New York state and federal laws regarding child pornography aim to stop the sexual exploitation of minors. Child pornography offenses are punishable by severe penalties, aggressively prosecuted, and often broadly interpreted to cover a wide range of activities. At Tilem & Associates, we realize that, despite a presumption of innocence, these accusations can cause embarrassment to a defendant and their family, as well as damage to the defendant’s reputation. Accordingly, our Westchester County child pornography lawyers will work tirelessly to protect your right to fair and impartial proceedings as we defend you against the charges. Our skilled attorneys know how to handle complex cases involving alleged crimes against children in New York, and we have successfully represented many defendants accused of violating child pornography laws.Child Pornography Offenses Under New York Law
Child pornography generally refers to the performance of sexual conduct by a child under the legal age, which is typically 16 or 17, depending on the offense. Sexual conduct under New York law means both actual and simulated sexual acts, and it also includes the lewd display of genitals. Promoting child pornography and possessing child pornography are criminal offenses in New York. Promoting a sexual performance by a child is a class B felony. A person is guilty of this offense when, knowing the character and content thereof, the person produces, directs, or promotes any performance that includes sexual conduct by a child under 17 years old. A performance can include digital or live plays, movies, photographs, and other visual representations. If the content is deemed obscene, the offense charged is promoting an obscene sexual performance by a child, which is also a class B felony.
A person is guilty of possessing a sexual performance by a child when, knowing the character and content thereof, the person knowingly has possession or control of, or knowingly accesses with the intent to view, any performance that includes sexual conduct by a child under 16 years old. If the sexual performance is considered obscene, the charge is possessing an obscene sexual performance by a child. In New York, possession of child pornography is a class E felony. A child pornography attorney in Westchester County can help you determine which type of charge you may be facing. In some cases, an incident that leads to a child pornography charge may lead to additional charges of related felony offenses, such as endangering the welfare of a child, facilitating a sexual performance by a child with a controlled substance or alcohol, use of a child in a sexual performance, prostitution involving a child, and other crimes.
A prison sentence is commonly imposed upon a conviction of a child pornography offense, even for first-time offenders. In addition to a prison sentence and a hefty fine, a person convicted of promoting or possessing child pornography may be subject to sex offender registration. Pursuant to the Sex Offender Registration Act, a person who is convicted of a child pornography offense under federal or state law is required to register as a sex offender in New York. Depending on the risk level assigned to the offender, their name, photograph, and identifying information may be made public on a government website.Defenses to a Child Pornography Charge
There are several defenses that a Westchester County child pornography attorney may use to fight a charge of promoting or possessing a sexual performance by a child in New York. First, these offenses require the prosecution to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you had the requisite intent to commit the crime alleged. If the person in the performance was not actually underage, or if you did not know that the movie that you downloaded on your computer contained child pornography, for example, you did not knowingly possess a sexual performance by a child. It is also an affirmative defense if you had a reasonable, good-faith belief that the person appearing in the performance was of the age required by law. In addition, people in occupations that require incidental contact with materials considered to be child pornography, such as librarians or movie theater employees, may have an affirmative defense to child pornography offenses. You can discuss your charges with an experienced attorney to learn more about these defenses and other strategies that may help your case.Consult a Child Pornography Lawyer in Westchester County
At Tilem & Associates, our sex crime lawyers understand the complicated and sensitive nature of both federal and New York child pornography charges. With many years of trial experience, we provide dedicated representation to people throughout Westchester County, as well as Queens, Kings, Bronx, Nassau, Suffolk, Richmond, Rockland, and Putnam Counties. Call 877-377-8666 or submit our online form to arrange a free consultation with an attorney at Tilem & Associates. We also can help people who need a sexual assault lawyer or assistance in fighting other sex crime charges.