Possession of child pornography in the Commonwealth of Virginia is a Class 6 felony and being charged for intentionally obtaining and keeping child pornography is a conviction under the VA Code of 18.2-374.1:1, which can result in up to 5 years in prison. The intention is irrelevant and as long as you have the ability to view the saved material in any way, you can be convicted of possession of child pornography. A child pornography charge can result in serious penalties, so it would be in your best interest to contact a child pornography attorney in Virginia immediately after you are charged or even searched for evidence before being charged to ensure you have enough time to strategize a defense.
A lot of people try to dodge being charged with possession of child pornography by viewing it online, however, you can still be charged with possession of child pornography even if you deleted or didn’t download anything illegal at all as the temporary files left in your computer’s hard disk would be considered as possession of child pornography.
In the Commonwealth of Virginia, possession of child pornography is considered a less severe crime than the production; however, it is still a Class 6 misdemeanor, which can result in severe penalties such as at least one to a maximum of five years of imprisonment and/or a $2500 fine. A subsequent conviction, under the VA Code of 18.2-374.1:1, would be categorized as a Class 5 misdemeanor. A Class 5 misdemeanor means that the offender will have to face a prison sentence that includes a mandatory sentence of one year, and can last as long as up to 10 years.
A person gets charged with possession of child pornography in Virginia if he is caught with possession of sexually explicit images, videos, etc. involving someone under the age of 18. However, under the VA Code of 18.2-374.1:1, a person would be exempt from this if he has the images for medical or scientific purposes, or as a part of their professional duty, such as law enforcement, physicians, psychologists, attorneys or a judge overseeing a court case.
The law enforcement officers may seize all the equipment that was allegedly involved in the possession, distribution and/or production of sexually explicit material involving a juvenile, as a part of their investigation. As it is stated under the Statute 19.2-386-31, that upon conviction, the accused will have to forfeit the property involved in the misdemeanor.
With the rapid growth and rise of the internet, the rate of people involved in the crime has increased drastically, propagating the growth of the child pornography industry. The number of people being convicted of the crime in Virginia has also increased. If you are facing child pornography charges in Virginia, it is necessary to consult a child pornography lawyer as soon as possible so he can explain the legal facts relevant to your case and can help protect your rights.