We like to think of our personal possessions and what we do in our homes as being immune from government interference. However, the law considers the content of some material and items to be so offensive that merely having these things in one’s possession is a violation of the state’s criminal statute. Child pornography is a clear example of this dynamic. Having even a single instance of this material in one’s possession is a severe offense. In addition, taking any step towards the production of these items is even more serious.

A Hackensack child pornography lawyer could be able to help you if you are facing allegations related to the possession or manufacture of these items. A committed defense attorney could work to ensure that you understand the relevant laws, take the lead in discovering helpful evidence, and fight to protect your constitutional rights during all court hearings.

How Does State Law Define Child Pornography?

New Jersey Revised Statute § 2C:24-4 is the state’s law concerning child pornography. While it carries the label of “Endangering the welfare of children,” this includes all activity related to the creation or possession of this material.

A useful way to begin any defense against these allegations is to properly understand how state law defines child pornography. The statute uses the term “Portray a child in a sexually suggestive manner” to define this concept. Under the law, this includes material that depicts a person under the age of 18 with that child’s intimate parts totally or partially exposed in a way that intends to arouse a person’s prurient, or sexual, interest. This could include:

  • Photographs
  • Still digital images
  • Film
  • Video recording

A Hackensack child pornography attorney could help individuals to understand this important part of the law and determine if disputing a material’s qualification under this statute is a valid means of defense in court.

Types of Child Pornography Offenses

It is illegal to be involved in any way in the production or possession of child pornography. In the most basic sense, the statute cited above prohibits the simple possession of these items. The severity of the charge depends upon the volume of the prohibited items allegedly in one’s possession. For example, having even a single prohibited image is a crime of endangering the welfare of a child in the third degree. Possessing between 1,000 and 10,000 items is a crime of the second degree. All instances in excess of 10,000 result in a charge of a crime of the first degree. Each charge comes with a presumptive prison sentence and will require a person to register as a sex offender.

The production of this material is also a serious offense. Simply participating in the creation of these items is a crime of the second degree. However, a parent or any other person who permits, encourages, or forces a child to participate in these sessions may commit a crime of the first degree. Similarly, it is also a crime to distribute this material in any way to other people. A child pornography attorney in Hackensack could help an individual understand the exact charges they are facing and work to build a tailored defense.

Contact a Hackensack Child Pornography Attorney Today

Allegations related to the possession, distribution, or creation of child pornography are serious matters. In every instance, convictions come with presumptive prison sentences and will require you to register as a sex offender. It is essential that you take every precaution to prevent this outcome.

Consulting with a Hackensack child pornography lawyer to handle your case should be your first step. A dedicated attorney could work to listen to your side of the story and explain the laws that control your case. A lawyer can aim to exclude evidence that may have been the product of illegal searches or cross-examine the State’s witnesses in an attempt to create reasonable doubt in the minds of jurors. Reach out to an attorney today to discuss your options.