September 8, 2011 By Wallin & Klarich

Possession and/or distribution of child pornography in California is an increasingly serious crime and can now lead to a prison sentence of up to six years and a fine of $100,000 under penal code section 311. Conviction of this crime also requires lifetime registration as a sex offender which can have a devastating lifetime impact. It is important to know what the law is and potential defenses if you are facing this charge in California. Relevant portions of Penal Code 311 read as follows:

Every person who knowingly sends or causes to be sent, or brings or causes to be brought, into this state for sale or distribution, or in this state possesses matter, knowing that the matter depicts a person under the age of 18 years personally engaging in or personally simulating sexual conduct.. is guilty of a felony…

It is important to note that the law requires the prosecution to prove knowledge of possession or distribution to be found guilty of this charge. A viable defense in many cases is that the child pornography was inadvertently downloaded at the same time as adult pornography without that person’s knowledge. Forensic computer experts may be able to show that the child pornography found was never viewed by the person indicating that they had no knowledge it was on their computer. A “common computer” in a household may create doubt as to who specifically downloaded or distributed the matter. Each case is different and defenses that apply will vary form case to case.

If you or a loved one is facing child pornography charges in Southern California, it is important that you contact an experienced sex crimes attorney. At Wallin & Klarich, our attorneys have over 30 years of experience in handling all types of sex crimes. Our attorneys are highly knowledgeable in sex crimes law. We will aggressively fight to defend your rights and get you the best possible result in your case. Call us today at (888) 749-0034 or contact us on our website at We will be there when you call.

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