The Internet has given us a wealth of information at our fingertips, as well as a variety of means to share information. Some people use the Internet as a means for seeking romantic relationships, and some people are attracted to those younger than them.
You may know that possessing or sharing child pornography is wrong. However, when it comes to pornography, sometimes the line gets blurred when you’re on the computer or you get caught up in fantasy, amassing a collection of photos, videos or texts that may be considered child pornography. Nevertheless, the consequences for possessing or sharing child pornography are very, very real and very, very serious.
What are the consequences for possessing or sharing child pornography?
The possession of child pornography in Virginia is a felony crime. In Virginia, if you knowingly possess child pornography, this is a Class 6 felony. If you commit this crime multiple times, it is a Class 5 felony. Child pornography includes not only photos and videos, but “sexting” as well.
The consequences for distributing child pornography are even more serious. In Virginia, if you try to reproduce, distribute, transmit, displace, purchase or possess with the intention to sell, give away or display child pornography, whether through the Internet or otherwise, this can lead to a penalty of at least five to 20 years in state prison.
Moreover, if either by appearance, title or text that the subject of the pornography is depicted as a minor, it will be inferred that the subject is a minor, with all applicable subsequent penalties.
What to do if you’ve been caught in possession of child pornography?
Ultimately, the greater amount of child pornography you possess or intend to distribute, the greater the penalty. Even one count of possession or distribution of child pornography is too many, multiple counts are worse. It can be difficult to prove that you accidentally clicked a link on a website or that someone else used your computer to download child pornography. If you find yourself facing a situation where you have been caught in possession of such materials, through a sting or otherwise, it is important to seek the assistance of a criminal defense attorney to learn about all your possible options.