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Internet Child Pornography - What You Need to Know

Computer monitor with Crime scene tape. - Fremstad Law

Technology Makes Crossing the Line to Illegal Child Pornography All-Too-Easy

Technology is evolving at an unprecedented rate. With a few keystrokes and the click of a button, you can access previously-unheard of amounts of information. Using a cell phone, you can send a picture to tens, hundreds, or even thousands of people.

One downside to these rapid changes in technology is that the government has created and must prosecute crimes that were unheard of decades ago. Chief among these are criminal charges dealing with internet child pornography.

Internet users must understand the line between lawful pornography and pornographic content that is illegal. Without a proper understanding of internet child pornography laws this line can easily and sometimes unknowingly be crossed, often at a high cost that can include hefty fines and jail time.

A conviction for internet child pornography can have far-reaching, lifelong consequences, including the need to register as a sex offender, limitations on where you can live, loss of future job prospects, and damage to your reputation in the community.

What Is Internet Child Pornography?

The federal government defines internet child pornography as any visual depiction of sexually explicit conduct involving a minor (someone less than 18 years of age).

Federal and state laws prohibit the making, disseminating, and possessing of child pornography. These crimes are aggressively prosecuted in state and federal courts throughout the United States.

North Dakota’s child pornography laws criminalize “obscene sexual performances by a minor” which include the promotion, direction, and possession of materials that depict sexual performances by someone under the age of 18.

The penalties for even possessing images that contain child pornography can be severe. Depending on the specific nature of the crime, punishments could be as high as twenty years in prison and a fine of twenty thousand dollars.

If you are under investigation or have been charged with violating state or federal internet child pornography laws in North Dakota, it is critical that you hire a skilled and knowledgeable criminal defense attorney as quickly as possible. A North Dakota criminal defense lawyer like Nick Thornton, who has defended thousands of people accused of crimes, can help you get out ahead of these charges, minimize the risk to your career and reputation, and craft a defense that might allow you to avoid the charges altogether, negotiate a more favorable outcome, or have the case dismissed.

Teens, Selfies and Internet Child Pornography

Teenagers, who are already prone to oversharing, can inadvertently expose themselves to criminal liability by sending sexual photographs of themselves to their friends.

North Dakota’s child pornography laws include any image depicting sexual conduct involving a minor. This means that the sexually suggestive photograph that a 15-year-old girl sends to her boyfriend could be classified as child pornography. And if the image is transmitted via the internet both parties (as well as any other recipients) could be facing federal criminal charges.

Although these laws were intended to protect minors, they have had the unintended consequence of exposing teens to criminal liability when they send sexually suggestive self-portraits to friends, even if the images are sent without any threat of coercion.  

If someone you care about is facing internet child pornography charges, contact Fremstad Law today so we can get started crafting your defense.

Fremstad Law Aggressively Defends People Accused of Internet Child Pornography Crimes

At Fremstad Law, we believe that our clients deserve an aggressive defense, regardless of the nature of the crime they are accused of committing. This includes a criminal defense attorney who will work hard to protect the presumption of innocence, and mount an aggressive defense at all stages of a criminal prosecution.

From our offices in Fargo and Valley City, the lawyers at Fremstad Law aggressively defend people who have been accused of possessing, disseminating, or manufacturing child pornography.

Because technology changes so quickly, it is critical that you work with a criminal defense lawyer who understands how child pornography is made, disseminated, and stored, and who knows how to craft a compelling defense involving complex, technologically nuanced evidence.

In many cases, people accused of possessing child pornography don’t even realize that they are breaking the law. That’s why we take the time to educate our clients so they understand the charges against them and can make informed decisions about how to move forward with their case at every step of the way.  

We believe that everyone deserves an aggressive defense that protects their rights and helps clear their name.

If you or someone you care about is facing internet child pornography charges, contact Nick Thornton at Fremstad Law today by calling (701) 478-7620 or emailing