Omaha Criminal Defense Lawyer Explains Nebraska Child Pornography Laws – Omaha Criminal Defense Lawyer
Nebraska’s Child Pornography Prevention Act (the Act) is a comprehensive statute designed to protect children. The Act clearly defines prohibited behavior and sets forth significant punishments. Anyone found guilty of violating Nebraska’s laws on child porn faces long prison terms. Additionally, a conviction under Nebraska child porn laws could have significant unintended consequences that could severely alter the course of a person’s life.
If you have child porn charges in Nebraska, you might think your world is caving in around you. Fortunately, there’s hope. Thomas M. Petersen is an Omaha criminal defense lawyer who has nearly two decades of experience fighting to protect the rights of people like you facing prosecution in Nebraska.
Nebraska Child Porn Laws
Law Prohibiting Creation of Child Porn
Nebraska’s child porn laws make it a crime to knowingly make, publish, direct, create, provide, or generate any visual depiction of sexually explicit conduct portraying a child as a participant or portrayed observer.
Under Nebraska law, a child is a person under 18 years of age. Moreover, a person who is a “portrayed observer” is a child under the age of 16 in Nebraska. Additionally, sexually explicit means real or simulated intercourse between persons of the same or opposite sex, with an animal, or with an “artificial genital.” Additionally, real or simulated masturbation, erotic fondling, erotic nudity, real or simulated defecation, or urination for sexual gratification also meets the definition of child pornography.
Law Prohibiting Possession of Child Porn
Not only do Nebraska’s laws on child porn prohibit the creation of child porn, but the Act also prohibits buying, renting, delivering, selling, displaying for sale, or trading a visual depiction of any sexually explicit conduct containing a child as a participant or observer.
Nebraska child porn laws make it unlawful to force, employ, authorize, or cause a child to participate in or act as a portrayed observer in a visual depiction of sexually explicit conduct. Moreover, a parent or guardian violates Nebraska’s laws on child porn by allowing or consenting for their child to participate in sexually explicit conduct.
The visual depiction could be a single photograph, computer file, movie, or any other visual media.
Penalty for Violating Nebraska’s Child Porn Laws
The penalties under the Act vary depending on the age of the offender and the offender’s criminal history.
A person who is under 19 years of age at the time they violated the Act commits a Class III felony. Anyone 19 or older at the time they violated the Act commits a Class ID felony.
The maximum punishment for a Class III felony in Nebraska is imprisonment for up to four years along with two years of post-release supervision. There is no minimum incarcerated sentence.
A person guilty of a Class ID felony faces up to 50 years in prison, with a three-year minimum mandatory term. Any person found guilty of violating the Act who has a prior conviction under the Act or another sexually motivated crime faces sentencing as a Class IC felon. The maximum penalty for an IC felony is 50 years in prison with a five-year minimum mandatory sentence.
The state could bring one criminal count for each visual depiction. Accordingly, the sentencing judge could impose a sentence up to the maximum on each count and run the sentences consecutively.
Possession of Child Porn with Intent to Provide to Another
Possession with the intent to sell, rent, deliver, distribute, trade, or provide another person with a visual depiction of sexually explicit conduct is a crime. Any person under 19 years of age who violates this provision is guilty of a Class IIIA felony. A person older than 19 years of age is guilty of a Class IIA felony.
A conviction for a Class IIIA felony carries a maximum sentence of three years in prison and 18 months of supervised release. A Class IIA felony carries a 20-year maximum sentence.
Each visual depiction is an offense. Therefore, the sentencing judge could order that the offender serve each sentence consecutively.
Does Sexting Violate Nebraska’s Child Porn Laws?
Generally, possession of a visual image depicting a child in explicit sexual conduct is a Class IIA felony if the offender is older than 19 years of age. A person 19 or younger is guilty of a Class I misdemeanor. In Nebraska, a Class I misdemeanor has a one-year maximum jail sentence. Therefore, a teenager who has a picture on their phone from another teenager depicting themselves in the nude or engaging in sexual activity violates the law.
However, the laws on child porn in Nebraska provide an affirmative defense to a possession allegation for a person 19 or younger. The accused may have a defense if the child depicted in the photo is 15 or older, the child voluntarily participated, and the child voluntarily forwarded it to the accused. Additionally, the depiction can contain only one child, and the accused must not have sent it to anyone else.
If the accused is younger than 18, then an affirmative defense is available under the same circumstances provided that the child depicted is less than four years younger than the accused.
Collateral Consequences for Violating Nebraska’s Child Porn Laws
Having a guilty conviction on your record can have serious consequences beyond imprisonment. Locating suitable employment, securing housing, or even getting a loan might be very difficult. Additionally, you will lose your right to possess a firearm and possibly your right to vote.
Additionally, any person found guilty or who pleads nolo contendere (no contest) to a child porn charge must register as a sex offender in Nebraska.
Contact an Experienced Child Porn Defense Attorney Right Away for Help
Attorney Tom Petersen is committed to protecting your rights and fighting for your best interests. Tom and his team with Petersen Criminal Defense won’t judge you or lecture you. Instead, we will defend you.
Contact attorney Tom Petersen today at 402-235-4971 for a free consultation and 24-hour jail release assistance.
As a battle-hardened criminal defense attorney for almost two decades, Tom has earned a reputation as a no-nonsense, hard-nosed, and dedicated attorney who fights vigorously for his clients. Call today to find out more about the defense strategy Tom Petersen could create for you.