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Types of Images That Can Lead to Child Pornography Charges

May 28, 2015 | Written by Dan Margolis

Everyone knows that local and federal authorities are highly aggressive when it comes to arresting and prosecuting those accused of possessing child pornography. What some readers might not understand is the scope of what is considered to be forbidden images.

For instance, most already know that having photographs of people under 18 years old engaged in sexually explicit conduct is against the law. But did you know that drawings are also illegal? So are manipulated or adapted photo illustrations that depict an illusion. Knowingly receiving or possessing these images can lead to serious federal charges.

Younger people may find that images they share with their boyfriends or girlfriends can get them into very serious trouble. Sexting, or sending sexually explicit photos or videos via email, text message or social media, may be considered sending and receiving child pornography if the person sending or receiving the images is under 18.

The prosecution of sexting is still quite new, and there is little predictability in how aggressive prosecutors will be. In one case, a 15-year-old Ohio girl was charged with a felony after texting a naked photo of herself. However, much of the time, prosecutors are more likely to charge someone with a misdemeanor if all parties involved consented to the sending of the image. If someone obtains the image without the consent of the sender, the recipient could face felony charges.

Besides a lengthy prison sentence, a conviction for child pornography could require a defendant to register as a sex offender. A person charged with this type of sex crime needs an attorney who understands the laws involved.

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