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Possession Of Child Pornography | PC 311.11(a)

Possession Of Child Pornography | PC 311.11(a)

Former LA Sex Crimes Prosecutors Now Los Angeles Child Pornography Defense Attorneys

Possession of child pornography or “kiddie porn” is generally prosecuted as a felony punishable by up to 1 year in state prison or county jail, and up to a $2,500 fine. Although the potential incarceration and fines are steep punishments, the most punitive consequence for a possession of child pornography conviction is mandatory lifetime registration as a sex offender under PC 290.  This Los Angeles sex crime, defined under California Penal Code  section 311.11(a), prohibits a person from knowingly possessing obscene materials depicting a person under the age of 18 years old engaging in or simulating sexual conduct.  Materials qualifying as child pornography can include, but are not limited to, any film, filmstrip, photo, negative, slide, photocopy, videotape, video laser disc, computer hardware, computer floppy disc, data storage media, CD-ROM, or computer generated image. In addition, a person convicted of possession of child pornography would be subject to mandatory registration as a sex offender.

About Our Los Angeles Child Pornography Defense Lawyers

The Southern California sex crimes defense law firm, Takakjian & Sitkoff, LLP, was established in 1987 and have since then specialized in defending possession of child pornography charges in Los Angeles. Top rated criminal defense attorneys Paul Takakjian and Stephen Sitkoff are former special prosecutors in the LA District Attorney’s Office’s elite sex special prosecution unit. With over 70 years of combined sex crimes defense experience in Los Angeles and throughout Southern California, Mr. Takakjian and Mr. Sitkoff are widely considered among the best defense lawyers in Los Angeles. Contact our LA child pornography possession defense lawyers now at (888) 579-4844 for a free case evaluation to learn how we can help preserve your freedoms and liberties.

Child Pornography In Modern Technology

Child pornography is widely disseminated through the Internet and other technology. Possession of obscene material falling within the legal description of child pornography in any form is illegal. Therefore, downloading and saving child pornography off the internet to your computer would be considered possession, much like possessing photographs, DVDs, or VHS tapes containing child porn. Furthermore, simply viewing child porn from websites without downloading or saving the videos or images can potentially qualify as the equivalent of possession if the images are indexed into your search or viewing history. It for this reason, law enforcement in Los Angeles routinely secure search warrants to seize all electronic devices from sex crime suspects which may contain evidence of possession of child porn. In addition to seizing your desktop computer, laptop, tablet, and phone, detectives will aggressively interrogate you to try to coerce you into admitting to be the sole and primary user of your electronic devices. For that reason, you must not answer any questions from detectives as your statements prior to or after your arrest will be used against you in criminal court.

Sexting And Social Media Postings

Text and social media have expanded in popularity over the past decade. The impersonal nature of these forms of communication tends to embolden users to share intimate transmissions. Posting images of minors on kiddie porn social media sites or receiving sexually explicit photos of a minor via sexting is also considered possession of child porn, even if you yourself are also a minor. Chatting or texting via mobile apps, such as Snapchat, Whatsapp, Facebook, Kik, or Skype are commonly used for sexting, and although deleting the images or even the messages can remove evidence from your devices, transcripts of your communications can be obtained by law enforcement and prosecutors to use as evidence to convict you.

Defenses In Los Angeles Possession Of Child Pornography Cases

To convict you of possession of child porn, the prosecution must prove the elements of the PC 311.11(a) beyond a reasonable doubt. Legal defenses we have successfully raised have included arguing points such as:

  • You lacked knowledge that a minor was depicted in the pornographic images
  • The video, photo or film was rated by the Motion Pictures Association of America (MPAA)
  • The videos or images were legitimate educational or scientific materials
  • You unknowingly were in possession of the obscene material

We recognize that evidence in possession of child porn cases does not magically appear in prosecutors’ case files and, therefore, we begin each case with a thorough investigation into the search and seizure of the evidence, and the probable cause for the issuance of the search warrant. Possession of child pornography defense is a very specialized area of criminal defense practice and not every defense lawyer has the experience and expertise to properly handle such a case. Given the aggressive approach LA sex crimes prosecutors take on all sex crimes involving minors, it is critical that you are represented by an attorney capable of ensuring your case is fought on an even playing field.

PC 311.11(a) Punishment And Consequences

Possession child pornography is a “wobbler” offense in California. Therefore, prosecutors can charge you with either a felony or misdemeanor depending on the facts of your case, such as the number of images you possessed, the specific acts depicted in the images, whether you have prior convictions for child porn possession, and whether you are a registered sex offender. These aggravating factors also further enhance the already harsh punishments you face. However, as a misdemeanor, you face the following:

  • Up to 1 year in LA County Jail
  • Up to a $2,500 fine
  • Formal probation
  • Community labor
  • Lifetime registration as a sex offender

As a felony:

  • Up to 1 year in state prison
  • Up to a $2,500 fine
  • Formal probation
  • Community labor
  • Lifetime registration as a sex offender

Your punishment and sentencing would be further enhanced to up to 5 years in state prison if your possession of child pornography charges involves one or more of the following:

  • You possessed 600 or more images with 10 or more images depicting prepubescent minors or minor under 12 years old
  • The images you possessed depicted minors under 18 years of age engaged in sexual sadism or sexual masochism

If you have been previously convicted of a sex offense requiring sex offender registration, you will be charged with a felony possession of child pornography and face the following punishment and sentencing:

  • Up to 6 years in state prison
  • Up to a $2,500 fine

Call Our LA Child Porn Possession Attorneys Today

If you have been arrested or have recently learned you have been targeted as a suspect in a child pornography investigation, contact us our West Los Angeles office now at (310) 312-8055.  As former LA sex crimes prosecutors, we know all of the investigative tactics police detectives utilized to build their cases for the DAs. The consequences for a child porn possession conviction are life changing and permanent. Therefore, protect yourself and contact us now. For our clients’ convenience, we also maintain satellite office locations in the following Los Angeles County, Orange County, Ventura County, Riverside County, and San Bernardino County cities:

Torrance, Pasadena, Glendale, Long Beach, Encino, Cerritos, Whittier, Woodland Hills, West Covina, Oxnard, Westlake Village, Huntington Beach, Orange, Newport Beach, Corona, Rancho Cucamonga