Possession of Child Pornography in Virginia is prosecuted by both the state as well as federal governments. Depending on the severity of the charges, you can end up with a substantial jail term.
All crimes against the minors in the state of Virginia are dealt with strictly including possession of child pornography. If you are charged with possession of child pornography, it will have many long term effects besides prison sentences and fines. It will also affect your relationship with your family, friends and colleagues, have an adverse effect on your career and impact your child custody case.
In Virginia, possession of child pornography law is defined as any sexually explicit visual content that involves a minor (under the age of 18) engaging in sexual acts or is behaving in a sexually related manner. This includes any hard copy photographs, videotapes, sculptures or videos and images on any digital device such as a computer. Sexually explicit content falls under any one or more of these categories:
- Display of nudity
- Sexual acts
- Sexual arousing
- Sadomasochistic abuse
You can be charged with possession of child pornography in Virginia if you intentionally possess any item that demonstrates sexual exploitation of a minor.
You may also be charged with violating the Virginia possession of child pornography law if you have obtained such content through any means.
If you are found guilty of possession of child pornography in Virginia and it is your first offense, you can be sentenced to jail for a term not exceeding one year and a fine of up to $2,500. In cases where it is not the first offense, you may be sentenced with up to 20 years in prison and a fine that may go up to $2,500. Also, the court may require you to register as a sex offender which will affect all aspects of your life including career and family.
If you are charged with the possession of child pornography in Virginia, there are some defense strategies that your attorney may know and it will reduce or even dismiss the charges completely.
One of the defenses is that your attorney may argue in court that the content was not in your possession or that you were not aware of its existence. The best way to prove this is that if the content was found in a shared work-space or computer. A Virginia child pornography lawyer can assist the defendant in proving this by employing the services of a computer forensic expert to show the exact time and how the content was downloaded to prove that you were not guilty of the crime. If you can prove that you were not aware of the possession and did not obtain the content purposely, the charges may be reduced or dropped.
Your attorney can also argue that the content in your possession is not child pornography. If the content does not have any minors or contains adults that appear and act like minors, the content shall not be considered child pornography and the case will be dismissed.
Even if you are guilty, you may still argue that your constitutional rights were violated during the process of the arrest. You may also argue that the evidence being used in court was obtained unlawfully and that the prosecution should be prohibited from using it.
In such cases, the judge will not allow the evidence obtained illegally and this shall affect the outcome of the case drastically or your case may be dismissed. Therefore, choose your attorney wisely so that the charges against you can be reduced or dismissed.
Mr. Sris has been defending clients charged with possession of child pornography in Virginia for over 15 years.