As per Louisiana law, it is illegal to produce, possess, or distribute any sexually explicit images or materials involving a minor. In the era of technology, child pornography has been extended to encompass sexting as well. If found guilty, this felony is punishable with penalties ranging from 5 to 40 years in prison. In the event, the victim is younger than 13 years, and the offender is older than 17 years, the penalties may double.
Child pornography charges aren’t something to be taken lightly. A conviction can range from serving prison time, steep fines, or mandatory sex offender registration after serving time in prison. Additionally, there is a stigma associated with this criminal charge that may be extremely difficult to overcome regardless of the court decision. If you or someone close to you has been arrested or charged with child pornography, contact a Louisiana criminal defense attorney for professional legal representation.
3 Steps to Take Immediately If You Have Been Charged With Child Pornography
No criminal charges should be taken lightly, given how significant they are and how they may affect you now and in the future. Here is what to do if you’re facing child pornography charges in Louisiana.
Step 1: Know Child Pornography Laws in Louisiana
The federal and state government take criminal charges involving juveniles very seriously. If convicted, you could be facing the following penalties:
- A fine of $50,000 and 5 to 20 years in jail with no probation, parole, or suspension of your sentence
- Between 10 and 40 years in prison if the child is a preteen and the offender is older than 17 years of age
- Under Megan’s Law, you will be required to register as a sex offender. The minimum registration period is 15 years
Federal sentencing guidelines distinguish between purchasing, producing, and distributing child pornography. Punishments are more severe if the child is under 13 years.
Possessing the status of a convicted sex offender comes with restrictions on where you can live and work and your right to have a firearm. Additionally, this status may affect your relationships with family, friends, and community.
Any sexual image is enough to justify a charge of pornography involving a juvenile. The district attorney and the court system may consider the picture’s nature. However, it’s unlikely to get the case dismissed.
Step 2: Build a Strong Defense Against Child Pornography Charges
If you have been charged with child pornography, it’s important to build a solid defense against your charges. Sometimes, the defendant may not even have known they were in possession of the material. Some of these circumstances might be:
- They accidentally downloaded it as they were downloading a bulk of movies or other content at the same time
- The title downloaded was not indicative of child pornography
- An automated program or virus may have been placed on your computer without your knowledge
Deleting files after realizing that they contained child pornography is unlikely to help your case. Investigators use sophisticated techniques, and they can tell how many times a particular file was accessed. Not knowing the juvenile’s age is also not considered a valid defense.
Enlisting the help of a Bossier City criminal defense attorney is in your best interest. An experienced defense attorney understands they are taking up your case to defend your reputation with minimum exposure.
Step 3: Get a Favorable Outcome With the Help of an Attorney
An aggressive, seasoned, and knowledgeable criminal defense attorney is your best bet for a good outcome. An excellent Louisiana criminal defense lawyer will guide you in understanding your legal options, investigating the facts that led to your arrest, hiring computer forensic experts and investigators, examining law enforcement personnel, and contesting your case professionally.
Talk With a Skilled Louisiana Criminal Defense Lawyer
If you’re in Louisiana, John D. & Eric G. Johnson Law Firm is one of the best places to get experienced criminal defense attorneys. We have over 25 years of experience representing clients. Our defense lawyers are able to apply their knowledge of unique defenses and wealth of experience to your case. You can be assured that every resource will be exhausted in your defense preparation to get you the best possible outcome.
If you or someone close to you is facing child pornography charges, we understand the crippling amount of stress you must be under. Let our decades of experience work for you. Call our office at 318-377-1555 or schedule a free consultation now.