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AZHARI LLC BLOG

Jan. 29 2021

How Child Porn Possession Can Land You 30 Years in IL Prison

Posted By: Sami Azhari

How Child Porn Possession Can Land You 30 Years in IL Prison

Recent reports reveal a 61-year-old Joliet man was arrested by the State Police on four charges of possession of child pornography. He was found in possession of multiple digital images involving a child under the age of 13 and now faces serious criminal penalties.

His case is a more serious felony under Illinois law than some other child pornography crimes. So then what constitutes child pornography under the law in Illinois, and what types of activities can put you in more serious legal jeopardy than others?

Learn more about the laws surrounding child pornography in Illinois below, and if you are currently facing charges, above all else remember, every suspect is innocent until proven guilty under the law.

Illinois Child Pornography Laws

Illinois Child Pornography Laws

Child pornography is defined as depictions of anyone under age 18 engaging in sexual activity, or erotic or lewd behavior, that is meant to sexually gratify or arouse the viewer.

It is illegal in the state to engage in other activities related to child pornography as well. That includes consuming it, creating it, and distributing it.

Common Child Pornography Charges

Common criminal charges related to child pornography in Illinois include:

  • Photographing, videotaping, or filming a child you know to be under the age of 18 engaging in sexual acts
  • Disseminating, possessing, reproducing, or exhibiting depictions of suggestive or sexually explicit images of anyone you know or should know to be under the age of 18
  • Encouraging, enticing, or soliciting someone under 18 to participate in child pornography
  • Allowing your own child or stepchild to engage in child pornography

Activities That Often Lead to Child Porn Charges

A few of the behaviors that can lead to child pornography charges include:

  • Producing child pornography for distribution or purchase online
  • Sending or downloading pornographic materials online that depict a child
  • Sending sexually explicit or suggestive emails or text to a minor
  • Encouraging someone under 18 to send suggestive or sexually explicit emails or texts
  • Purchasing an online subscription to a website that contains child pornography

Penalties of Child Pornography

Every child pornography crime is classified as a felony, but what degree of a felony depends upon the circumstances surrounding the case as well as the specific acts engaged in by the defendant and the alleged victim(s).

Find out the penalties associated with each of the following convictions:

  • Dissemination and production of child pornography
  • Dissemination or production of child pornography
  • Possession of child pornography
  • Aggravated child pornography

Still Images: Dissemination or Production of Child Pornography

If it does not involve moving depictions such as video or film, this crime is a Class 1 felony in Illinois. It is punishable by up to 15 years in prison.

Moving Depictions: Dissemination or Production of Child Pornography

If it does involve moving depictions such as video or film, then it is charged as a Class X felony in Illinois. These crimes can be punished by as much as 30 years behind bars.

Child Pornography: The Offense of Possession

If this charge does not involve moving depictions such as video or film, then it is a Class 3 felony in Illinois. That is punished for as long as five years behind bars. If this charge does involve moving depictions such as film or video, then it is a Class 2 felony punishable by up to seven years in prison.

Aggravated Child Pornography

Aggravated child pornography occurs when a child under the age of 13 is involved. It aggravates the child pornography charges in any situation in which it applies. This crime is a Class X felony and is punishable by up to an additional 30 years behind bars. Repeat offenders may also face increased sentencing.

Every separate count of child pornography is also subject to fines. These fines have a minimum of $2,000 and a max of $100,000.

Illinois Sex Offender Registration

, How Child Porn Possession Can Land You 30 Years in IL Prison

Those convicted of child pornography or aggravated child pornography charges are required to register as a sex offender with the state’s sex offender registration program.

The Illinois Sex Offender Registry is a database of sex offenders available to the public and can have an impact on your life going forward if you are convicted. Some of these consequences include, but are not limited to:

  • Restrictions where you live because you cannot live within a certain distance to a school
  • Restrictions on your ability to use social media
  • Mandatory check-ins with law enforcement
  • Requirements to keep law enforcement aware of any changes to your important information, such as your address

Child pornography crimes carry serious legal repercussions in the state of Illinois. Even beyond jail time and fines, convictions can impact many other aspects of your life — where you can work and even whether or not you can get a loan for instance.

This article provides only the most basic information regarding child pornography charges here in Illinois. Every case is unique. If you have questions regarding charges against you or believe law enforcement has made a mistake in their accusations, it’s imperative to seek professional legal advice.

 

About the Author

Sami Azhari has been working as a lawyer since 2007, after receiving his Juris Doctor from the Michigan State University College of Law. He has handled numerous state and federal cases and is known throughout the Chicago and Rolling Meadows area for providing his clients with high-quality, skilled representation. He has been recognized by Avvo (2013 and 2018), SuperLawyers (2015-2020), The National Trial Lawyers, and other notable organizations, and has spoken at a number of legal conferences.