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Child Pornography

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Dayton Child Pornography Defense Lawyer

The stigma surrounding child pornography charges and convictions is significant. If you are convicted, or even if only charged, the consequences of an alleged child pornography offense can follow you for the rest of your life. If you have been charged or arrested for an alleged child pornography offense, it is important that you get an attorney as soon as possible. With charges like these, you must mount a strong defense as soon as you can to prevent or reduce the consequences of the offense.

The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) , The Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force (ICAC), The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and Homeland Security (DHS) all work in concert with each other to target and hunt down anyone they believe is involved in the exploitation of children.

Our experienced criminal defense attorneys are here to help you with your case. In circumstances like these, you need to remember that you are not alone. Our attorneys will fight to protect your rights and raise the best defense. If you are being investigated or have been charged with a child pornography offense, call us today at 937-356-3969 or visit us at our website.

Child Pornography Charges In Dayton

With the invention of the internet, child pornography charges have become more common. The internet has made it easier to obtain and distribute child pornography than ever before. Ohio law considers the content as a whole and according to the standard of ordinary adults. If the content is created for sexual deviants or another group, it is judged by the standards of that group. Content is considered “obscene” if it is only sexual and has no other benefit or purpose—educational, social, scientific, moral, or artistic.


Child Pornography Defense Information Center


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Child Pornography Charges

Alleged child pornography crimes in Ohio usually result in people being charged with one or more of the three following offenses.

Pandering Obscenity Of A Minor Charges In Dayton

In Ohio, you are guilty of pandering obscenity of a minor if you generate, sell and advertise, distribute, or keep obscene material involving a minor. Depending on your involvement with the material, you can be charged with different levels of offenses, each with its own penalties and consequences.

Illegal Use Of Minor In Nudity-Oriented Material Or Performance

Illegal use of a minor in nudity-oriented material occurs when you possess or view any content or performance that displays the nudity of a minor that is not your child. Possession or viewing of the content is a fifth-degree felony unless:

  • The material has some purpose other than to depict sexual activity; or
  • You know that the parents, guardians, or custodians have consented in writing to use the content containing nudity of a minor and to the method the content is used.

Pandering Sexually Oriented Matter Involving A Minor

Pandering sexually oriented matter involving a minor involves a case where you knowingly solicit, receive, distribute, or hold any material that you know displays a minor engaged in sexual activity.


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Dayton Child Pornography Penalties

Child pornography offenses include pandering obscenity involving a minor, pandering sexually oriented matter involving a minor, or illegal use of a minor in nudity-oriented material or performance. If convicted, you may be classified as a Tier II sex offender, which requires that you register on the Ohio sex offender registry every 6 months for 25 years.

For each of the above offenses, there are several degrees of penalties, each with increasing severity. What you are charged with depends on the circumstances of your case. The degrees of penalties include:

  • Fifth-Degree Felony — Potential for to 12 months in prison and fine of up to $2,500;
  • Fourth-Degree Felony — Potential for 18 months in prison and fine of up to $5,000;
  • Third-Degree Felony — Possible sentence of 60 months in prison and fine of up to $10,000; or
  • Second-Degree Felony — Up to eight years in prison and a fine of up to $15,000.

If you committed illegal use of a minor in nudity-oriented material or performance to aid in human trafficking, you could face prison terms with a minimum of 3 years and court-ordered compensation to the victim.


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Penalties For Pandering Obscenity Of A Minor In Dayton

Convictions for pandering obscenity involving a minor, pandering sexually oriented matter involving a minor, or illegal use of minor in nudity-oriented material or performance can result in people being classified as Tier II sex offenders under state law in Ohio. Tier II sex offenders are required to register with their county sheriff every 180 days (six months) for 25 years.

Alleged offenders convicted of one of these crimes could also receive one of the following sentences, depending on the classification of their alleged crimes:

  • Fifth-Degree Felony— Up to 12 months in prison and/or fine of up to $2,500;
  • Fourth-Degree Felony— Up to 18 months in prison and/or fine of up to $5,000;
  • Third-Degree Felony— Up to 60 months in prison and/or fine of up to $10,000; or
  • Second-Degree Felony— Up to eight years in prison and/or fine of up to $15,000.

