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CRIMINAL DEFENSE • DISCIPLINARY INVESTIGATIONS & HEARINGS

What are the possible penalties for child pornography?

Child pornography crimes are aggressively prosecuted in New York at both the state and federal levels. All related charges — including creating, possessing or promoting child pornography — are extremely serious as they are classified as felonies. Penalties for child pornography charges range from moderate to severe, depending on the particular offense.

A conviction could result in mandatory registration as a sex offender and a prison sentence of up to 25 years, depending on the severity of the crime. In addition, prosecutors are likely to charge child pornography offenders with additional related offenses as well.

Possessing a sexual performance by a child and possessing an obscene sexual performance by a child are the least serious charges. They carry a penalty of up to four years in prison. Those charged with promoting a sexual performance by a child or promoting an obscene sexual performance by a child could face up to seven years in prison.

The maximum prison sentence for using a child in a sexual performance is 15 years. Facilitating a sexual performance by a child with alcohol or a controlled substance is the most serious child pornography offense. If convicted, the offender could face a maximum of 25 years in prison.

Punishments are more severe for defendants who have a prior felony conviction or a conviction for a sex offense. They may face fines and prison sentences of between 15 and 40 years.

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