What Are the Penalties for Child Pornography in New Mexico?
Law enforcement developed covert techniques to investigate people who create, distribute, or possess child pornography. They deploy these investigatory tools to root out people using the internet to access child porn and charge them with serious offenses. Understanding the penalties for these crimes can help you determine your best course of action.
You will need an attorney with experience to help you avoid the harsh penalties associated with child porn offenses. Our attorneys with the New Mexico Criminal Law Offices have over 22 years of criminal trial experience with a documented track record of success. Contact us today for a free consultation to find out how we will protect your rights and fight for your freedom.
What Are the New Mexico Child Pornography Laws?
Sections 30-6A-1 to 4 of the New Mexico Statutes are known as the Sexual Exploitation of Children Act (The Act). The Act contains New Mexico’s child pornography laws.
The Act prohibits any person from intentionally possessing obscene visual or printed material depicting a prohibited sexual act or simulation if the person has a reason to know that one or more of the participants is a child under 18. The Act also prohibits intentionally causing or permitting a child under 18 to engage in a sex act or simulation when the person records the act in any obscene visual or print medium or the performance will be public. Additionally, the Act prohibits the intentional manufacturing or distribution of obscene visual or print media depicting a child under 18 years of age or showing a real child who is not a participant as a participant. (for example, the material actually involves consenting adults, but the editing depicts a real child rather than a consenting adult).
The Act contains an exception to these rules. The Act’s penalties do not apply to a depiction possessed by a child under the age of 18 of a child between the ages of 14 and 18 when the child depicted knowingly and voluntarily consents to the possession and creation of the material or the child knowingly and voluntarily produced the depiction without coercion. This exception ensures that consenting teenagers do not face criminal prosecution for serious felony offenses just for “sexting” each other. However, the exception does not apply if the child succumbed to coercion when permitting possession or creation of the depiction.
Child Pornography Penalties
The penalties for child exploitation vary depending on the severity of the incident and the presence of any aggravating factors. Possession of child pornography is a fourth-degree felony for sexual exploitation, which carries a basic sentence of ten years in prison. However, the basic penalty increases by one year if the court or jury finds beyond a reasonable doubt the depicted child is under 13 years old. The additional year is a mandatory prison sentence, and the court cannot defer or suspend that first year. The court may suspend the remaining prison time if appropriate.
Distributing obscene material is a third-degree felony for equal exploitation of children. The basic sentence is 11 years in prison. There is no minimum sentence that must be served.
Manufacturing obscene material depicting a child is a second-degree felony for child exploitation. The basic sentence for this offense is 12 years, with no minimum mandatory sentence.
Law enforcement can charge you with any crime for which they possess probable cause. Therefore, you could face charges of criminal sexual penetration along with allegations of manufacturing child pornography. These are also serious allegations that contain severe penalties. The basic sentences for criminal sexual penetration range from life in prison to 10 years, depending on the severity of the allegations.
Collateral Consequences of Child Sexual Exploitation
Any answer to what are the penalties for child pornography In New Mexico should include a discussion about the collateral consequences of a conviction. Criminal convictions come with numerous effects beyond punishment for the offense. These collateral consequences can add to your pain and suffering by preventing you from returning to a normal life.
Registering as a sex offender is one of the most onerous collateral consequences that accompany a child exploitation conviction. New Mexico law requires you to register as a sex offender if you have a conviction for the sexual exploitation of children. The law requires you to register with the sheriff’s office in your county of residence within five business days after release from incarceration. You must provide a substantial amount of personal information to the sheriff’s office and a sample of your DNA as well when you first register.
A conviction for sexual exploitation of children means you must register annually for life. Failing to register is a criminal offense, which could trigger a parole or probation sanction.
In addition to registering as a sex offender, you may experience difficulties navigating your personal life. You might have limitations on where you could live, work, and with whom you associate. Keeping or finding a job will be more difficult with a sex offense on your record. Additionally, you may face discipline from your professional licensing board if you hold a professional license. Similarly, you could experience difficulty advancing your education.
Immigration issues are another huge problem. You may lose the opportunity to remain in the county you were not born here, face denial of your chance to become a citizen, and face denial of reentry into the U.S. with a sex offense conviction on your record.
How Can the New Mexico Criminal Law Offices Help You?
Through our 22-plus years of criminal trial experience, we learned that treating each person individually gives you the best chance to have a positive result. We focus our defense strategy on the unique aspects of you and your case. Our thorough analysis of your case allows us to explore novel defenses that could help you avoid a conviction. We hold the government to its burden of proof while protecting your constitutional rights.
Contact us for a free consultation with one of our compassionate and dedicated attorneys.