Kansas City Criminal Defense Lawyers
FAQs about Child Pornography Charges

FAQs about Child Pornography Charges

If an individual has explicit content of a minor in their possession, the consequences can be incredibly severe, even for a first-time offender. We’ve compiled a comprehensive list of frequently asked questions people have about child pornography charges and penalties.

What is considered child pornography?

Child pornography and sexual exploitation of a child are used synonymously in Kansas. Sexual exploitation of a minor occurs if and when:

  • An individual persuades or coerces a minor under 18 into engaging in sexual activity while being photographed or filmed
  • An individual possesses child pornography
  • If a parent consents to their child participating in sexual activity while being filmed
  • “Promoting” sexual content involved a minor by selling, delivering, or publishing the explicit content

The minor in the content does not have to be behaving in sexual behavior in order for it to be considered child pornography; a suggestive photo of a nude minor is enough to warrant a criminal charge.

Is it a state or federal crime?

You can face child pornography charges at both the state and federal levels. Child pornography is considered ‘illegal contraband’ under federal laws.

There are numerous reasons why child pornography cases may fall under federal jurisdiction:

  • If the offense occurred in interstate or foreign commerce (mailed photos across state borders)
  • If the child pornography offense took place online
  • If a parent or guardian buys, sells, or transfers custody of the minor to produce child pornography
  • If someone outside the United States distributes child pornography into the U.S.

What are the penalties for child pornography?

Penalties for sexual exploitation of a child change depending on if it is a felony or off-grid felony offense.

A standard charge is a felony, punishable by:

  • Up to 55 months in prison (about 4.5 years)
  • Up to $300,000 in fines

If you are convicted of a child pornography offense involving a minor under 14 years old, it is considered an off-grid felony. This is the most severe charge you can get in Kansas.
This is punishable by:

  • Life imprisonment or the death penalty
  • Up to $500,000 in fines

If you are charged at the federal level, these potential penalties increase. Federal law requires a mandatory minimum 15-year sentence for anyone who produces child pornography. There is a 5-year mandatory minimum for anyone who distributes or receives lewd content of a minor.

Do you have to register as a sex offender after being arrested for child pornography?

You do not have to register as a sex offender after being arrested, but you will be required to register if you are convicted.

Information that will be public on the registry includes:

  • Your full name
  • Your hometown
  • Your social security number
  • The details of your offense and any past offenses

For many child pornography cases, you have to remain on the sex offender registry for life.

When on the sex offender registry, you are required to consistently re-register and update any changes in your personal information. Failure to do so can result in additional penalties like jail time.

What should I do if I am facing child pornography charges?

The first thing you should do after being arrested is to contact a defense attorney. In many instances, child pornography cases are investigated for weeks or months prior to making an arrest. During this time, investigators and prosecutors have had plenty of time to collect evidence and build a case against you. You need aggressive defense on your side of the courtroom.

At Stein Law, LLC, we have created effective defense strategies for individuals facing child pornography charges. Call us at Phone as soon as possible to share the details of your case with our Kansas City criminal defense attorneys.


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