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Child Pornography Defense

San Diego Child Pornography Defense lawyer

Possessing a single image of child pornography charges can threaten to destroy your entire life.  The federal government carries out a perpetual crackdown targeting child pornography.  Any person suspected of producing, selling, advertising, distributing, or possessing child pornography may be charged.  In most cases, child pornography charges lead to felony convictions and lengthy prison sentences.  Convictions also carry expensive fines and registration as a sex offender.

Child pornography cases can be prosecuted at either the state or federal level.  Those up against such serious allegations need more than one lawyer on their side; they need an entire criminal defense team.  If you stand accused of a child pornography charge in San Diego, you need a defense firm with experience successfully defending against these types of cases in both federal and state courts.  To learn more about the next steps you can take to regain control of your future following an accusation of possessing child pornography, call the Law Office of David P. Shapiro today.  Be sure to ask for a copy of David P. Shapiro’s book, entitled “Survival Guide For Those Accused Of A Sex Crime In San Diego.”

Ready to Get Started Protecting Your Future? Call 619-295-3555

Child Pornography Charges in California


Our lives are tangled with the internet.  It is easier than ever before to unwittingly possess child pornography.  In California, the age of consent is 18.  Under California Penal Code 311, any printed or digital material featuring children under eighteen engaged in sexual activities or in the nude for sexual purposes is illegal.  This type of material is considered child pornography, even if produced in places with lower ages of consent.

In many cases, those suspected of involvement with child pornography are subject to the search and seizure of personal property, particularly electronic devices.  This can lead to additional charges of child pornography.  From production of child pornography to possession of the product, the law takes a hard line on prosecuting alleged offenders.  In San Diego, child pornography cases may include charges under:

PC 311.1: Production, possession, and transportation of underage illicit imagery with intent to distribute.  This offense can be charged as either a felony or a misdemeanor.

PC 311.2: Producing, possessing, or transporting sexual images depicting minors with intent to distribute commercially.  This charge is a felony.

PC 311.3: Sexual exploitation of a minor.

PC 311.4: Hiring, recruiting, or coercing a minor, known to be under the age of 18, to participate in producing sexually-explicit material.

PC 311.10: Advertising child pornography for sale, exchange, or other distribution.

PC 311.11: Possession of child pornography.  Photos and videos depicting children performing sexual acts in digital or physical form.

California Penalties for Child Pornography Charges


The stigma of a child pornography conviction will follow you for the rest of your life.   Any involvement with child pornography, at any stage in the process, is taken extremely seriously by prosecutors, judges, and jurors.  Child pornography charges are almost always filed as felonies.  The circumstances of your case, and how they are presented through the criminal attorney you hire to represent you, will play a large role in determining the extent of charges filed, and what, if any, charges you are convicted of.

Any conviction for possession of child pornography will lead to a requirement of registration as a sex offender.  Registration as a sex offender can lead to extreme difficulties finding employment and housing, not to mention the shame and embarrassment associated with such a status.  Failing to timely, or appropriately, register consistent with what are sometimes confusing laws will lead to the filing of new charges, and likely additional time in custody.  In any instance where there are allegations the child pornography crossed state lines, you can expect to be charged at the federal level.  This can include an email or text sent outside California or by using the internet to distribute an image or video.

Misdemeanor child pornography charges

In most cases, misdemeanor child pornography charges can lead to possible sentences of up to one (1) year in a San Diego county jail.  Misdemeanor punishments can also include a fine up to $1,000.

Felony child pornography charges

Most felony charges of child pornography can lead to several years in prison if convicted, with fines up to and over $10,000.  Some charges have fines up to $50,000 and sentences up to eight (8) years.

Federal child pornography charges

Convictions at the federal level can lead to sentences in excess of 20 years.  Those convicted of child pornography in federal court often face 5-year mandatory minimum sentences.

Different aggravating circumstances specific to each charge can quickly add years to already stiff prison sentences.

Child Pornography Defense Attorney in San Diego


Child pornography charges should be handled by an attorney familiar with defending against sex crimes, and by one who has a track record of success in these types of cases.  The penalties are too severe to settle for anything but the best, locally experienced, criminal defense law firm you can possibly afford.  If you have been accused of possessing or distributing child pornography in San Diego, all hope is not lost.  Potential defenses to allegations of child pornography can include:

Unintentional access. Typing the wrong word or clicking the wrong link can lead to charges of child pornography.

Reasonable belief. Child pornography can lead to criminal charges unless you can prove reasonable belief the participants were over 18.

Entrapment. Investigators and journalists have created elaborate schemes to tempt and entrap potential offenders.

Illegal search. Law enforcement sometimes overreaches, and/or is flat out inept in their collection of evidence, resulting in the prosecution being barred from attempting to introduce key pieces of evidence at trial.

Unknowing possession. Others may seek to conceal their own crimes by hiding images on your electronic devices.

You do not have to fight your charges alone.  We can help.  We have experience helping people fight serious charges across San Diego County for well over a decade.  Our firm prides itself in helping good people regain control of their future when charged with a crime.  Child pornography cases are no exception.  Call the Law Office of David P. Shapiro today.

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