Possession of child pornography is a type of child sex crime in Illinois. This law is designed to protect children and other people with mental disability from predatory sexual practices. In that vein, there are severe consequences for voluntary and intentional possession of child pornography in Illinois. In order to gain a full appreciation of this legal issue, the following sections will explore the definition of and penalties for possession of child pornography in Illinois.
Definition of Possession of Child Pornography
The Illinois definition of child pornography appears in 720 ILCS 5/11-20.1. Essentially, it is illegal to possess any materials that depict sexual conduct with minor children or people with serious mental disabilities. Illinois law includes photos, videos, and other visual depictions of child sexual acts.
That being said, there is an important restriction on possession of child pornography in Illinois. The perpetrator must know — or have a reason to know — that he or she is in possession of child pornography. If the perpetrator does not know that the pornographic materials feature a minor child under the age of 18 or a person with a serious mental disability, then it is not necessarily a crime in Illinois.
Penalties for Possession of Child Pornography
The Illinois penalties for possession of child pornography also appear in 720 ILCS 5/11-20.1. In most cases, there are two different versions of this crime in Illinois.
One version of possession of child pornography involves film, video, and other moving depictions. In these cases, possession of child pornography is a Class X felony. The penalties for a Class X felony in Illinois include:
- Sentence range of six to 30 years;
- Extended term of 30 to 60 years;
- Fines up to $25,000;
- Mandatory supervised release term of three years; and
- No possibility of probation or conditional discharge.
Another version of possession of child pornography does not involve film, video, or other moving depictions. In these cases, possession of child pornography is a Class 1 felony. The penalties for a Class 1 felony in Illinois include:
- Sentence range of four to 15 years;
- Extended term of 15 to 30 years;
- Fines up to $25,000;
- Mandatory supervised release term of two years; and
- Probation or conditional discharge for up to four years.
That being said, there are special penalties in place for repeat offenders. If a person is convicted of multiple child pornography crimes within 10 years, then that person must submit to psychological testing and evaluation.
Do You Need Legal Help?
No matter what the criminal offense, all criminal charges are serious. A sound strategy and an aggressive defense are essential for a positive outcome. To protect your rights in such situations, it is highly advisable to retain legal counsel from an experienced criminal defense attorney.
The Prior Law Firm in Bloomington, Illinois, has proven experience in matters of criminal defense. If you need legal help with criminal defense, contact us today for a free consultation. You can reach The Prior Law Firm by phone at (309) 827-4300, email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by completing an online form.
(image courtesy of Glenn Carstens Peters)