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Maryland Federal Child Pornography Penalties

Facing federal child pornography charges can be extremely intimidating, but there’s no need to do it alone.  By contacting a Maryland federal child pornography lawyer, you can work with a dedicated legal advocate who understands what you’re up against. Federal investigations and charges work a little differently than those at the state or local level, which is why working with an experienced defense attorney can make a big difference.

Below, an overview is given of some of the most common federal child pornography charges and the penalties associated with them.

Federal Child Pornography Charges and Penalties

The definition of child pornography charges has been summed up by federal statute to include any “activities relating to visual material involving the sexual exploitation of minors” [18 United States Code 2252].  This statute, like Maryland’s state statute, makes it unlawful to possess, distribute, or produce any visual depiction of a minor engaging in any sexual activity.
Most federal child pornography prosecutions occur when the materials are in some way distributed across state or national boundaries. Therefore, at the discretion of the US attorney, virtually any computer-related pornography charge can be a federal offense.  In addition to possible fines (including having to pay the expenses of prosecution) the following punishments apply upon conviction:

Possession of child pornography [18 U.S.C. 2252]:

  • First conviction – up to 10 years in prison
  • With any prior sex offense conviction – mandatory minimum of 10 years with 20 year maximum.

Distribution is defined as receipt, distribution, possession with intent to distribute or sell child pornography [18 U.S.C. 2252]:

  • First conviction – minimum five years, maximum of 20 years
  • With prior sex offense conviction, 15 to 40 years

Possession of obscene visual representations of the sexual abuse of children [18 U.S.C. 1466 A]

  • First offense – up to 10 years in prison
  • With prior sex offense conviction, mandatory 10-year minimum with a maximum sentence of 20 years

Receipt, distribution, or production of obscene visual representations of the sexual abuse of children [18 U.S.C. 1466A]

  • First offense – five year minimum, maximum of 20 years
  • With prior sex offense conviction – 15 year minimum, maximum of 40 years

In addition to the above-listed state and federal child pornography crimes, every federal convict is required to register as a sex offender [42 U.S.C 16913].  Those convicted in Maryland must register with the state registry there as well.  The amount of time offenders can remain on one (or in some cases, both) can range from 10 years to life, depending on the crime for which they have been convicted.

Work with a Federal Defense Attorney

When you are facing serious charges such as these, it’s important to know your rights.  By working with a federal child pornography lawyer who understands how these charges are investigated and prosecuted in federal court, you can begin planning a solid defense.

Call our law offices today if you would like to learn more about the services our attorneys can offer to clients who may be facing federal prosecution.  Our legal team is standing by to take your call.

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