Serving the Elizabeth NJ Superior Court & All Municipal Courts in Union County

Union County NJ Criminal Defense Lawyers

Over 200 Years Combined Experience

Former County & Municipal Prosecutors

Child Pornography

Possession & Distribution of Child Pornography Defense Attorneys

Protecting children has always been a priority of law enforcement. For this reason, offenses that strike at the heart of this innocence, such a child pornography, are looked at very negatively by police, prosecutors and even judges. This displeasure is even greater when the situation isn’t one of possession of child pornography but the actual manufacturing or distribution of these pornographic materials. In addition to these considerations, a child pornography offense can have a dramatic effect on the reputation of an individual. Your best way to restore your name and avoid the penalties associated with a conviction is to mount an effective defense with a skilled attorney.

Our attorneys are former prosecutors who are battle tested. We know what it takes to succeed in defending a sex charge in Union County, including effectively dealing with the prosecutors and judges in Elizabeth NJ. This only makes sense as we have been practicing in this area and at the Union County Courthouse for decades now. The lawyers at The Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall defend possession of child pornography and distribution of child pornography charges filed in Elizabeth, Scotch Plains, Roselle, Cranford, Union and other area municipalities. Call a member of our team for immediate assistance at 908-272-1700.

New Jersey Child Pornography Offenses

N.J.S.A. 2C:24-4 outlines those circumstances that give rise to an endangering the welfare of a child charge.  Sections (b)(3) through (b)(7) of this law compose the child pornography offenses that exist under New Jersey Law. Child pornography is anything that depicts a child engaging in or simulating a prohibited sexual act, namely, intercourse, masturbation, oral sex, or nudity intended to provide stimulation or gratification to viewers.  In terms of possession of child pornography, it is a third degree crime to “knowingly possesses, knowingly views , or knowingly has under his control, through any means, including the Internet, an item depicting the sexual exploitation or abuse of a child.” If you are convicted for possessing child pornography under this section, it is a third degree crime. When an individual distributes, possesses with the intent to distribute, or stores child pornography for file-sharing with one or more other computers, 2C:24-4 makes this conduct a second degree crime. It is also a second degree crime if you film, photograph or prepare imagines that constitute child pornography. The situation escalates to the highest grade of criminal offense under NJ Law, a first degree crime, to cause or permit a child to perform sexual acts for purposes of creating pornographic images.

Can I Be Convicted If No One Actually Viewed My The Computer Files?

Unfortunately, the answer is yes. The reason is because N.J.S.A. 2C:24-4 specifically eliminates the requirement that the prosecutor prove that someone actually searched, copied or viewed files. All that has to be shown is that the accused placed the depictions on a file-sharing network or program. If the file is placed on such a system without blocking and/or designating the item as unavailable to others, the accused is subject to a charge of file sharing, a second degree crime.

Is It A Defense That It Was Reasonable To Believe That The Child Was 18 or Older?

No. The law provides that it is not a defense that the child appeared to be an adult. All that needs to be established is that, in fact, the person was under 18 and this proof suffices under the statute in terms of establishing that a “child” was involved.

Does Megan’s Law Apply To Child Pornography?

The registration and community supervision requirements under Megan’s Law do not apply to child pornography with the exception of one instance. Sex offender registration only applies where the accused causes or permits the child to engage in a prohibited sexual act in order to create child pornography.

Will I Go To Jail If I Am Convicted?

A charge involving distribution, filming, creating, or causing a child to engage in sexual acts for child pornography, all give rise to a presumption of incarceration. Most of these offenses are second degree crimes with a presumptive of a state prison term of five (5) to ten (10) years. If you possess child pornography alone, it is a third degree crime, that carries a presumption of probation if you have no prior criminal record. You therefore stand a good chance of avoiding jail if you have no prior record and are charged with possession. Otherwise, the standard jail range for third degree possession of child pornography is zero (0) to five (5) years.

Am I Eligible for Pretrial Intervention?

The eligibility requirements for this program are set forth at Pretrial Intervention. In accordance with those rules, a charge for possession of child pornography would qualify for PTI since it is a third degree crime. However, many prosecutors will object to admission into the program based on an argument that possessing child pornography shows a pattern of anti-social behavior. Our attorneys can assist you in avoiding and/or overcoming this objection. Distribution of child pornography or any other second degree crime or greater is ineligible for Pretrial Intervention.

Elizabeth NJ Child Pornography Lawyers

To be quite honest, child pornography cases have the potential for being messy. Prosecutors know jurors have little sympathy for individuals and can be overreaching when it comes to resolution. This is why the selection of your attorney is so important. A lawyer who is highly respected can have a significant impact on whether or not the prosecutor objects to PTI, is willing to downgrade a second degree distribution of child pornography charge to a third degree possession of child pornography offense, seeks state prison in a case, etc.  Our firm is well known and has handled countless offenses in Elizabeth at the Superior Court. We represent clients charged with child pornography throughout Union County including Springfield, Summit, Linden, Kenilworth and Garwood. To speak to an attorney on our defense team immediately, contact our Union New Jersey Office at 908-272-1700 for a free consultation.