalty for possession with the intent of distributing internet child pornography is punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a $25,000 fine.
In Maryland, state statutes broadly define Illicit images of minor as any visual representation, such as photograph or film, of a minor engaged in an obscene act, sadomasochistic abuse or sexual conduct. To be convicted of possession of child pornography, the state must prove that an individual not only knew about the pornographic images in the individual’s possession but also intentionally kept them.
Some cases are clear. A 17-year-old with illicit images of an extreme minor in their possession would be a pretty clear situation. But this is rare. A much more common example would be a dating couple. A 16-year-old boy and girl are dating in school and trading nude photos each other through social media. This can result in a conviction of possession. This act is commonly known as sexting. One of them is then sharing them with others, who in turn trade and further share and disseminate the images. Not only is this extremely dangerous and potentially devastating emotionally, it is strictly prohibited under the law. It counts as distributing kiddie porn. But it must be done knowingly and with intent.
If the minor’s identity is unknown or the minor is outside the jurisdiction of the State of Maryland. In a criminal charge, the State is not required to identify or produce testimony from the minor who is depicted in the obscene matter or in any visual representation or performance that depicts the minor engaged as a subject in sadomasochistic abuse or sexual conduct.
DEFENSES TO POSSESSION OF CHILD PORNOGRAPHY
It is an affirmative defense to a charge of violating this section that the person promptly and in good faith:
- took reasonable steps to destroy each visual representation; or
- reported the matter to a law enforcement agency.
If you or a loved one are facing child pornography charges in the state of Maryland, an experienced Maryland child pornography lawyer can help. He or she will work to develop a defense plan based on the specific nature of your case and strive to mitigate any potential penalties you face.
If you need a Maryland Possession of Child Pornography Lawyer to help you with your Possession of Child Pornography case in Maryland, call us at 888-437-7747. Our Maryland Possession of Child Pornography Attorneys can help you.