Illegal use of minor in nudity-oriented material or performance violations that were committed in furtherance of human trafficking under Ohio Revised Code § 2941.1422 can result in definite prison terms of a minimum of three years as well as orders to pay restitution.

Pandering obscenity of a minor convictions come with severe consequences. While there is a difference between child pornography and pandering obscenity of a minor, the charges and consequences are similar but still devastating. All pandering obscenity of a minor charges are felonies; however, the severity of the felony will depend on your connection to the obscene content, whether simply possessing the content or generating it.

Fourth-Degree

Fourth-degree pandering obscenity of a minor occurs when you buy, hold, or control any obscene material involving a minor. Fourth-degree felony pandering obscenity of a minor convictions come with prison terms of up to a year and fines of up to $5,000.

Third-Degree

Third-degree and fourth-degree pandering obscenity of a minor have the same requirements: holding, purchasing, or controlling obscene content containing a minor. However, a fourth-degree charge may become a third-degree offense if you are a repeat offender of pandering obscenity of a minor violations. With the upgrade in the severity of the offense, the penalties and consequences become harsher.

Second-Degree

Second-degree pandering obscenity of a minor involves all other types of pandering obscenity of a minor apart from buying and keeping the material. The other types of pandering obscenity of a minor that are considered second-degree felonies include:

  • Generating or producing obscene content involving a minor;
  • Selling, marketing, or participating in the marketing of obscene content; or
  • Introducing obscene material into the jurisdiction.

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Illegal Use Of A Minor In Nudity-Oriented Material Or Performance Penalties

Fifth-Degree

Illegal use of a minor in nudity-oriented material occurs when you possess or view any content or performance that displays the nudity of a minor that is not your child. Possession or viewing of the content is a fifth-degree felony unless:

  • The material has some other useful and allowed purpose apart from sex; or
  • You know that the parents, guardians, or custodians have consented in writing to use the content containing nudity of a minor and to the method the content is used.

If the content does not meet the exceptions, then possession and viewing of content involving nudity of a minor may be charged as a fifth-degree felony.

Fourth-Degree

The requirements for fourth-degree illegal use of a minor in nudity-oriented material or performance are the same as fifth-degree. However, a fifth-degree felony becomes a fourth-degree felony if you have previously been convicted of illegal use of minor in nudity-oriented material or performance, pandering obscenity of a minor, or pandering sexually-oriented material involving a minor.

Second-Degree

You have committed second-degree felony illegal use of a minor in nudity-oriented material or performance if you photograph any person who is nude and not your child, or you generate or distribute the content. You may also be convicted of a second-degree felony if you allow your child to be photographed nude and the photographs have no other beneficial purpose apart from purely sexual purposes. Unless the content is for some other beneficial purpose apart from purely sexual purposes and the parents or guardians of the child consent to creating the content and the means of distribution and use of the content, you may be convicted of second-degree illegal use of minor in nudity-oriented material or performance.


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Federal Child Pornography Penalties

In addition to Ohio state penalties, you may also face federal charges for child pornography violations. Federal law also applies maximum prison sentences for violations but also establishes minimum sentences. Below are some examples of federal child pornography charges and their potential penalties.

  • Producing child pornography: Mandatory minimum of 15 years and up to 30 years in prison.
  • Interstate transportation of child pornography (including via internet communications) Minimum of five-year and maximum of 20-year prison sentence.

Federal penalties can increase if:

  • You have prior child pornography convictions;
  • You have been previously charged with child exploitation;
  • The content (photos, videos, etc.) was sadist, masochistic, or violent; or
  • The minor involved was sexually abused.


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Other Consequences Of Child Pornography Convictions In Ohio

In addition to court-ordered penalties, you might face other consequences if convicted of a child pornography offense. Even after you have served prison time or paid the fines, these other consequences of your conviction may have substantial negative effects, with some lasting for the rest of your life. Some consequences apply only because you have a felony on your record. Others apply not just because you have a felony conviction on your record but because that conviction was specifically for child pornography.

