Child Pornography Charges in Pennsylvania

December 4, 2018By Brian Manchester

Photographing, filming and possessing child pornography are prohibited by Pennsylvania state law, as well as federal law. Pennsylvania prohibits the photographing, videotaping, depicting on a computer or filming of children under the age of 18 engaging in a sexual act or simulating such an act. Conviction for this offense constitutes a second degree felony and may carry a sentence of imprisonment for up to ten years.

The dissemination of photographs, videotapes, computer depictions and films depicting children under the age of 18 engaging in a sexual act or the simulation of such an act is also prohibited under Pennsylvania statute. Those convicted for this offense will be punished for a felony of the third degree and will face up to five years’ imprisonment.

Possession of Child Pornography in Pennsylvania

Possession of child pornography is also illegal in Pennsylvania. Intentionally viewing or knowingly possessing child pornography violates state law and anyone found to do so will be guilty of a third-degree felony. Pennsylvania has increased the punishment for the possession and dissemination of child pornography. The offense gravity scores have increased and there are now enhancement added to the base offense gravity score after so many images are possessed. What is worse is each single picture or video can be sentenced separately. Unlike the federal system where sentence is determined in part by the quantity of pictures possessed, Pennsylvania can charge for each individual picture. Someone possessing dozens of pictures in theory could receive a de facto life sentence.

Collateral Consequences of a Conviction

An accusation alone related to child pornography can severely damage one’s life due to the stigma surrounding these crimes. Other than the possibility of significant state or federal sentences,  Pennsylvania also has mandatory sex offender registration for child pornography charges under Meghan’s Law. Pennsylvania’s Megan’s Law, 42 Pa.C.S § 9799.32(1) and § 9799.67(1), requires the State Police to create and maintain a registry of persons who reside, or is transient, work/carry on a vocation, or attend school in the state and who have either been convicted of, entered a plea of guilty to, or have been adjudicated delinquent of Certain Sexual Offenses in Pennsylvania or another jurisdiction.

Pursuant 42 to Pa.C.S. § 9799.28 and § 9799.63, the State Police established a website to provide information to the public on registered sexual offenders who reside, or are transient, attend school, or are employed/carry on a vocation, within the state of Pennsylvania. This means that a child pornography conviction will follow you for the rest of your life, as the information about your case, as well as where you live at any given time, is easily accessible to the public.

What Can You Do If Charged with Child Pornography Charges in Pennsylvania?

If you or a loved one are facing Child Pornography charges in Pennsylvania, it is important to contact an criminal defense lawyer for legal counsel as soon as possible. For a Free Strategy Session to begin building a defense against these charges, call Manchester & Associates at (888) 994-7616. We want to help you.

Posted in: Child Pornography , Criminal Defense Blog , Sex Crimes

Tags: Child Porn, Child Porn Charges, Child Pornography, Child Pornography Charges In Pennsylvania,

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About the Author

Brian Manchester is the owner of Manchester and Associates in Bellefonte, Pennsylvania. His law firm practices DUI and Criminal Defense exclusively throughout the entire state of Pennsylvania in both state and federal court. He has a team of two other lawyers with a combined 50 years of trial and courtroom experience are also trained in science and many other skills that are relevant to criminal defense to include the psychology of persuasion as well. One of his associates is a former District Attorney (chief prosecutor) in central Pennsylvania.   Mr. Manchester and his team routinely handle serious felony cases including murder, manslaughter, sex crimes, complex financial crimes, and serious assaults. A large part of Mr. Manchester’s practice is the defense of alcohol and drug-based DUI offenses as well as drug cases using science and analytical chemistry. Mr. Manchester has training as a Standardized Field Sobriety Testing Instructor. He is one of a handful of Certified Lawyer-Scientists as recognized by the American Chemical Society in the United States. He is a member of NCDD and is a Founding Member of DUIDLA. He is also a member of the American Chemical Society with over 170,000 members across the world. To date, he is the only practicing criminal defense lawyer to belong to the Society of Forensic Toxicologist where he is an Associate Member. Mr. Manchester speaks nationally on the topic of blood and drug testing for alcohol as well as the metrological (measurement uncertainty) in forensic testing.

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