San Diego Child Pornography LAWYER
If you have been arrested or believe you might be under investigation for child pornography (filed under California Penal Code 311 (PC)) or any other online sex offense, I can help you. I am child pornography attorney Peter M. Liss, and I have tried over 100 criminal jury trials in Vista and San Diego County and personally defended many people who have been arrested and charged with crimes including internet sex offenses, such as attempting to meet a minor for sex, online child molestation, pimping, harassment by sending obscene or threatening email, solicitation for prostitution, sending harmful material with the intent of seducing a minor or child pornography possession, distribution or production.
I can also help you if you are facing a potential “third strike” under the three-strikes law or registration as a sex offender. If you need a skilled, experienced child pornography defense attorney with a track record of success, please call me at (760) 643-4050 for a free consultation. You will receive top quality representation for a reasonable fee.
Child Porn Charges in San Diego: 311 (PC)
California’s child pornography laws only makes nude images or videos of minors illegal if the minor is engaged in sexual conduct. Sexual conduct can occur in the absence of penetration if the image is intended to sexually stimulate the viewer. It is illegal even if a sexual act between minors in simulated. At least one real child who is actually under 18 must be depicted for a person to be guilty of production, possession or distribution. Parents should not be concerned with innocent photos of their children, nor should those who possess materials that were created and shared for scientific or educational purposes. However, it is worth mentioning that teens have been charged for taking and sexting explicit pictures to each other.
Child Pornography Production: 311.2 (PC)
The creation of sexually explicit materials depicting minors is taken very seriously under the law, but while most people envision it to always involve juvenile victims of human trafficking and children who are being abused or exploited by their parents, these are not the only people accused of making child pornography as many people charged with this crime are minors who took images of themselves or friends/sexual partners.
Child Pornography Possession: 311.11 (PC)
While possession of child pornography seems like a straight forward charge, it’s worth mentioning that the law is very strict and many teens have been charged for receiving pictures of their boyfriend or girlfriend -even if though they are both under 18.
Child Pornography Distribution: 311.1 and 311.2 (PC)
While many people believe distribution of child porn requires physically handing something to someone or selling the material, in fact, distribution charges can be brought up if you shared child pornography with even one other individual in person, online, via text or by any other means of communication. No sale needs to have taken place. Perhaps most surprisingly, your intent doesn’t matter under 311 (PC), so if you are sent pornographic images of a minor and share them with the local media or a friend discussing how upset you are about the situation, this could still result in your being charged with child pornography distribution.
Don’t Take Chances, Call an Attorney Now
Child pornography charges are incredibly serious and can ruin your reputation in the community even if you are not convicted. These accusations should never be faced without the help of a San Diego child pornography lawyer. It is critical you contact a criminal defense attorney as soon as you are aware of any police investigation or as soon as the victim or police contact you about this matter. Do not speak to the police or any alleged victims on the phone or something you say could be used as evidence against you.
Other Internet Sex Crimes
Online sex offenses can also include attempting to meet a child for sex (288.4 (PC)), sending harmful material with the intent of seducing a minor (288.2 (PC)), cyberstalking (646.9 (PC)), solicitation for prostitution (647(b) (PC)), and other offenses. These charges can stem from behavior on chat rooms, social networks, peer-to-peer networks, the dark web and other websites. They often involve sting operations or even specially designed malware released by law enforcement.
Unsolicited Explicit Content Depicting Minors
Unfortunately, with today’s technologies, it is all too common for people to receive unwanted images or videos depicting minors in sexual situations. If you inadvertently receive explicit content depicting someone you believe to be under 18, the best course of action is to speak to a San Diego criminal defense attorney before bringing them to the attention of the police or FBI, including detailed information on how you received the content.If you do not want to contact authorities or a lawyer, it is best to delete the material immediately. Knowing about the content and holding on to it could serve as evidence that you wanted to be in possession of the content.
Unintentionally Downloading Illegal Materials
In some cases, it’s possible you may even unknowingly download sexual images or videos of someone under 18 in peer-to-peer networks without knowing that you downloaded it. Alternatively, some people have had their computers be infected with viruses that download and then share this type of content without their knowledge. The good news is that while intent doesn’t matter when sharing this material, knowledge does matter, so if your child porn lawyer can show there is insufficient proof that you were aware of the content, you cannot be convicted.
Search and Seizure of Your Home, Phone and Computer
If you believe you may be suspected of any of these crimes, it is critical you call a lawyer as soon as possible to protect your rights. This is particularly true when it comes to the search and seizure of your home and electronic devices such as cell phones and computers. Your attorney can ensure any police searches are performed legally and that if your rights are violated, that the related evidence will be withheld from your trial.It is worth recognizing that while many people are not aware of it, the police do need a warrant to search your cell phone, but only if it is locked. So always use a lockscreen on your phone and insist police present a warrant before agreeing to unlock the device.