Felony-Related Consequences

  • Difficulty obtaining employment
  • Denial of rental applications for housing
  • Loss of eligibility for higher educational programs (college, graduate, post-graduate)
  • Loss or denial of professional licenses (law, accounting, medicine, etc.)
  • Loss or denial of security clearances
  • Dishonorable discharge from military service
  • Immigration status effects (removal or deportation proceedings, denials of visa or green card applications)
  • Loss of the right to have and purchase firearms

Child Pornography Conviction-Specific Consequences

  • Placement on the Ohio Sex offender registry
  • Loss of child custody and visitation rights
  • Residency restrictions (cannot live within a specific distance of a park or school)
  • Loss of job opportunities (teaching or caregiving roles involving children)

These other consequences, while not court-mandated, can have a devastating effect on all aspects of your daily life. In some cases, these effects can last for the rest of your life. To avoid consequences like these, it is important to have an experienced defense attorney on your side. An experienced defense attorney will protect your rights during the proceedings and fight to have your charges reduced or even dropped, depending on the circumstances of your case. The experienced attorneys at Joslyn Law Firm have the experience required to help you with the representation you need.


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Ohio Child Pornography Resources

Dayton and the greater Ohio area have resources to assist in your defense and to prevent and report child pornography and human trafficking violations.

Information On Child Pornography Crimes In Federal Court

The United States Department of Justice website provides information about the various federal child pornography offenses and the penalties associated with them. As well as outlining offenses and penalties, the site also contains information about the effects of child pornography and human trafficking victims, as well as the efforts taken by the federal government to eliminate possession, distribution, and production of child pornography in the United States.

Growing Judicial Rebellion Against Harsh Sentences For Child Pornography Offenses

One of the most contested and hotly debated issues regarding federal criminal charges is mandatory minimum sentences for federal crimes. Many have argued that the mandatory sentences imposed on charges like those for child pornography are too high, only serving to further harm the convicted person without any added deterrence. The article, Growing Judicial Rebellion Against Harsh Sentences for Child Pornography Offenses, explores issues involved with federal criminal charges and sentencing. Written by Senator Arlen Specter and Linda Dale Hoffa, the two authors take a critical look at child pornography sentencing procedures and discuss how and if they should be changed. The article was published in The Champion, a monthly publication of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, in October 2011.

Sentencing Commission Issues Report Assessing Penalties For Child Pornography Offenses (Non-Production Offenses)

In June 2021, the United States Sentencing Commission released a report regarding federal sentencing of child pornography, specifically, the charging of non-production offenses. Non-production child pornography offenses are those where you are charged with having, receiving, and distributing child pornography. Generally, the penalties associated with non-production offenses are lower than production offenses, but the penalties can still be quite severe. The publication was written to update and expand prior Sentencing Commission Report, 2012 Child Pornography Report to the Congress: Federal Child Pornography Offenses. The publication analyzes the effects and differences in the sentencing guidelines for non-production child pornography offenses to determine if the current system is effective or requires modification.

The Sentencing Project

The Sentencing Project is an organization that is focused on change and reform about how people view crime and punishment. The organization’s goal is to “promote effective and humane responses to crime that minimize imprisonment and criminalization of youth and adults by promoting racial, ethnic, economic, and gender justice.” The Sentencing Project wants to change the way we charge and punish crimes so that they are less extreme and that the punishments truly prevent and deter those crimes. The Sentencing Project hopes to meet those goals by protecting the right to vote, ending extreme sentences, safeguarding and mobilizing youth, and investing in positive community development. If you want to learn more about The Sentencing Project’s mission and involvement with United States sentencing guidelines, you can visit their website here.

Prison Policy Initiative

The Prison Policy Initiative is a non-profit, non-partisan initiative that researches the effects of mass incarcerations for many kinds of federal and state charges, including child pornography.

Bureau Of Justice Statistics

The Bureau of Justice Statistics collects and maintains data on all types of felony charges on both state and federal levels. This information can be useful to see what kinds of felony convictions are entered in your state or federally and how often those convictions are reached.

