Washington law makes it a crime for you to distribute child pornography. The offense is charged as a felony (as opposed to a misdemeanor), and a conviction can result in a state prison sentence of up to 10 years. Please contact a skilled criminal defense attorney now if you or a loved one is facing any type of charge involving child pornography (under either Washington or federal law).

How Does Washington Law Define “Distributing Child Pornography”?

RCW 9.68A.050 is the Washington statute that sets forth the law on distributing child pornography. The crime is sometimes referred to as “dealing in depictions of minor engaged in sexually explicit conduct.”

You are guilty of distributing child pornography if you either:

  • Knowingly develop, duplicate, publish, print, disseminate, exchange, finance, attempt to finance, or sell a visual or printed matter that depicts a minor engaged in an act of sexually explicit conduct, or
  • Possess with intent to develop, duplicate, publish, print, disseminate, exchange, or sell any visual or printed matter that depicts a minor engaged in an act of sexually explicit conduct.

For purposes of this statute, a “minor” is any person under the age of 18.

Further, “sexually explicit conduct” means actual or simulated:

  • Sexual intercourse, including genital-genital, oral-genital, anal-genital, or oral-anal, whether between persons of the same or opposite sex or between humans and animals,
  • Penetration of the vagina or rectum by any object,
  • Masturbation,
  • Sadomasochistic abuse, or
  • Defecation or urination for the purpose of sexual stimulation of the viewer.

What are the Penalties?

Distributing child pornography is a Class B felony under Washington law. The crime is punishable by:

  • Custody in state prison for up to 10 years, and/or
  • A maximum fine of $20,000.

Please note that you may also have to register as a sex offender if convicted of this crime.

Can a Defendant Raise a Legal Defense?

Yes. You have the right to challenge a distributing child pornography charge with a legal defense. A common defense is for an accused to show that the individual who was in a visual or printed matter was not a minor. You can also attempt to show that the minor in a given visual or printed matter was not engaged in “sexually explicit conduct.”

Further, your criminal defense attorney can try to prove that the police somehow violated your rights. For example, maybe the authorities arrested you without probable cause, coerced a confession, or conducted an unlawful search and seizure. Either of these would result in a judge reducing or dismissing your charges.

Contact Black & Askerov for Help

While a defendant can raise a legal defense to challenge a charge of distributing child pornography, it will take a skilled criminal defense attorney to raise the best defense. The experienced criminal defense attorneys at Black & Askerov have over 30 years of combined experience defending clients on child pornography charges. Our Seattle criminal defense lawyers also have the skill and commitment that makes all the difference in these cases. Contact us now to get the legal help you deserve!