Child Pornography

The State of North Carolina takes child pornography, formally called sexual exploitation of a minor, seriously.  Statewide and county enforcement agencies have established special investigation and prosecution teams dedicated to the investigation and prosecution of crimes against children, including child pornography or sexual exploitation of a minor.

Specifically, the Wake County Sheriff’s Office has a Juvenile Crimes Unit with investigators dedicated to the investigation of crimes committed against victims under the age of 16. Also, the prosecutor or the Wake County District Attorney’s Office has a special unit dedicated to the prosecution of offenses against children; including sexual exploitation of a minor, child abuse, and rape, called the Special Victims Unit.

If faced with child pornography charges it is important to have an experienced attorney, who is prepared to fight against the prosecutors in this specialized unit on your behalf. A conviction for child pornography can have devastating criminal consequences, including jail time, steep fines, and mandatory registration as a sex offender.

Raleigh Child Pornography Defense Lawyer

Child pornography charges can have serious criminal and personal consequences. It is imperative to have skilled, dedicated attorneys fighting on your behalf.  The attorneys at Coolidge Law Firm are trial proven attorneys who are familiar with the tactics of the special prosecutors.

From the initial consultation the dedicated attorneys at Coolidge Law Firm will learn every detail of your case and develop a strategy to fight these tough charges. The Coolidge Law Firm will work as a team to build a strongest defense possible in your case.

The Coolidge Law Firm proudly represents clients throughout Wake County, including Raleigh, Wake Forest, Morrisville, Cary, Apex, and Garner. Contact them today by calling (919) 239-8448 or filling out an online form for a confidential, free consultation.


North Carolina Child Pornography Information Center


Child Pornography Charges

In the State of North Carolina child pornography charges are formally referred to as sexual exploitation of a minor. Sexual exploitation is broken down by statute into three separate classifications.

  • First-degree sexual exploitation of a minor-N.C. GEN. STAT. § 14-190.16
  • Second-degree sexual exploitation of a minor- N.C. GEN. STAT. § 14-190.17
  • Third-degree sexual exploitation of a minor- N.C. GEN. STAT. § 14-190.17A

First-degree sexual exploitation of a minor

First-degree sexual exploitation of a minor is the most serious of the sexual exploitation of minor offenses. Generally, first-degree exploitation requires some direct facilitation of the exploitation or contact with the minor. Essentially, if it were “but for” the offender’s actions the alleged conduct would not have occurred.

An individual is determined to have committed first-degree sexual exploitation of a minor if he knowing the character or content of the performance engages in the following:

    • Uses, encourages, or facilitates a minor to engage in sexual activity for a live performance or for producing material that contains a visual representation depicting this activity;
    • Assists others to engage a minor in a sexual activity for a live performance or producing material that contains a visual representation depicting this activity;
    • Permits a minor under his custody or control to engage in sexual activity for a live performance or visual representation depicting this activity;
    • Transports or finances the transportation of a minor through or across the state with the intent that the minor engage in sexual activity for a live performance or visual representation depicting this activity; and/or
    • Records, photographs, or duplicates for sale or pecuniary (i.e. monetary) gain that contains a visual representation depicting a minor engaged in sexual activity.

Common examples of first-degree sexual exploitation of a minor include:

    • Booking a minor to engage in sexual intercourse with another person in a live performance or on film. It is immaterial whether one or both parties engaged in sexual activity are minors. Engaging in the aforementioned conduct is still considered first-degree exploitation of a minor.
    • Duplicating videotapes or DVDs depicting a minor or minors engaging in sexual activity. The duplication must be for pecuniary gain.
    • Paying for a minor’s transportation from North Carolina to another state to film sexual activity or engage in sexual activity in a live performance.

Second-degree sexual exploitation of a minor

An individual is considered to have committed second-degree sexual exploitation of a minor if he or she knowing the character or content of the material commits any of the following:

    • Records, photographs, films, develops, or duplicates material that contains a visual representation of a minor engaged in sexual activity; or
    • Distributes, transports, exhibits, receives, sells, purchases, exchanges, or solicits material that contains a visual representation of a minor engaged in sexual activity.

Second-degree sexual exploitation of a minor differs from the related subsections of first-degree sexual exploitation of a minor. There is no requirement that an individual “record, photograph, or film a visual depiction of a minor engaged in sexual activity” for pecuniary gain under second-degree sexual exploitation.

An individual may be convicted of second-degree exploitation of a minor simply for recording, photographing, or developing even if the offender did not receive any pecuniary or monetary gain.

Third-Degree Sexual Exploitation of a Minor

The most recognizable form of child pornography is third-degree sexual exploitation of a minor. Third-degree exploitation includes the possession of material that contains a visual representation of a minor engaging in sexual activity when the offender knows the character or content of a material.


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Consequences

A conviction for sexual exploitation of a minor has serious criminal and collateral consequences.

First-degree sexual exploitation is a Class C felony. A Class C felony is punishable between 44 to 182 months imprisonment. Second-degree sexual exploitation of a minor is a Class E felony, punishable between 15 to 63 months imprisonment. Third-degree exploitation of a minor is a Class H felony, punishable between 4 to 25 months.

In addition to the direct criminal consequences, an individual convicted of sexual exploitation of a minor must register as a sex offender. Sex offender registration comes with its own set of consequences, including:

  • Prior conviction will be available to the general public: In North Carolina any person convicted of a “reportable offense” must register with local law enforcement. A person convicted out of state and resides in North Carolina must register a “substantially similar” offense. The information is compiled and published on the North Carolina Department of Public Safety Sex Offender Registry. The registry contains intrusive information including a photograph of the offender, address, victim’s age at the time of the offense, and type of conviction.
  • Difficulty finding employment: Employers may be reluctant to hire a registered sex offender.
  • Difficulty finding housing: Landlords and rental companies may be reluctant to rent housing to a registered sex offender.
  • Unable to work with children
  • Isolation from the community: Due to the stigma associated with sexually motivated offenses, neighbors and other members of the community may be angry at the knowledge that someone has committed a sexual offense. Members of the community may act in violence or isolate an individual convicted of sexual exploitation of a minor.

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Coolidge Law Firm ǀ North Carolina Child Pornography Defense Attorney

Child pornography charges can have devastating consequences, including imprisonment and sex offender registration requirements. Trust the experienced attorneys at the Coolidge Law Firm to represent you during these difficult times.

Located in Wake County, the Coolidge Law Firm proudly represents clients in Raleigh, Wake Forest, Morrisville, Cary, Apex, and Garner. Contact them today by calling (919) 239-8448 or filling out an online form for a confidential, free consultation.


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