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New York Child Pornography Frequently Asked Questions

What Is Child Pornography?

Generally, child pornography, also called a “sexual performance by a child,” is defined as any depiction of a minor who is unclothed or engaged in sexual or sex-related conduct. This includes photographs, drawings, videos, and computer-generated content. However, if the depiction has serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value, it is not considered pornography.

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What Is an Obscene Sexual Performance?

A sexual performance will be deemed “obscene” if it appeals to the prurient interest in sex, and contains patently offensive sexual intercourse, anal or oral sex, bestiality, masturbation, sadism, masochism, excretion, or lewd display of genitals, and the performance does not have serious artistic, literary, political, or scientific value.

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What Is the Difference Between Promoting and Possessing a Sexual Performance By a Child?

Under New York law sexual it is illegal to either promote or possess a sexual performance of a child, or an obscene sexual performance by a child. Promoting refers to procuring, manufacturing, selling disseminating, publishing, or exhibiting the material. Promoting a sexual performance by a child and promoting an obscene sexual performance by a child are both class D felonies. Because if you are convicted you face up to 7 years in prison, it is important that you have a child pornography attorney in New York on your team.

On the other hand, possessing a sexual performance does not involve disseminating or exhibiting it. It involves knowingly having possession or control of it, or accessing it with the intent to view it. Possessing a sexual performance by a child and possessing an obscene sexual performance by a child are both class E felonies. If you are convicted you face up to 4 years in prison.

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What Is the Penalty for Possessing Child Pornography?

Possessing child pornography (link to: is generally a felony. If convicted, offenders could be sentenced to multiple years in prison. In addition, offenders will be required to register as sex offenders as required by the Sex Offender Registration Act.

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If I Am Convicted of a Child Pornography Offense, Will I Have to Register as a Sex Offender?

Yes. As a New York child pornography lawyer will explain, under the New York Sex Offender Registration Act, if you are convicted of any of the sex performance by a child crimes under section 263 of the New York Penal Law, you will be required to register as a sex offender. This includes use of a child in a sexual performance, promoting an obscene sexual performance by a child, possessing an obscene sexual performance by a child, promoting a sexual performance by a child, possessing a sexual performance by a child, and facilitating a sexual performance by a child with a controlled substance. The requirement to register could last for decades, or even the rest of your life.

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What Is Sex Offender Registration?

When someone is convicted of a sex crime such as rape, possession of child pornography, or sex trafficking, upon release from prison they will be required to follow the registration requirements of state sex offender registration laws. Being registered means that the offender’s photo, personal information, and details of their crimes are maintained by law enforcement in a special registry and must be regularly updated. The number of years that a convicted sex offender must register depends on the level of risk that the person is deemed to present for reoffending. In some cases, the person must register for the rest of their life.

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Still Have Questions? Contact the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates for Help

If you or someone you love is under for a child pornography crime, there may be defenses that will resulting in the charges be dropped, reduced, or in an acquittal at trial that only an experienced child pornography attorney serving New York will understand. The attorneys at the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates have years of experience successfully defending clients in New York criminal courts who have been charged with serious felonies including sex crimes and crimes related to pornography. Contact us at 800.696.9529 to schedule a free, no obligation consultation regarding your case. We serve those accused of crimes in the following locations: the Bronx, Brooklyn, Long Island, Manhattan, Nassau County, Queens, Staten Island, Suffolk County and Westchester County.

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