In the case of child pornography, a person who has explicit photos of a person under 18 years old or materials that portray a person who is a minor can face criminal charges. Child pornography is covered under federal laws under several different codes.
Possessing pictures of children that are explicit isn't the only way a person can be charged with child pornography. Individuals who produce, import, sell, or buy pornographic materials involving children can be charged with child pornography. Buying and selling children is also considered a form of child pornography under federal laws.
The penalties for child pornography convictions are serious. A person can face fines, as well as 15 to 20 years in prison for a first-time conviction on a federal charge. It is important to note that a person can face state charges, federal charges or both federal and state charges for child pornography.
The criminal justice system takes child pornography charges very seriously. If you are facing child pornography charges, it is vital that you take action quickly to work on your defense. These charges aren't going to just go away, so you have to take the time to explore your options for handling your defense. Knowing the potential penalties of any option given to you is vital so you can make an informed decision.
Source: FindLaw, "Child Pornography," accessed June 11, 2015