One of the most severe offenses against children in New Jersey is child pornography. The penalties are often severe because the crime endangers, exploits, and takes advantage of their vulnerability. Its consequences can sometimes stay with you for a lifetime.
Lengthy prison terms and steep fines await anyone successfully charged with this offense. Developing a strategic defense is sometimes challenging because the courts are highly protective of children. A Long Beach criminal justice attorney can explain what is at stake and help fight the charges.
What Child pornography-related Acts are Punishable in Long Beach?
It is easier to know what to expect when you know what is unlawful and what is not. The law in New Jersey forbids the following actions related to child pornography:
- Allowing a child to engage in child pornography
- Video graphing
Notably, the above actions only amount to child pornography if the person involved was below 18 years. And the specific penalties vary depending on the age of the victim. A Long Beach child abuse attorney can tell you what is at stake in your situation and advise you on how to protect yourself.
How Does New Jersey Punish Child Pornography Offenders?
New Jersey imposes harsh penalties on anyone that endangers the welfare of a child. Convicts can expect sentences that include:
- Years in confinement
- Hefty fines
- Registration in the sex offender list
- Community supervision for life
Imprisonment might be mandatory if you are found in possession of 100 or more items of child photography. But if the imprisonment would be a serious injustice, a child abuse lawyer in Long Beach can convince the court to reconsider.
The penalties might also be extended for second or subsequent offenders. So, make sure that you take proactive steps to improve the outcomes of your case in Long Beach. Remember that nothing is too complex for an experienced criminal defense attorney.
How Does a Judge Arrive at Specific Sentences?
In New Jersey, offenses are classified as first, second, third, or fourth-degree offenses. A conviction in the first degree comes with 10 to 20 years’ imprisonment; the second degree attracts 5 to 10 years; a third-degree carries 3-5 years imprisonment, and the fourth degree can earn the convict up to 18 months in prison.
Therefore, your case’s classification determines the prison sentence you are likely to serve in Long Beach. If your offense is wrongly classified, you are likely to get harsher penalties than is just. But this rarely happens when an attorney represents you. They will scrutinize your charge sheet to see if they can negotiate for reduced charges or a dismissal.
How Does the Number of Items Affect My Penalties?
Some of the factors that affect the seriousness of an offense in Long Beach is the number of items you are found in possession of or distributing.
Maintaining Child Porn in File-Sharing Programs/Possession with Intent to Distribute/Distribution
For this crime, the severity of penalties depends on whether the number of materials was above or below 1,000. And the charges could be in the following:
- Second-degree if there were less than 1,000 items
- First-degree if there were more than 1,000 items
This crime is categorized into three categories, with each having its set of penalties.
Less than 1,000 Items
Convicts here risk:
- Possible community supervision for life
- Third-degree crime
Between 1,000 and 99,000 Items
Child pornography content of this magnitude attracts:
- Automatic community supervision for life
- Automatically a Megan’s Law offense
- An offense in the second-degree
100,000 Items or More
If the items were this much, you could expect:
- Automatic community supervision for the rest of your life
- An automatic application of the Megan’s Law
- A first-degree crime
Our Photos and Videos Penalized Differently?
Child pornography in the form of photos and videos is a serious crime. Pictures that sexualize children, suggestively post them, or depict them nearly naked are forms of child endangering. While photos are counted one by one, videos are quite different.
Each video, movie, or film is counted as 10 items. Therefore, the penalties for these forms of the offense might come with harsher penalties. But if you count each video as a single item, you might get a twisted interpretation of the charges against you.
Can Minors Be Punished for Child Photography?
The laws against child pornography apply to both adults and minors in New Jersey. They intend to protect children from adults, other children, and themselves. Children who record or take sexually suggestive pictures or videos of themselves or other minors can be charged through the juvenile system.
If the minor is adjudicated delinquent (found guilty), the court might punish them differently depending on the circumstances. They might have to:
- Be detained in a juvenile facility
- Enroll in programs that prevent future criminal violations
- Attend crime prevention classes
- Complete community service
- Register as sex offenders
How Do Lawyers Help One Avoid the Penalties?
Every accused person needs a legal expert conversant with N.J.S.A. 2C:24-4b. However, it is not enough to just know what the law says regarding child pornography. The lawyer should be skilled enough to apply it to your case. This begins when you schedule your first consultation and allow them to review your circumstances.
A combination of the two helps a Long Beach child abuse attorney formulate a comprehensive defense strategy. If done well, accused persons have better chances of escaping a conviction and the penalties attached to it. Besides, you might not have to pay for the initial consultation.
Experienced Attorney Providing Aggressive Representation and Sound Legal Advice
Sex-related offenses are usually handled with a lot of seriousness because of the impact they can have on a victim, worse, a child. Similarly, the courts might be stricter in the criminal justice system and award serious penalties if they find you guilty.
These are not charges accused persons can take lightly. Fighting is necessary for better outcomes. The experience of the attorneys in our law firm might be beneficial to your child pornography case. Speak to us today to discuss the legal possibilities in Long Island.