With selfies that involve underage sexual situations or nudity, the potential exists for criminal liability under child pornography laws. Penalties in Arizona for sexual exploitation of a minor are some of the toughest in the nation. If you are facing criminal charges involving child pornography and selfies, contact AZ Defenders immediately. Our Phoenix child pornography and selfies attorneys pride ourselves on finding weaknesses in the prosecution’s case and using every available defense to obtain the best possible outcome for our clients.
Most people are familiar with selfies – photos of oneself typically taken with a smartphone. Child pornography may be defined as any visual depiction of sexually explicit conduct involving a minor. Pornographic selfies of minors are not protected under the Constitution. They are considered internet sex crimes and a type of child sexual exploitation. Offenses involving the internet or occurring across state lines may be prosecuted by the U.S. Department of Justice. A person may face criminal liability under both state and federal laws.
Under Arizona Revised Statutes Section 13-3553, sexual exploitation of a minor is a class two felony. This offense involves knowingly recording, filming, photographing, developing, duplicating, distributing, transporting, exhibiting, receiving, selling, purchasing, electronically transmitting, exchanging, or possessing any visual depiction (including selfies) in which a minor is engaged in exploitive exhibition or sexual conduct. If the defendant is 18 or older and tried as an adult, and the exploited minor is under the age of 15, this crime is punishable pursuant to Section 13-705, which deals with sentencing for dangerous crimes against children and means prison time if convicted.
Although state child pornography laws were designed to protect children and minors, it is not only adults who can be charged with a crime for violations of the statutes. If a teenager takes a pornographic selfie and sends it to another underage friend, both the sender and the receiver may be prosecuted. If the selfie makes the rounds of the underage social circle online or through direct sharing, anyone who distributed or received the photo may be subject to prosecution under laws related to juvenile crimes.
The Arizona statute concerning sexual exploitation of a minor is very broad and covers a wide range of potentially innocent conduct. Our state has some of the stiffest penalties in the U.S. for child pornography and selfies. Adult conviction of possessing an image of a sexual act with a minor carries severe penalties, including:
Sending, receiving, or possessing a sexually explicit selfie or picture of a minor can expose you to serious criminal liability. If you have been charged with child pornography involving selfies, call AZ Defenders right away for a free consultation. We have a history of successfully defending clients in the criminal justice system.