In recent years, more and more people in Washington have been getting charged with possessing and/or distributing child pornography. These cases can be prosecuted in either state or federal court.
At the state level, the charge is called Possession of Depictions of a Minor Engaged in Sexually Explicit Conduct. The consequences of a conviction for an offense like this is steep, including a felony on your record, registration as a sex offender and jail/prison time.
We have been fighting these cases for many years and have proven strategies to defend you.
The charges you could be facing vary depending on whether you are charged in state or federal court.
Federal: The most common federal charges we see are Possession and or Distribution of Child Pornography under 18 USC 2252. Less common would be Production of Child Pornography under 18 USC 2251.
State: The most common charges in state court are:
For possession of depictions, there are Four basic things that the State must prove against you in order for you to be found guilty:
There is not a one size fits all answer to this question as it can vary depending on the exact charge(s) you are convicted of and what your criminal history is, if any. The table below will give you an idea of the standard sentencing ranges for possession of depictions in the first degree State court.
|Months in Custody
Despite these standard ranges, there can be an option for alternative sentencing options with a reduction to second degree possession. There is a lot that goes into sentencing, points, etc. Give us a call to explain fully.
In both federal and state court, possession of child pornography is a felony offense. In state court possession and dealing in both the first and second degree are class B felonies. Viewing depictions in the first degree is also a class B felony.
Viewing depictions of a minor in the second degree is a class C felony.
The only path to a misdemeanor for any of these charges would be a reduction to Attempted Viewing of a Depictions of a Minor Engaged in Sexually Explicit Conduct in the Second Degree. Of note, if this is combined with a deferred sentence, then your registration as a sex offender requirement in Washington State would be drastically reduced from 10 years to 2.
The federal government can typically claim jurisdiction in these matters as the vast majority of the charges stem from images found online and thus satisfy the interstate or foreign commerce requirements.
That said, there are many cases that could be charged federally that end up getting handled at the state level. Of note, cases can sometimes start by getting charged in state court and then later transferred to federal court.
We can have a better idea of what direction your case may be headed after speaking with you, but we will often not know for sure until after we have spoken with Law Enforcement and/or Prosecutors.
The answer to this varies depending on your particular situation, but there are three universal pieces of advice:
From there, we need to hear more about your individual situation to advise your further. In the meantime, please view our video below on the subject and visit our Under Investigation page.