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Overview of child pornography laws in New Jersey - Part II

In Part I of this two-part series we examined what exactly constitutes child pornography in the State of New Jersey, as well as taking a look at what types of charges a person could be looking at when facing allegations involving child pornography. In Part II we will do an overview of the potential penalties a person facing child pornography charges could face, as well as the potential criminal defense strategies a defendant could employ.

As we pointed out in Part I, New Jersey has some of the toughest child pornography laws in America. As a result, the vast majority of cases involving child pornography will leave a defendant facing felony charges. With felony charges, even for first-time offenders, the potential for a prison sentence is very real. But, the more serious the allegations, the more severe the potential penalty.

However, the potential for a lengthy prison sentence becomes more realistic if the defendant is alleged to have been involved in the production or distribution of child pornography. And, almost without exception, a person who is convicted on child pornography charges will need to list the information regarding their case and their identity on the New Jersey sex offender registry.

When a prosecutor, whether on the state or federal level, files charges against someone on a child pornography case, chances are the prosecutor believes they have a rock-solid case. However, defendants do have defense strategies that could come into play. The defendant could assert that he was unaware that the material depicted a minor. Or, the defendant could try to claim that the minor in the material was actually emancipated at the time it was produced. These strategies can be tricky, however, leaving many defendants contemplating whether or not their best option is to pursue a plea agreement.

Source:, "New Jersey Child Pornography Laws," Accessed Feb. 15, 2015

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