Third-Degree Sexual Exploitation of a Minor
From the moment you are arrested for the possession of child pornography, your life immediately changes. Everything takes a back-burner to your pending case, and understandably so, because a conviction will almost certainly result in a lengthy jail sentence. Not only that, but it may feel as though society starts to look at you differently—even though you haven’t been convicted and still enjoy the presumption of innocence.
At the Olsinski Law Firm, PLLC, we are a group of dedicated Charlotte criminal defense attorneys with significant, hands-on experience defending clients charged with all types of child pornography offenses. We understand what you’re going through in the wake of an arrest like this and will do everything in our power to limit the impact your arrest has on the rest of your life.How Does North Carolina Define Child Pornography?
North Carolina has incredibly strict child pornography laws; however, the first thing to know about them is that they do not use the term “child pornography.” Instead, any content showing a minor engaging in sexual activity is referred to as material depicting “sexual exploitation of a minor.”
Under North Carolina’s child pornography law, any material, including images and videos, that depicts a minor under the age of 18 engaging in sexual activity is prohibited. In this context, “sexual activity” is given a broad meaning to include all types of intercourse, as well as other conduct, including:
- Simulated sexual battery,
- Touching a minor over the clothes in a way that appeals to another’s sexual desires,
- The lascivious display of the public region.
Given the wide range of content that violates North Carolina’s law against the sexual exploitation of a minor, it isn’t always straightforward to determine whether content violates the law. However, prosecutors take an aggressive approach, charging people for anything that remotely resembles offensive material.What Is the Crime of Third-Degree Sexual Exploitation of a Minor?
Third-degree sexual exploitation of a minor is essentially North Carolina’s law prohibiting the possession of child pornography. Under North Carolina General Statutes § 14-190.17A, it is a crime to knowingly possess material containing a visual representation of a minor engaging in sexual activity.
Here, “knowingly” possessing means that prosecutors must establish that you 1.) knew you had possession of the content and 2.) knew the nature of the content.Examples of Sexual Exploitation of a Minor in the 3rd Degree
Some of the most common examples of Third-Degree Sexual Exploitation of a Minor include the following:
- Storing offending images on your computer or flash drive;
- Keeping child pornography on your cell phone;
- Maintaining an account on the cloud containing images or videos depicting child pornography.
Of course, having hard-copy printouts of child pornography also runs afoul of the law.Punishments for 3rd Degree Sexual Exploitation of a Minor
Sexual exploitation of a minor in the 3rd degree is the least serious of the three child pornography laws in North Carolina. However, the offense is still considered a Class H Felony. Additionally, if you are convicted of sexual exploitation of a minor in the 3rd degree, you may be required to register as a Sexually Violent Predator for life. Regardless, you must register as a sex offender for at least 30 years.Have You Been Charged with Possessing Child Pornography?
If you were recently arrested after police claim to have found child pornography on your computer, cell phone, or online cloud storage account, it is imperative that you reach out to a Charlotte sexual exploitation of a minor attorney for immediate assistance. At the Olsinski Law Firm, PLLC, we’ve assembled a dedicated team of sex crimes lawyers who have extensive experience aggressively and successfully advocating on behalf of clients charged with these very serious crimes. We will work tirelessly to develop a compelling defense strategy designed to limit the impact of your arrest on the rest of your life. To learn more, and to schedule a free consultation with one of our Charlotte criminal defense lawyers, give us a call at 704-405-2580. You can also reach our Cabarrus County defense attorneys at 704-918-4747. We represent clients in Charlotte, Concord and Kannapolis, as well as throughout Mecklenburg, Gaston, Iredell, Rowan, and Union Counties.