Pittsburgh Child Pornography Attorney | Worgul, Sarna & Ness, Criminal Defense Attorneys
Worgul Law Firm LLC

Worgul, Sarna & Ness

CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEYS, LLC

Call (412) 281-2146 today

In Pittsburgh and across the country, child pornography users and distributors are increasingly the subjects of online police sting operations. Authorities often use the Internet to launch undercover operations, including fake websites selling illegal child pornography images.

However, people who are arrested for having child pornography on their computers aren’t necessarily entrapped by sophisticated sting operations. They are often caught by their own employers who can legally view the content of their work computers.

If you are arrested on child pornography charges, you will not only face a possible prison sentence. You will also be confronted by your family’s fury and humiliation, as well as bitter community condemnation.

Child Pornography Charges & Penalties in Pennsylvania

Child pornography falls under 18 Pa Code § 6312 for sexual abuse of children. All child pornography-related offenses are felonies. In Pennsylvania a person can be charged with child pornography if he or she causes or knowingly permits a child under the age of 18 to engage in a prohibited sexual act or in the simulation of a prohibited sexual act and knows or intends that the act may be photographed, videotaped, filmed, or depicted on computers. This is a felony of the third degree and if convicted, you could be sent to prison for seven years for a first-time offense.

You can also be charged with the dissemination of child pornography, where a person knowingly sells, distributes, delivers, disseminates, transfers, displays or exhibits to others, or possesses for any of those reasons any material depicting a child under the age of 18 engaging in a prohibited sexual act or a simulation of a prohibited sexual act. This is considered to be a felony of the second degree and could entail a 10-year prison sentence.

In Pennsylvania, if you intentionally or knowingly view or possess books, magazines, photos, videos, computer depictions or other materials that depict children under 18 engaging in sexual acts or simulating those acts, you can be charged with a felony of the third degree. You can be sent to prison for seven years for a first offense.

You can face federal charges if you view or possess child pornography on the Internet. This includes downloading images or sending links to child pornography to others. You will also have to register as a sex offender for 15 years.

Beyond prison time, fines, a serious criminal record, and possibly even federal charges, you’re likely feeling stigmatized by the nature of your offense and facing some public ill-will. If your employer, coworkers, family members, and neighbors find out about your charges, you could face negative repercussions like loss of job and exclusion.

How a Pittsburgh Child Pornography Attorney May Help

It’s possible that you were mistaken about the age. However, you do not have a defense if you did not know the age of the child. Neither misrepresentation of age nor a bona fide belief that the person depicted was over the age of 18 will stand up as a defense.

What does that mean for you? Hiring an experienced sex crimes attorney will be essential to getting these charges reduced or dismissed. There are other circumstances around the offense that can usually be evaluated in order to see what evidence is admissible or not.

Steps to Take if You Have Been Charged

If you have been charged with a child pornography offense, you should hire an experienced Pittsburgh child pornography attorney as soon as possible. It’s important that you also do not let the police search your home or computer without a search warrant, and ideally, your attorney will be with you when they do.

Don’t talk to the police or prosecutors unless your attorney is with you.

If you have been picked up in an undercover operation, be especially cautious about anything you say because it is likely you are being recorded by the arresting officer.

When you meet with your Pittsburgh sex crime attorney, give them as much information as you can about what happened. If the pornography was discovered on your computer, make sure your attorney has a list of everyone else who had access to it so they can determine if anyone else might have added the images.

Questions? Contact me.

Your rights are at stake and you need the best defense to keep them. I will fight using the strongest defense available to get your Child Pornography charge reduced or dismissed so you can move on with your life.

(412) 281-2146 or advice@pittsburghcriminalattorney.com

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