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Production of child pornography is a 40 year felony.  Contact Van Severen Law Office, S.C. at (414) 270-0202 immediately for help.

Production of child pornography in Wisconsin is charged under the sexual exploitation of a child statute.  While Wisconsin does not explicitly prohibit a crime called “production of child pornography,” legislators intended this result with the wording of the exploitation statute.

All sex crimes involving children are serious.  And many of them carry significant penalties upon conviction.  This charge, for example, carries a potential penalty of 40 years in prison.  That’s a Class C felony.  Additionally, if you’re convicted, production of child pornography carries a mandatory minimum penalty of 5 years initial confinement in prison.

The criminal defense lawyers at Van Severen Law Office, S.C. are some of the best in Wisconsin.  We regularly defend many other charges involving children, including possession of child pornography and sexual assault of a child.  We certainly recognize the stakes involved in your case and exactly how serious it is.  Additionally, we recognize that sometimes these charges attract attention from media.  We’re here to provide the discretion and confident defense needed in a time like this.

Contact us at (414) 270-0202 immediately for a free consultation.

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Production of child pornography – Wis. Stat. 948.05(1m)

Section 948.05(1m) of the Wisconsin Statutes prohibits production of child pornography:

(1m) Whoever produces, performs in, profits from, promotes, imports into the state, reproduces, advertises, sells, distributes, or possesses with intent to sell or distribute, any recording of a child engaging in sexually explicit conduct may be penalized under sub. (2p) if the person knows the character and content of the sexually explicit conduct involving the child and if the person knows or reasonably should know that the child engaging in the sexually explicit conduct has not attained the age of 18 years.
This statute differs slightly from the one simply penalizing possession of child porn.  You’ll quickly notice that the instant statute includes the phrase “with intent to sell or distribute.”  This important differentiation increases the penalty by 15 years and exposes anyone convicted of this offense to a higher mandatory minimum penalty.  Clearly the legislature intended to more-harshly punish offenders profiting from, rather than using, child porn.  Other than this differentiation, the statutes are certainly very similar.
Also important, the defendant must recognize two things: that the child is under 18 and that the conduct involved is “sexually explicit.”  Attacking these two requirements could be approaches for pre-trial motion practice or a trial defense.

Mandatory minimum penalty explained:

Section 948.05(2p) indicates that a person who violates this offense is guilty of a Class C felony.  In Wisconsin, anyone convicted of a Class C felony faces a maximum penalty of 40 years in prison, $100,000.00 in fines, or both.  (By comparison, simply possessing child pornography is a Class D felony, punishable by up to 25 years in prison.). The 40 year prison sentence breaks down into 25 years of initial confinement and 15 years extended supervision.

Unfortunately, production of child pornography also involves a statutory mandatory minimum penalty.  Section 939.617(1) of the Wisconsin Statutes indicates that individuals convicted of this offense must serve at least 5 years initial confinement in prison.  In other words, the defendant must serve between 5 and 25 years in prison upon conviction.  The court cannot sentence the defendant to less than 5 years in.

Production of child pornography
Producing child pornography is a serious felony in Wisconsin. Contact our criminal defense experts regarding representation today. (414) 270-0202.

What are the elements of this offense?

If you sit around long enough in a courtroom handling criminal cases, eventually you’ll hear discussion regarding the “elements of the offense.”  Elements are parts of a crime that the government must prove beyond a reasonable doubt.  In Wisconsin, most crimes have accompanying jury instructions that list those elements.  Production of child pornography is no different.

Wisconsin Criminal Jury Instruction 2122 lists those elements:

  • Firstly, the defendant distributed a recording of a child engaged in sexually explicit conduct;
  • Secondly, the defendant knew that the child in the recording was engaged in sexually explicit conduct;
  • Thirdly, the child was under 18 years old;
  • Finally, the defendant knew or reasonably should have known that the child was under 18.

While these elements describe a completed distribution of the materials, Wisconsin Criminal Jury Instruction 2120 describes an offense involving simply producing the pornography.  Those elements differ slightly:

  • Firstly, the defendant employed, used, persuaded, induced, enticed, or coerced the child to engage in sexually explicit conduct;
  • Secondly, the child was under 18;
  • Thirdly, the defendant acted for the purpose of recording or displaying in any way the sexually explicit conduct;
  • And finally, the defendant knew the child in the recording was under 18.

These offenses are both child exploitation, punishable as Class C felonies.

Different ways to win child pornography cases

All criminal cases are different.  Broken down even further, all sex crime cases are different.  All defendants, alleged victims, prosecutors, and judges are different.  These differences necessitate approaching cases differently, which makes describing how to defend them a case-by-case analysis.

But production of child pornography cases usually don’t include the cops pulling up on you and randomly finding a video. Typically they receive a tip (from Facebook, your internet service provider, or your email provided) indicating the fact that you possess a potentially illegal video or image.  Cops follow up on those tips with subpoenas to obtain the record, your internet protocol address, and other information.  Typically all of these activities eventually culminate in a search warrant that is executed on your house.  During that search warrant, police seize cell phones, computers, and other electronic devices.

The steps leading up to the search warrant, and the execution of the search warrant itself, requires that law enforcement abide by certain constitutional requirements.  Failing to do so could allow your criminal defense attorney to file a pre-trial motion challenging the action.  Depending on the motion, different conclusions could occur.  In some motions, a complete dismissal of charges of you could result.

Importantly, you also maintain a right to jury trial.  If the government cannot succeed in proving each element against you, charges against you should be dismissed.  Our criminal defense attorneys are all prepared fight for you every step of the way, including at trial.

Contact Van Severen Law Office, S.C. immediately for help.

The criminal defense lawyers at Van Severen Law Office, S.C. are some of the best in Wisconsin.  We’ve defended child pornography cases and we’re interested in speaking with you about yours.  We recognize the issues involved in these cases – we’ve fought them before.  Finally, we’ve achieved positive results for clients facing child pornography cases.

Contact us immediately at (414) 270-0202 for help. We offer free consultations to clients facing any kind of criminal charge.  At that consultation, you’ll have around an hour to sit down with one of our criminal defense attorneys to figure out exactly what is going on.  We’ll provide you some options and then decide if moving forward together makes sense.

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