Virginia's Child Pornography Laws: Why You Need an Attorney
Have you ever heard that adage about how much you can learn about people based on what is in their trash? It might make you think twice before you throw something away. The same thing can apply to a society about its laws. You can tell how seriously we take something based on the laws and penalties concerning the issue. And, when you take a look at our laws regarding child pornography, you can tell that our society takes it very seriously.
We can say that, not because Shaquille O'Neal once joined Bedford County's police department in the fight against child pornography, but because of the seriousness of the penalties.
Five Aspects of Child Pornography:
The laws themselves are divided into five different categories:
Simply having child pornography – the sheer act of possession, no matter how you received it – is a Class 6 felony. This is the bottom rung, if you will, of a child pornography ladder. It only gets worse from here.
Reproduction, the next aspect, carries the punishment of 5-20 years in prison. Distribution, the third rung on the ladder, can be as simple as sharing a link in an e-mail or a chat that contains child pornography in it. Once you have done that, you have distributed it. And, there is a five year mandatory minimum if you've already been convicted of this offense.
Soliciting children for pornography and then facilitating the production of it, are the last two aspects of the law. The law in the Commonwealth of Virginia states that facilitating child pornography is a Class 4 felony, punishable by up to 10 years in prison with a mandatory minimum of two years. Soliciting carries a mandatory minimum of five years.
Flexibility in the Consequences of Child Pornography:
As stated earlier, our society takes child pornography very seriously. If you are charged and convicted of one of these five charges you are very likely going to serve some time in jail.
There is a lot of variation in the consequences for this type of crime. For instance, and as previously mentioned, possession of child pornography is a Class 6 felony. In Virginia, a Class 6 felony carries an imprisonment of 1-5 years in prison.
The difference between one year and five years of your life in prison is enormous. This is where a good lawyer can come in. You need a lawyer who will be able to negotiate on your behalf. Sometimes, with court-ordered counseling and the ability to provide testimony against someone else also involved in child pornography, you can get a lesser sentence. You need a lawyer, though, who can help you through these proceedings.
There is no getting around the fact that there will be consequences if you are convicted of possessing child pornography. If you are creating or distributing it (which is surprisingly easy to do given the broad way that these laws are written), it can get even worse. Our country and our Commonwealth take the protection of children very seriously.
All lawyers are not created equal. You need a strong criminal defense attorney to assist you. Call or e-mail today for a free consultation!
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