North Carolina Child Pornography Laws
It is illegal under North Carolina state and federal law to produce, transport, share, receive or possess child pornography. Why? Because images of child pornography are not protected by the Constitution. It is considered a form of child sexual exploitation. In modern times, instances of child pornography can occur on a computer through the Internet or even on a smartphone.
Under North Carolina law, the following activities are felonies:
If the offender has prior convictions or if the image involved violence or sexual abuse of the child, he or she will face even harsher penalties.
Most convictions will lead to registration on the North Carolina Sex Offender list. Once registered, an individual may be on the list for life.
N.C. General Statute §14-190.16: First Degree Sexual Exploitation of a Minor (production)
N.C. General Statute §14-190.17: Second Degree Sexual Exploitation of a Minor (copying or distributing)
N.C. General Statute §14-190.17A: Third Degree Sexual Exploitation of a Minor (possession)
|What is Prohibited||
Possession: Anyone who knowingly possesses or seeks and accesses child pornographic material.
Distribution: Anyone who distributes, promotes, copies or finances the distribution (or conspires, attempts, or prepares) any "child sexually abusive material."
Production: Anyone who persuades, induces, entices, coerces, causes, or knowingly allows a child to engage in "child sexually abusive" activity.
|First Amendment Protections?||
Child pornography is not protected speech covered by the First Amendment.
|Definition of a "Minor"||
A person under 18 years of age.
|Definition of "Child Sexually Abusive Material"||
|Mistake of Age Defense?||Mistake of age is not a defense to a prosecution.|
|Mandatory State Sexual Offender Registry if Convicted?||
|Mandatory Reporting Requirement||Computer technicians, information technology workers, and film developers must report child pornography to law enforcement if they encounter it in the scope of their work. The law doesn't require technicians or service providers to actively search for illegal material, only to report it if they find it.|
|Immunity from Civil Liability||
The computer technician, information technology worker, or film developer can't be sued by the defendant under this law of the reporting was done in good faith.
Federal Child Pornography Crimes
Child pornography is also a federal crime. Federal laws addressing child pornography are:
Because criminal laws can sometimes get complicated, it may also be a good idea to consult an experienced North Carolina criminal defense attorney if you have questions about your specific situation.
Contact a qualified attorney.