The state dedicates significant resources to protecting its children by combatting child pornography. Prosecutors vigorously pursue these cases and seek stiff penalties when they win convictions.
If you believe you are the subject of an inquiry or are already facing charges, seek the advice of a seasoned Edina child pornography lawyer. A skilled attorney could help you avoid harsh penalties, social stigma, and damage to your personal relationships.
Legally Defining Child Pornography in Edina
Any portrayal of someone under 18 engaging in sexual conduct constitutes child pornography. Under Minnesota Statutes § 617.246-247, it is illegal to create, possess, distribute, share, and sell child pornography.
Sexual conduct is defined as any behavior involving the touching, penetration, lewd exposure, abuse, etc. of a child’s genitals or other private areas (i.e., buttocks or female breasts). The contact does not require skin to skin but may occur through clothing.
The depiction of such activity, also referred to as pornographic work under state law, includes videos, photographs, slides, advertisements, drawings, and much more. This definition applies to both original works as well as reproductions.
The broad scope of these criminal code sections reaches numerous actions and types of representations. The sooner someone facing child pornography charges in Edina secures competent legal representation, the better prepared they will be to combat the accusations.
Potential Consequences of a Conviction
The criminal penalties for a child pornography charge depend on the actions taken by the accused, the age of the minor, the defendant’s criminal record, and any other aggravating or mitigating factors. The one thing that remains constant is that all child pornography charges are felonies, exposing suspects to potential prison time, hefty fines, and damaged reputations.
Penalties for Possession
Minn. Stat. § 617.247, subd. 4 outlines the penalties for possessing child pornography. First-time offenders may receive sentences of up to five years in prison, $5,000 fines, or both. If the defendant has prior child pornography convictions, is a registered sex offender, or the child was less than 13 years old, the penalties may increase to a maximum of ten years in prison, $10,000 fines, or both.
Penalties for Distribution
Individuals convicted of selling, exchanging, or sharing child pornography may serve up to seven years in prison, pay fines up to $10,000, or both if they are first-time offenders. The court may sentence defendants to no more than 15 years in prison, $20,000 fines, or both if the individual is a repeat offender, a registered sex offender, or the child involved is 12 or younger.
Other Court-Ordered Punishments
Regardless of the charge judges also can impose the following additional orders:
- A mental examination of the defendant if they commit subsequent transgressions within 15 months
- Registration with the state as a sex offender
- Adherence to the conditional release protocol for a period of five to 15 years.
Conditional releases place additional requirements on offenders after completing their prison terms, such as attending treatment programs. If a person fails to satisfy these obligations, they could serve extra time behind bars.
These legally imposed consequences and their impact on an individual’s life are significant. To comprehensively deal with all these issues, it is wise to seek the legal counsel of an Edina lawyer that is well-versed in child pornography cases.
Allow an Edina Child Pornography Attorney to Fight for You
Responding to child pornography charges takes determination, an understanding of the law, and knowledge of effectively reviewing and using the evidence to support your side of the story. Our Edina child pornography lawyers have these skills and are ready to put them to work for you.
The sooner you set up your introductory consultation, the more time our legal team will have to review the details of your case and develop a comprehensive defense strategy. Reach out today to learn more about what we could do for you.