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Cleveland Child Pornography Attorney

Child pornography charges are grave, and if you’re convicted for child pornography in Ohio you face jail time, prison time, fines, and long-lasting consequences including having to register as a sex offender. If you are in need of a child pornography attorney, call The Law Office of Daniel M. Margolis, LLC at (216) 533-9533 for a free case assessment today.

What Is Child Pornography?

Possessing, creating, distributing, and exhibiting explicit sexual content featuring minors under the age of 18 is a federal crime, but Ohio also cracks down heavily on child pornography, and whether a child pornography charge is prosecuted at the state or federal level is subjective for each case.

Explicit images of children are not protected under the Constitution’s free speech laws, and possession or use of such images is considered exploitation. There are a number of ways in which the law can prosecute those charged with child pornography, and the statutory penalties for specific acts can get complicated but ultimately, those who are convicted are mandated as registered sex offenders, no matter what their specific offense entailed. Registering as a sex offender means you have limits on where you may reside away from schools or juvenile spaces, and you must provide updated personal information to local enforcement periodically, and whenever you move.

In the modern age, sexting – the act of creating and transmitting explicit content featuring minors via social media or electronic technology – has also become an issue for Ohioans. Nonconsensual explicit content and child porn used between teenagers has also been a factor in additional harassment, bullying, and even wrongful death and suicide cases. Even teenagers who consensually send nudes to each other are culpable, as it is illegal for any images of children under 18 to be created, owned, or shared, even to other minors. However, historically this meant even juveniles could be prosecuted under possession of child porn and registered as sex offenders. As a result, the Ohio legislature passed a bill in 2018 in an attempt to create rehabilitation and education programs for minors convicted of sexting, particularly for first-time offenders.

Crimes Prosecutable Under Child Pornography Laws

Under the Ohio Revised Code § 2907.321, pandering obscenity involving a minor is illegal, and includes the following:

  • Creating, reproducing, or publishing any obscene material that has a minor as one of its participants or portrayed observers.
  • Promoting or advertising for sale or dissemination any obscene material that has a minor as one of its participants or portrayed observers.
  • Creating, directing, or producing an obscene performance that has a minor as one of its participants.
  • Advertising or promoting for presentation an obscene performance that has a minor as one of its participants.
  • Buying, procuring, possessing, or controlling any obscene material that has a minor as one of its participants.
  • Bringing or causing to be brought into Ohio any obscene material that has a minor as one of its participants or portrayed observers.

ORC § 2907.322 varies this slightly, defining “pandering sexually oriented matter involving a minor” as material that photographs or records minors engaging in sexual activities.

“Mistake of age” is specifically noted in the law as not a reasonable defense.

Penalties for Child Pornography

Penalties for child pornography charges in Ohio vary according to the extent of the crime, the amount of material in question, whether the offender is a first-timer, and whether the offender is considered dangerous. All charges for child pornography are considered felony charges – most falling between second and fourth degree felonies, and being criminally convicted of sexual crimes against minors carries severe consequences. Some possible circumstances for enforcing harsher penalties include:

  • The offender has a previous child sexual exploitation record.
  • The images were violent in nature.
  • The offender has prior convictions for child pornography.
  • The minor was harmed in any way.
  • The minor was sexually abused.

At the Ohio state level, felony penalties are as follows:

  • Second-degree felony: up to eight years in state prison plus a maximum $15,000 fine.
  • Third-degree felony: up to five years in state prison plus a maximum $10,000 fine.
  • Fourth-degree felony: up to eighteen months in state prison plus a maximum $5,000 fine.

Additionally, Ohioans convicted of crimes involving sexually explicit content containing minors are required to register as sex offenders according to ORC 2950.01, even if they’re considered “low risk” offenders. Registered sex offenders in Ohio cannot live within 1,000 feet of schools and must provide law enforcement with personal information as well as their address, and are required to update this information with law enforcement when and if they move.

Avoid the Long-Term Repercussions of a Child Pornography Conviction

If you are facing charges of child pornography, sexting, or any other sex-related crime involving minors, you should talk to an Ohio child pornography attorney immediately. Any criminal conviction can be harmful, but sex crimes against minors can have particularly harsh and long-lasting consequences, and an experienced child pornography lawyer can help you navigate your options and pursue the best possible outcome for a child pornography or sexting case. Call The Law Office of Daniel M. Margolis, LLC at (216) 533-9533 today for a free and confidential consultation regarding child pornography cases in Cleveland.

Contact Dan Margolis Today

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