If you are accused of possessing Child Pornography in Maryland you may very well end up in federal court. The federal government has specific tasks forces available to them to investigate and prosecute Child Pornography crimes. They also offer grant money to local law enforcement to assist in investigating these cases on the state level.
In Maryland, for your first offense, the charge carries up to 5 years in prison and a $2,500 fine. If you possess the images with the intent to distribute, you face up to 10 years in prison.
Many clients have their cases bound over to federal court for prosecution. This happens primarily because prosecutors want stiffer penalties available to them when they prosecute these Child Pornography cases.
There is a common misconception that the government needs something special to bring cases “federal.” This isn’t true. The federal government just has to show that there is an interstate commerce connection to the crime. And, because the internet is almost always used these days to transport images, that is easily proven.
Federal punishment is quite serious in these cases. Simple possession of child pornography in Maryland federal court (or any federal court) can land you up to 20 years in prison. If you are caught producing it you face a 15 year mandatory minimum sentence.
In Maryland court the code section is § 11-207.
In federal court it is generally 18 U.S.C. § 2251, 2252.
We represent persons accused of child pornography possession in state and federal courts in Arkansas, Washington, D.C., New York, and Arkansas. Call 301.513.7832 for a free consultation.