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If you’re charged with the possession of child pornography in Chester County, then you’re facing federal charges. Any kind of sex with a minor is considered rape, and while you didn’t commit the act yourself, watching pornography depicting such a crime is a crime in and of itself as well. Under federal law, it’s illegal to download child pornography, email links of it to others or view it. Because the child pornography is located on the World Wide Web, it’s a federal crime since it’s crossed state lines.
There are numerous ways that you can be accused of possessing child pornography. If you are under 19 years old and found to be in possession of it, then you are subject to a Class IIIA felony. If you’re more than 19 years old, then you could be charged with a Class III felony. If you’ve been convicted of being in possession of child pornography before, then you could be facing a Class IC felony.
The penalties for Class IIIA felonies can be as much as 5 years in prison and $10,000 in fines. There is no required minimum sentencing for Class IIIA felonies, though. However, if you’re convicted of a Class III felony, there is a minimum requirement of at least 1 year in prison. At the judge’s discretion and depending on the circumstances surrounding your case, you could be facing as much as 20 years in prison and fines as high as $25,000. If this is your second offense and you’re charged with a Class IC, then you could be facing a minimum of 5 years in prison and a maximum of 50.
In addition to all these legal penalties you could be facing, you’ll also be facing countless of other consequences. If you have any children, for instance, they’ll likely be taken away from you. You won’t be able to have custody of any children once you’ve been convicted of child pornography charges. Likewise, if you’re married, your spouse could choose to divorce you after finding out about the conviction.
There are many stigmas associated with possession of child pornography, and whether you’re guilty of watching it or not, simply being charged could cause you to lose your job, especially if your job is one that involves working around children, such as driving a school bus or teaching children. You might also not be allowed to be within so many feet of a school after you get out of prison.
In addition to losing your job, you could also lose relationships with other friends and family members too. Many people don’t want to associated with people who are accused of possession of child pornography, and this could also affect the dating field for you. Some people run backgrounds on their potential dates, and if they see a charges like child pornography on your record, they could decline to date you.
You Need a Federal Crime Lawyer
When you’ve been accused of possession of child pornography, you need to get a criminal lawyer who specializes in federal cases as soon as possible. It’s important that you don’t speak to the authorities or anyone else without a lawyer present to make sure that you don’t inadvertently incriminate yourself.
When you get a lawyer, the first thing he or she will likely do is evaluate all the details surrounding your case. Your lawyer will determine whether or not the arrest was legal, and then he or she will look for ways to craft you a solid defense. For instance, just because child pornography was accessed on your computer doesn’t necessarily mean that it was you who did it. Your lawyer might seek to disprove that it was indeed you who downloaded the content.
In the best case scenario, your lawyer could possibly get the charges dropped. Even if your lawyer can’t get the charges completely dropped, he or she might at least be able to negotiate a plea deal with the lesser penalties for you if you’re convicted.