Many Indianapolis residents might think of pornography as so common that it is not really a big deal, even if it is largely a private affair. Indeed, with respect to pornography depicting adults, the issue rarely reaches the level of Indiana’s criminal courts.
However, those who look at, download or otherwise possess any type of child pornography, even one time, commit a felony if they did so on purpose. This means that the person can go to prison for up to two and a half years. In Indiana, child pornography includes all minors under 18.
It is important to remember that the sentence is per offense. So, if a person looks at 10 different images of child pornography, they could receive a sentence of 25 years in prison depending on the case.
It is also important to remember that these are penalties for a first offense and with no aggravating circumstances.
Even if they manage to avoid jail time, people will still face long-term penalties
Even if they manage to avoid a lengthy jail sentence, those convicted of state child pornography charges still will face several long-term consequences.
For one, if they get placed on probation, they will likely have to follow strict rules including curfews, mandatory counseling at their expense and other restrictions.
In addition to having a felony conviction, they also will have to register as a sex offender and follow all laws that apply to sex offenders, including living restrictions.
The sex offender registry is available to the public, so being on it can also profoundly affect a person’s ability to find a job or participate in other activities. They may, for example, not be able to be around children or work in a profession that requires they care for others.
The conviction may also affect a person’s ability to see their own children.
The bottom line is that anyone facing a child pornography charge will want to understand their legal options. There are defenses to these charges that may be available.