Your IP Address Doesn’t Confirm Your Guilt
It’s also worth mentioning that some people believe they are protected from computer crime investigations as long as they use a private browser, but this is not enough to keep evidence of illegal activities. On the other hand, your IP address alone is not enough to convict you of a computer crime as it is all too common for people to share IP addresses and just because police and prosecutors get a warrant to seize your cell phone or computer does not mean they will find evidence of a crime.
Even if illegal material was found on your computer, it does not necessarily mean you were the one who downloaded it or that you even knew it was there. Guest users and viruses can download files without the owner of the device’s knowledge.
Protect Your Rights During Police Searches
Remember, the prosecution must prove you guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, which is why they will collect all the evidence they can to make their case against you as strong as possible. Because child pornography crimes so often involve cell phones, computers and other digital files, it is critical you work with a lawyer with experience in complex digital crimes.
Fighting Internet Sex Offense Accusations
When people are arrested for these types of child pornography cases the police and prosecutors will often try to convince them that there is enough evidence to prove their guilt and the best option is a plea bargain. While plea bargains are sometimes beneficial, other cases can be successfully fought but what you say to police and prosecutors can be used against you as evidence, ruining any defense you may have.
It’s Up to the Prosecution to Prove Your Guilt
Sex crimes that take place on the computer involve a different defense strategy than standard sex offenses as the technology involved makes the matters much more complex. An attorney may be able to successfully argue that the prosecution lacks enough evidence to show that you were the person using the computer in the illegal manner (if someone hacked into your email to send lewd and threatening emails to someone, you can fight the charges) and that you intentionally committed the crime (a virus used your computer to download and share child pornography without your knowledge, then you cannot be convicted).
Your Choice of Lawyer Can Make or Break Your Case
Never discuss your case or negotiate a plea bargain with the police or prosecutors in San Diego unless your child pornography attorney is present. Even if your defense lawyer believes there is enough evidence to convict you, he may be able to help by negotiating a plea bargain that will minimize the charges against you and minimize any sentence you may face. In some cases, he may be able to obtain alternative sentencing or keep you off of the sex offender registry.
These are serious crimes with complex defenses. It is important to work with a criminal defense lawyer with experience in these types of offenses as soon as possible to obtain the best results under the particular facts and law of your case.
Penalties for Child Pornography Convictions
Child pornography cases may be charged as a felony or misdemeanor depending on the specific details of the situation. Those convicted of a misdemeanor may face up to one year in county jail, whereas those convicted of a felony may face up to eight years in a state prison, although you could also face enhanced penalties if the minors depicted were prepubescent, if the content showed penetration or if you were found to be in possession of a large quantity of these materials.
The Consequences Go Beyond Incarceration
If you are convicted of possession or distribution of child pornography, you will not only face time behind bars and large fines, but you will also be forced to register as a sex offender. Your family life may also be destroyed since you could also lose the right to see your children or be in the presence of children. Penalties for even a first-time charge can be life-changing. In fact, just the accusation of such crimes can ruin your reputation and may ruin your relationships with neighbors, friends, family members and business associates.
Why Hire Me As Your San Diego Child Pornography Lawyer
If you have been accused of any type of internet sex crime, I can advise you and update you on the status of your case; argue for reduced bail or no bail if you have been arrested; arrange for you to be arrested away from work or home in order to protect your reputation; make court motions on your behalf; evaluate and present the best defense for your situation; seek reduction of charges; represent your best interests while negotiating a plea bargain or in trial; and seek the lowest possible sentence, which may include alternative sentencing such as house arrest or probation.
I Can Help You Fight the Accusations
If you intend to fight the charges, I may gather evidence on your behalf to support your defense strategy by interviewing the police, witnesses and/or expert witnesses, and/or obtaining a psychological evaluation to show you do not have the profile of a sex offender.
More Benefits I Can Offer You
As a top child pornography lawyer in San Diego County and a graduate of the University of California, Berkeley Law School, I have tried over 100 criminal jury trials and personally represent every client that comes through my office. I have 35 years of experience successfully defending people arrested for sex offenses on the internet, including meeting a minor and child pornography. I have defended many clients whose offense was a potential “third strike” under the three-strikes law.
Convenience and Quality, Guaranteed
My law offices have free parking, are located right across the street from the Vista courthouse and jail, and offer 24-hour in-person answering services with an immediate, courteous response. I provide top quality representation for a reasonable fee, offer free initial consultations, and accept all major credit cards.
If you or someone in your family has been arrested for any type of internet sex offense, please call today to schedule a free consultation to discuss how I can help you.
How to Contact Attorney Peter Liss
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