Congressional Research Service Reports (CRS Reports)

CRS Reports, or congressional research service reports, are created by the congressional research service for many issues, from funding increases to various government organizations to land imaging technology. For child pornography offenses, CRS reports address difficult-to-understand issues like Federal Sentencing Guidelines, determinate and indeterminate sentencing, departures from the guidelines, and judicial discretion.

Legal Information Institute

The Legal Information Institute is a free resource for defining legal terms and locating laws to better understand how those laws work.

Citizen’s Guide To U.S. Federal Law On Child Pornography

Provided by the Department of Justice (DOJ), this information provides an overview of child pornography law, from the nature of the offenses to possible penalties.

Crimes Against Children In The U.S.

Crimes Against Children in the United States includes information about child pornography and other crimes against children and what you can do to report suspected offenders.

Financial Coalition Against Child Sexual Exploitation/Pornography

The coalition’s goal is to fight child exploitation and pornography through electronic channels. The coalition consists of more than 30 major financial institutions, electronic payment networks, and internet providers working together to combat child exploitation.

Internet Watch Foundation (IWF)

The Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) is a service that allows you to anonymously report content involving child sexual abuse, child sex abuse content, or other criminally obscene content.

Responsible Use Policy

The article on Responsible Use Policy discusses rights and restrictions on the internet concerning obscenity, indecency, and child pornography. This article seeks to educate about what can happen if content like child pornography is accessed on a university or college internet network and what can happen if that content violates the law.

Montgomery County Sheriff Human Trafficking

Human Trafficking | Montgomery County Sheriff — Human trafficking is defined as organized criminal activity in which human beings are treated as possessions to be controlled and exploited, and child pornography is one form of commercial exploitation of child victims. The Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office operates this Human Trafficking Hotline that allows people to report possible human trafficking violations. The website also contains links to national resources.

Montgomery County Sheriff
345 W. Second St.
Dayton, OH 45422
(937) 384-2462

ICAC

Ohio Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force — The Ohio Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force (ICAC) is a federal anti-crime initiative funded by the United States Department of Justice’s Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) that identifies itself as “a collaboration of city, county, state and federal law enforcement authorities across Ohio” with the mission to identify, arrest and prosecute individuals who use the internet to lure minors into illicit sexual relationships or use the internet to produce, distribute, or solicit child pornography. Visit this website to find information about recent prosecutions, outreach programs, and local and national news. You can also download PDF versions of safety tips flyers for adults and children.


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Child Pornography Cases FAQ

What Is Child Pornography?

Child pornography is the exploitation of minors under the age of 18 by producing, marketing, distributing, and possessing sexually explicit or obscene content. Material that is “obscene” is that which has no other purpose or benefit other than sex. Depending on the circumstances of the case, you could be charged with one of various child pornography charges, each with different consequences and penalties. However, all child pornography charges are felonies.

What Is Pandering Obscenity Of A Minor?

You are guilty of pandering obscenity of a minor when you generate, advertise and sell, distribute, or obtain obscene material involving a minor. Obscene material is content that is sexual in nature and has no other beneficial purpose but to display sexual activity.

What Is Pandering Sexually Oriented Material?

Pandering sexually-oriented material is the unlawful, conscious possession, creation, and distribution of sexual content involving minors whose only purpose is to display sexual activity. If the content involves minors and has no valuable scientific, medical, literary, or artistic value, the content may violate the law.

How Do I Get Caught Engaging In Child Pornography?

Law enforcement agencies have taskforces that identify sexual material involving minors, and they follow who accesses, distributes, or retains content through IP addresses. An IP address is a string of numbers that helps internet networks identify your internet-connected device for navigation on the internet. Each device you use to access the internet has an IP address, each unique to the specific device.

Can I Be Charged With Child Pornography Even If I Did Not Make The Content?

Yes. Depending on your relationship or involvement with the content, you can be charged with either the possession of the content or the creation of the content. If you are charged with creating, distributing, or marketing content, you may be subject to higher penalties than if you only possess it.

What Kind Of Child Pornography Charges Can Be Brought Against Me?

