Child pornography charges–until recently, state possession of child pornography charges, second degree felonies, required the convicted person to register on the sex offender registry for ten years. The ten years started running when the defendant was no longer on probation or parole.
Now, however, the Utah legislature has changed that. Pleading guilty to a second degree felony child pornography charge will place the defendant on the sex offender registry for life. This has a significant impact on the person’s life as it restricts a person from living within a certain distance from schools and churches. The defendant is prohibited from visiting locations populated by children, such as parks.
Although your attorney should tell you about your placement on the sex offender registry, if your attorney fails to notify you of this “collateral consequence,” you will not be able to withdraw your plea. State v. Trotter states that the consequences of being registered as a sex offender do not amount to a restriction that is as severe as deportation. Therefore a defense attorney need not inform you of your placement on the sex offender registration because of your plea.
It is critical that you consult a defense attorney with extensive experience in handling child pornography cases and who understands all of the consequences that can happen as the result of a conviction. If you are facing a child pornography charge in Salt Lake City, Provo, Logan, Farmington, Ogden, Vernal, or any city in the State of Utah, contact me for a free consultation.