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Child pornography: From federal and state laws to punishment

There are many federal and state laws in place that make it a crime to possess, distribute, produce or sell any form of child pornography. In today's day and age, thanks to the advancement of technology, a growing number of laws are being utilized to crack down on the use of the Internet and mobile devices to obtain, distribute and share such material.

In addition to state laws, here is a list of federal laws that address child pornography:

-- 18 U.S.C. § 2251A- Selling and Buying of Children

-- 18 U.S.C. § 2251- Sexual Exploitation of Children

-- 18 U.S.C. § 2252A- Activities related to material constituting or containing child

-- 18 U.S.C. § 2260- Production of sexually explicit depictions with the intention to import into the country

When a person is charged with a child pornography crime, it is important that he or she understands the seriousness. This includes the potential punishment. First time offenders, for example, can be punished by up to 20 years in prison and the assessment of large fines.

Making this crime even more complex is the fact that it can be prosecuted under both state and federal laws.

With police and other agencies focusing on child pornography, it is possible their judgment could be clouded to the point of making a mistake. Being charged with this type of crime is a big deal; however, this does not mean that the person will necessarily be convicted.

Knowing the finer details of child pornography laws can go a long way in helping a person charged with this crime avoid serious trouble.

Source: FindLaw, "Child Pornography," accessed Nov. 11, 2015

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