The attorneys of Sutnick & Sutnick Attorneys At Law working
  1. Home
  2.  » 
  3. Sex Crimes
  4.  » Illegal Pornography

NJ Child Pornography Defense Lawyers

At Sutnick & Sutnick Attorneys at Law, in Bergen County, NJ, our lawyers provide aggressive representation for our clients charged with possession and distribution of illegal pornography. We combine experience and dedication with insight as former prosecutors. That point of view is paramount when facing life-changing child porn charges.

Simply stated, our New Jersey child pornography defense attorneys will represent your best interests.

The Lifelong Consequences Of Illegal Pornography Convictions

In addition to lengthy prison sentences, northern New Jersey and New York City metro-area residents could witness the unraveling of their reputations and the ending of relationships from the accusations alone. Sex crime convictions may lead to a lifetime of consequences, like parole supervision for life and community registration. Megan’s Law requires many sex offenders to notify local police, schools and community centers that they are living in the area. Some sex offenders are listed in an online sex offender registry. This may affect where they can work and live.

In many illegal pornography cases, we represent people who have never been in trouble with the law. However, they find themselves accused of being in an online chat or sharing images that caught the attention of law enforcement. Without notice, they are arrested and presumed guilty in the court of public opinion.

We conduct in-depth investigations to get to the facts and protect the rights of our clients. It may be that other people had access to the same computer and they are the actual “owners” of the images. The ages of the children in the images should be taken into consideration as well.

Minimizing the consequences of a sex crime conviction and subsequent registration requirements is paramount, particularly when it comes to the high-profile Megan’s Law. In those cases, we pursue the lowest possible level of community notification.

Possession of Child Pornography

In New Jersey, it is illegal to possess sexually explicit images of children under 18 years old. The actual language of the statute prohibits images which “portray a child in a sexually suggestive manner.”

There is no actual criminal charge called Possession of Child Pornography. Rather, in New Jersey, if someone is arrested for the possession of illegal child pornography, they are charged with the crime of Endangering the Welfare of a Child, or violating N.J.S.A. 2C:24-4.

Child Pornography FAQs:

Does it matter that I did not take the picture?

Yes. Of course. If someone actually takes a photograph of a child in a sexually explicit matter, that is a much more serious charge. However, possessing even a singe image is a crime. Child pornography is contraband, just like heroin or crack cocaine. It is, by its nature, illegal.

Does it matter that I thought the image was of someone 18 years old?

Maybe. It depends on the image or photograph. For example, some photographs obviously depict children, like an image of a pre-pubescent child with no pubic hair or developing breasts. Other pictures may be harder to determine, especially if the image is of someone who appears much older with, say a full beard, for example.

For the purposes of the statute, what matters is whether the person photographed is under 18 years of age OR presents the appearance of being under the age of 18. If the person presents the appearance of someone under 18, there is a rebuttable presumption that they are under the age of 18. In other words, if they look under 18, and you can’t prove that they’re at least 18 years old, the image is illegal.

What are the charges & penalties for possession of child pornography? Do the number of images matter?

Yes. The number of images determines the degree of the crime and the penalties for possession of child pornography.

Possession of 100,000 or more images is a first-degree crime punishable by between 10 to 20 years in prison.

Possession of between 1,000 and 100,000 images is a second-degree crime punishable by between 5 and 10 years in prison.

Possession of less than 1,000 images is a third-degree crime. Most third-degree crimes are probation-eligible; however, this charge is different. For this charge, the law says that a judge “shall impose a sentence of imprisonment” unless it would be a serious injustice.  In other words, it is very difficult to get probation even on a third-degree possession of child pornography charge.

How many images is a picture considered to be and how many images is a movie?

Each picture is one image.

Each video, film, movie, video-clip, or similar visual depiction is considered 10 separate images.

Does it matter that the images are old and have been around the internet forever?

No. An image of child pornography is contraband, or illegal, no matter how old it is. Many images have unique identifiers which are known to members of law enforcement. Law enforcement understands that the images may be old and that the juveniles in the photographs are no longer under the age of 18. For the purposes of the Endangering the Welfare statute, it does not matter.

What if I didn’t realize how many images I had?

That may be an important factual issue and a forensic computer analysis may be important.

What if I looked at an illegal image and then deleted it?

It depends. Facts matter. There is a difference between a forensic computer analysis showing that an individual looked at one image, one time and then deleted it, versus an individual downloading a different image every day and then deleting it after viewing.

Are there defenses for possession of child pornography?

Yes. In every criminal case, the prosecutor has the burden to prove the charges. It is not enough to just say that someone is charged with possession of child pornography, they have to offer actual evidence, or actual proof. The way in which the images were obtained may be challenged. The person who actually possessed the images may be an issue as are many other important factors. An experienced attorney will identify the appropriate defense.

Should I contact a lawyer if the police show up at my door with a search warrant?

Yes. Right away. It is important to know your rights and an attorney can assess your particular situation to advise you what is best.

Can I defend a case even though it seems serious?

Of course. Our New Jersey lawyers, at Sutnick & Sutnick Attorneys at Law, have defended many serious possession of child pornography cases, including those that may have seemed very difficult at first. Your freedom and reputation are worth a fight. You deserve advocacy.  There are probably many individual characteristics about you that are important for the prosecutor to know. Your background may be important. The facts of the search will be important. Charges of possession of child pornography may be scary, but an arrest is just the beginning of the court case and you should only go to court armed with an experienced NJ criminal trial attorney.

Can I talk to a lawyer on the phone, or do I have to come in personally to discuss my situation?

Yes. Please call our office anytime for a free consultation. our New Jersey child pornography defense lawyers may be able to answer some questions about these types of charges on the phone of zoom. Many people with these charges prefer the privacy of a conversation in our office and we welcome a personal appointment for a consultation, as well.

Contact Us To Arrange A No Cost Consult

Speak with a lawyer for free. To schedule a free initial consultation regarding charges of illegal pornography, call Sutnick & Sutnick Attorneys at Law at 201-212-4532 or complete our online contact form. We have offices in the Bronx, Hackensack and Wayne to serve clients throughout northern New Jersey and New York.