In this post, we will take a look at why that is, as well as why it’s essential to work with a lawyer to try to avoid the severe penalties that come with a federal child pornography conviction. Whether you are facing state or federal child porn charges, Honolulu sex crimes lawyer Michael Fayard can help.
If you are charged with a federal crime, U.S. federal prosecutors will take on your case to try to convict you. If you are accused of a state crime in Hawaii, you are going up against Hawaii prosecutors. But when is a crime considered state or federal?
The distinction comes down to a few simple rules. You can be charged with a federal crime under the following circumstances:
That last item is of particular concern in turning child pornography charges into a federal matter.
A crime can warrant a federal charge when it crosses state lines. So, if a crime involves Hawaii and Texas, for instance, it would likely be federal. But how does this relate to child pornography charges?
Often, child porn is distributed via the internet. While the original meaning of “crossing state lines” used to include only physically crossing or mailing something across state lines, it now includes the internet.
So, if you are accused of sending child porn to someone outside of Hawaii, your charge will likely be federal. But if you allegedly received child porn from someone who is also in Hawaii, the charge could remain a state-level offense.
The penalties for federal child pornography charges are severe. Even a first-time child porn conviction can lead to fines and 15 to 30 years in prison.
Even if you are facing a state-level charge, you could still face severe penalties if you are convicted. Child pornography charges in Hawaii can lead to the following punishments:
As you can see, both federal and state child porn charges can lead to severe punishments. If you don’t act now to defend yourself against this charge, you could find yourself behind bars for years or even decades.
That is why so many people charged with child porn crimes work with a trusted sex crimes defense lawyer. An experienced attorney can gather evidence to show that you are innocent or the charge against you should be thrown out or reduced to a lesser crime.
Criminal Defense Attorney Michael Fayard believes everyone has a right to legal help when charged with a crime. If you have been charged with possessing, distributing, or producing child pornography, we are here to provide that help.