Fighting For Your Rights Against Child Pornography Charges

The laws in New Jersey regarding child pornography are very clear and very strict. It is illegal to possess, download, view or distribute sexually explicit images or videos of any person under the age of 18, not just 16. Moreover, New Jersey law holds people who possess or distribute child pornography strictly liable for their actions, even if they don’t realize that the persons in the materials they are downloading or distributing are under the age of 18.

If you are facing charges of distributing or possessing child pornography, it is time to get a lawyer. At The Law Office of Jill R. Cohen, I have handled many child pornography cases and defended the rights of my clients. These cases can be incredibly stressful, as they carry harsh punishments including prison time, large fines, along with the requirements to register as a sex offender according to Megan’s Law and be subject to parole supervision for life. The consequences of a conviction will impact all aspects of your life for as long as you live.

This is why I work so tirelessly to build a strong defense and help you understand your options for seeking a resolution to the case. I am on your side every step of the way. I investigate all aspects of the case and raise all defenses possible. Many times, if we get the computer hard drive analyzed by an expert, we can mount a defense. Simply deleting the images from your computer is not enough to remove all evidence that you downloaded illicit materials – investigators have sophisticated software that allows them to recover files on your computer or phone even if you think you have deleted them.

Child Pornography Crimes In New Jersey

If you use a file-sharing program, you will be held accountable for the distribution of the images. Moreover, images or videos are considered sexually explicit regardless of whether they depict someone engaging in sexual activity, engaging in simulated sexual activity, or are even simply partially or fully naked. Just downloading illicit images onto your computer or smartphone is sufficient to impose criminal liability,

A person who engages with materials that constitute child pornography face charges for endangering the welfare of a child.

  • Endangering the welfare of a child: Possession of child pornography and downloading sexually explicit images or videos depicting such. Many people download such materials using “peer-to-peer” file-sharing software. Although people may believe that they are not sharing files that they download, these “peer-to-peer” or torrent software means that these files are automatically available for others to download. Sharing illicit materials through file-sharing networks has been held by the courts to constitute conduct that endangers the welfare of children and almost certainly, faces prison time.

Frequently Asked Questions About Child Pornography Charges In New Jersey

  • I didn’t know that the person or persons in the images or video on my computer were underage. Can I still be charged with child pornography offenses?
    • Yes. Child pornography statutes in New Jersey do not require you to have knowledge that the subject of the material was underage. All that the prosecution must prove is that the subject of the images or video was under the age of 18, engaged in sexual activity or simulated sexual activity and that you intentionally or knowingly possessed and/or distributed the material. Of course, I may know how to avoid the most serious violations.
  • Will I be required to register as a sex offender for a child pornography conviction?
    • You likely will be required to register as a sex offender if you plead guilty to or are convicted of a child pornography offense; your sex offender registration requirement may last for the rest of your life. There are alternative charges that allow you to avoid Megan’s law and PSL. In addition, you will also likely be subject to parole supervision for life, which will impose additional restrictions on your personal life. Finally, depending on the circumstances of your offense you may be directed to undergo an evaluation to determine whether you qualify as a compulsive or repetitive sexual offender; if you are determined to be a sexual offender, you will face even more stringent restrictions on your life, including on where you may live or your ability to access the internet.
  • Do I have to remain on Megan’s law or parole supervision for the rest of my life?
    • No. Not necessarily. You must remain arrest and conviction-free for 15 years and then make a motion before a Superior Court to remove the restrictions. You can never apply before 15 years and this cannot be negotiated or reduced by the prosecutor. You may have to undergo an evaluation before you apply, and I can prepare you to ensure that you will be granted permission by the court.

Talk To Me After You’ve Been Arrested

Your future and freedom are at stake. Take action today to protect yourself. I am here to help you understand the child pornography charges you are facing and how we can build a defense. Call my Haddonfield office today at 856-754-5501 or contact me online to schedule a free consultation.