Possession of Child Pornography
The rise of the Internet, allowing instant access to information from anywhere in the world, has made it easy to obtain pornographic material, including material involving children. In response to that trend, law enforcement agencies have increased their resources to enforce New Jersey’s child pornography laws. There is no question that being charged with possession of child pornography can be devastating. Even before a finding of guilt, the mere accusation alone could seriously impact your life. That is why you need to obtain the best representation available if charged with possession of child pornography in West Windsor, Trenton, Lawrence, Princeton, Ewing or another Mercer County municipality. The Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall is a firm that has handled hundreds of sex-related offenses, including child pornography possession. Start your free consultation now by calling (609) 683-8102 to speak to an experienced legal professional.Child Pornography Offense in Mercer County New Jersey
The New Jersey Endangering the Welfare of a Child Law contained at N.J.S.A. 2C:24-4 includes a provision that applies to possession of child pornography. Section 2C:24-4b(5)(b) provides that “A person commits a crime of the third degree if he knowingly possesses, knowingly views, or knowingly has under his control, through any means, including the Internet, an item depicting the sexual exploitation or abuse of a child.” The headings below discuss some of the more important aspects of this statute.The Elements of Possession of Child Pornography
The offense of possession of child pornography falls under the New Jersey statute titled Endangering Welfare of Children. The relevant portion of that statute makes it unlawful for a person to knowingly possess, view, or have under his control (through means including the Internet) an item depicting the sexual exploitation or abuse of a person under the age of 18. The “item” the law refers to means a photo, film, video, computer file or program, or video game showing a child engaging in, or simulating, a sexual act. Further, a “sexual act” includes nudity of a sexual nature as well as conduct including sexual intercourse, anal intercourse, and masturbation.Knowledge That Depiction Involves a Minor
It is important to note that a mistaken belief about the age of the person in the pornographic material (i.e., thinking the person looks over 18) does not absolve you from prosecution. Specifically, if the person depicted in the pornographic material is under the age of 18, a reasonable but mistaken belief that the person is over 18 is not a defense. In addition, if a person depicted in the material is said to be or appears to be under 18, the law will presume that the person is under 18 for purposes of the statute.Penalties for Possession of Child Pornography
Possession of Child Pornography is a third-degree crime, which could result in a prison term between 3 to 5 years, and a fine of $15,000. If the offense involved 100 or more items of child pornography, the court must impose a sentence of imprisonment, unless there are special circumstances. Furthermore, a subsequent offense for the same crime could result in a longer prison sentence, between 5 and 10 years in prison.Hopewell NJ Possession of Child Pornography Attorney
Possession of child pornography is a serious offense, and law enforcement agencies have been cracking down on those who violate the law because of the ease of access to pornography on the Internet. If you were charged with the offense of possession of child pornography in East Windsor, Robbinsville, Hightstown, Hamilton, Hopewell or another area town, you should obtain an attorney with expertise in the field of sex-related crimes to minimize your criminal liability as much as possible. The lawyers at the Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall have been defending clients arrested for possessing child pornography for decades in Mercer County and are ready to speak with you about your all of your legal needs. Call (609) 683-8102 to consult with one of our attorney so that you have every chance of escaping this charge.