Top Rated Maryland Attorneys

CLICK HERE FOR A FREE CONSULTATION
hero arrow

Maryland child pornography lawsMaryland Child Pornography Laws

The Maryland child pornography laws can be found in Maryland Criminal Law 11-207, 11-208, & 11-209.

Maryland Child Pornography

According to Maryland Criminal Law 11-207, a person may not:

  1. cause, induce, solicit, or knowingly allow a minor to engage as a subject in the production of obscene matter or a visual representation or performance that depicts a minor engaged as a subject in sadomasochistic abuse or sexual conduct;
  2. photograph or film a minor engaging in an obscene act, sadomasochistic abuse, or sexual conduct;
  3. use a computer to depict or describe a minor engaging in an obscene act, sadomasochistic abuse, or sexual conduct;
  4. knowingly promote, advertise, solicit, distribute, or possess with the intent to distribute any matter, visual representation, or performance:
    1. that depicts a minor engaged as a subject in sadomasochistic abuse or sexual conduct; or
    2. in a manner that reflects the belief, or that is intended to cause another to believe, that the matter, visual representation, or performance depicts a minor engaged as a subject of sadomasochistic abuse or sexual conduct; or
  5. use a computer to knowingly compile, enter, transmit, make, print, publish, reproduce, cause, allow, buy, sell, receive, exchange, or disseminate any notice, statement, advertisement, or minor’s name, telephone number, place of residence, physical characteristics, or other descriptive or identifying information for the purpose of engaging in, facilitating, encouraging, offering, or soliciting unlawful sadomasochistic abuse or sexual conduct of or with a minor.

Penalty for Child Pornography in Maryland

A person who violates Section 11-207 of the Maryland Criminal Law is guilty of a felony and on conviction is subject to:

Evidence of Child Pornography in Maryland

If the minor’s identity is unknown or the minor is outside the jurisdiction of the State of Maryland. In a criminal charge, the State is not required to identify or produce testimony from the minor who is depicted in the obscene matter or in any visual representation or performance that depicts the minor engaged as a subject in sadomasochistic abuse or sexual conduct.
 
The trier of fact (Judge or Jury) may determine whether an individual who is depicted in an obscene matter, or any visual representation or performance as the subject in sadomasochistic abuse or sexual conduct, was a minor by:
  1. observation of the matter depicting the individual;
  2. oral testimony by a witness to the production of the matter, representation, or performance;
  3. expert medical testimony; or
  4. any other method authorized by an applicable provision of law or rule of evidence.

Possession of Visual Representation of Child Under 16 Engaged in Certain Sexual Acts

In Maryland, a person may not knowingly possess and intentionally retain a film, videotape, photograph, or other visual representation showing an actual child under the age of 16 years:
  1. engaged as a subject of sadomasochistic abuse;
  2. engaged in sexual conduct; or
  3. in a state of sexual excitement.

Criminal Penalty for Possession of Visual Representation of Child Under 16 Years of Age Engaged in Certain Sexual Acts

A person who is found guilty of Criminal Law 11-208 is guilty of a misdemeanor and on conviction is subject to imprisonment not exceeding 5 years or a fine not exceeding $2,500 or both.

Subsequent Offender For Possession of Child Pornography in Maryland

A person who has previously been convicted under this Section 11-208, is guilty of a felony and on conviction is subject to imprisonment not exceeding 10 years or a fine not exceeding $10,000 or both.

What About Parents Who Have Images of Their Children?

The Maryland child pornography laws do not prohibit a parent from possessing visual representations of the parent’s own child in the nude.
 
However, if the the visual representations show the child engaged:
  1. as a subject of sadomasochistic abuse; or
  2. in sexual conduct and in a state of sexual excitement.

Then the parent may be charged with possession of “visual representation of a child under 16 years of aged engaged in a sexual act.”

Defenses to Possession of Child Pornography

It is an affirmative defense to a charge of violating this section that the person promptly and in good faith:
  1. took reasonable steps to destroy each visual representation; or
  2. reported the matter to a law enforcement agency.

Hiring Minor for Prohibited Purposes in Maryland

In Maryland, it is a crime to hire, employ, or use an individual, if the person knows, or possesses facts under which the person should reasonably know, that the individual is a minor, to do or assist in doing an act described in §11-203 of the Maryland Criminal Law.

Penalty for Hiring a Minor for Prohibited Purposes

A person who violates Section 11-209 of the Maryland child pornography laws is guilty of a misdemeanor and on conviction is subject to:
  1. for a first violation, imprisonment not exceeding 1 year or a fine not exceeding $1,000 or both; and
  2. for each subsequent violation, imprisonment not exceeding 3 years or a fine not exceeding $5,000 or both.

How a Child Pornography Defense Lawyer Can Help

If you suspect you are the target of an investigation or you have been charged with child pornography in Maryland, contact an experienced criminal defense lawyer today. The penalties and consequences of a conviction for child pronography may require the registry as a sex offender. For more information about sex offender registry, visit the Maryland Comprehensive Register Sex Offender website. 

Sex Offender Registration

The following sex offender registration rules and law apply for the Maryland child pornorgaphy laws.

Tier I: If convicted, an individual must register for 15 years.

Tier II – If convicted, an individual must register for 25 years.