Charges usually regard how you are associated with the content. If you only possess the content, you will be subject to a lower felony charge. However, if you are charged with creating, distributing, or selling the content, you will face harsher felony penalties. With respect to distribution, it can be difficult to determine what qualifies. For example, it is unclear if file-sharing programs or services that save your documents and images to the “cloud” for access on other devices or by other people count as distribution. For issues like these, it is important to have an experienced defense attorney on your side to combat and defend in these areas.

Can I Be Charged With Child Pornography Offenses If I Accidentally Receive It?

In most cases, yes. Depending on the individual circumstances of your case, law enforcement makes an arrest, and charges are imposed before you can explain a mistake or defense against the charges. In cases like these, it is important to have a defense attorney who understands the law and computer forensics. That way, you can provide a defense using the evidence you have. The attorneys at Joslyn Law Firm know the law and are ready to help you in your defense.

Can I Avoid Prosecution If I Delete The Illegal Content?

Generally, no. Law enforcement agencies are likely able to track where you found the content, if you viewed the content, and if you downloaded that content. Even if you delete the content, forensic experts will likely be able to retrieve the material. So, even if the content has been deleted, but you opened and viewed the material, you can still be prosecuted.

What Determines Where I Am Charged, Either In State Or Federal Court?

Where you are charged depends on the arresting agency. If you are arrested by state officials for child pornography, you will be charged in state court under state law and guidelines. However, if the arrest is performed by a federal agency, like the FBI, you will be charged in federal court under federal law and guidelines. In some cases, you might be charged in federal court in a different state because you might have shared the content with others in that state.

How Can Joslyn Law Firm Help Me Avoid Overly Harsh Penalties Under the Federal Guidelines?

Although the federal guidelines are stricter than Ohio’s guidelines for child pornography sentences, it is still possible to receive a sentence outside the established guidelines. While this is possible, it is necessary to have an experienced defense attorney to help you navigate the process. The attorneys at Joslyn Law Firm can help you present the best case to obtain such a sentence. Although some judges do not like penalties imposed by the federal guidelines, they are still bound by these guidelines.

What Are Some Challenges To Child Pornography Federal Sentencing Guidelines?

Most of the challenges are about the harshness of child pornography federal guidelines. Some judges, like the Honorable Judge Kathleen McDonald O’Malley, who noted in United States v. Stern that the sentencing guidelines follow policy rather than a common-sense set of principles or rules to follow, have challenged the guidelines. In Stern, O’Malley commented that she attempted to balance the need for punishment with the severity of the punishment. Other judges have addressed the disparity between the crime and the punishment. Some, like United States District Court Judge Jack B. Weinstein, have called for more proportionate punishments for the crime, such as treatment and supervision. Even with the call to reform the federal guidelines, these guidelines are still in place, and judges are bound to rule within the confines of the guidelines.

What Are The Penalties For Possession Or Distribution Of Child Pornography?

The penalties you face for possession or distribution of child pornography depend on where you are charged, whether in Ohio or federal court. While Ohio does not have mandatory minimums for prison sentences, you still face potential felonies with varying amounts of prison sentences and fines.

Do Child Pornography Convictions For Possession Or Distribution Require Mandatory Sex Offender Registration?

Yes, a conviction for possession and distribution of child pornography will require you to register on the sex offender registry. If convicted, you will be given a level on the sex offender registry from one to three. The judge will make a final determination on your level after arguments from both sides in a sex offender registry hearing. Depending on your sex offender registration level, you may be required to remain on the registry for more or less time.


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Hiring A Child Pornography Defense Attorney

If you have been charged with a child pornography offense, you need to act quickly to mount a strong defense. Child pornography charges are serious and can have a substantial negative effect on the rest of your life if convicted. When you need representation, experience matters. The defense attorneys at Joslyn Law Firm have experience in over 20,000 cases, including child pornography offenses. The experienced attorneys at Joslyn Law Firm will help you build a strong defense to protect you and your interests. To learn more or discuss your case with an experienced defense attorney, call us at 937-356-3969 or contact us on our website to set up your free and confidential case consultation today.


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