Child Pornography Laws under California Penal Code Section 311

Punishment for Child Pornography Convictions in California

Child pornography is illegal in California. The law defines child pornography as any images, videos, data, or computer files depicting any person less than 18 years of age engaging in a sexual act. California child pornography laws prohibit sharing, selling, or exhibiting child pornography within the Golden state.

Child pornography in California is not limited to intercourse. It can be any act, real or simulated, such as masturbation, oral sex, or exhibiting the genitals for sexual gratification.

For a person to be convicted for a child pornography crime, the prosecutor has to prove that an individual knowingly possessed images that depicted minors engaging in sexual acts, and they knew that the matter showed a person less than 18 years of age participating in or simulating sexual conduct.

Sentences imposed on child pornography in California are severe. Under California Penal Code Section 311.11, possession of child pornography is a felony. A person convicted with such offense could face up to three years in county jail or state prison and a fine of $2,500. Distribution of child pornography is also a felony offense, and a person convicted could face a sentence of one year in county jail and fines of up to $1,000. However, depending on the circumstances of the case, one can be sentenced up to three years in prison and a $10,000 fine.

Knowingly sending, bringing, possessing, or producing pornographic material that involves minors with the intent of distributing it to other people is a misdemeanor under California law. A person convicted of such an offense could face up to one year in county jail and fines of up to $50,000.

Advertising child pornography is a felony offense under California Penal Code Section 311.10. A person convicted for such a crime could face up to one year in county jail or two, three, or four years in state prison. They could also receive fines of up to $50,000.

Apart from the penalties above, a person convicted for child pornography would be needed to register as a sex offender. As a sex offender, an individual is banned from staying near schools, parks, and anywhere else near children’s gathering. 

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