Child Pornography Laws in Washington State


Navigating the complexities of legal proceedings can be daunting, particularly for individuals facing charges dealing with child pornography. In Washington State, the laws governing child pornography are stringent, reflecting the gravity of such offenses.

As such, if you are facing this nature of charges, it is imperative that you become knowledgeable about Washington's child pornography laws and promptly seek legal assistance.

Possession & Viewing of Child Pornography

In Washington State, under RCW 9.68A.070, possession of child pornography is considered a serious criminal offense. This law defines child pornography as any depiction of a minor engaged in sexually explicit conduct. It's important to note that "minor" refers to anyone under eighteen years of age.

When it comes to the viewing of child pornography, RCW 9.68A.075 clearly separates this from possession. Viewing refers to "a person who intentionally views over the internet visual or printed matter depicting a minor engaged in sexually explicit conduct."

The severity of these laws is evident, as even possessing or viewing such material can result in major legal repercussions. Furthermore, each incident of possession or session of viewing child pornography is a separate offense. If you find yourself accused of such a charge, it is critical to understand the exact nature of the accusation and seek legal counsel immediately.

Possession or Viewing Child Pornography Penalties

Possessing or viewing child pornography is a felony offense, carrying severe legal consequences upon conviction. These offenses are categorized into first degree and second degree offenses.

First Degree Offenses

Both first degree offenses of possessing or viewing child pornography are Class B felonies. This comes with prison time of up to 10 years, a fine of up to $20,000, or both.

Possession or viewing child pornography is a first degree offense when a person has depictions of a child engaged in sexual conduct or views child depictions of a child that according to RCW 9.68A.011, includes any of the following:

a) "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"

b) "Penetration of the vagina or rectum by any object"

c) "Masturbation"

d) "Sadomasochistic abuse"

e) "Defecation or urination for the purpose of sexual stimulation of the viewer"

Second Degree Offenses

When possession or viewing child pornography offenses escalate to second degree offenses, the penalties differ. They are as follows:

  • Second degree offense of possessing child pornography: Class B felony, this comes with prison time of up to 10 years, a fine of up to $20,000, or both.
  • Second degree offense of viewing child pornography: Class C felony, this comes with imprisonment of a maximum of five years, a fine of up to $10,000, or both.

Possessing or viewing child pornography is considered a second degree offense under RCW 9.68A.011 when someone possesses or views depictions of a child engaged in sexual conduct involving:

f) "Depiction of the genitals or unclothed pubic or rectal areas of any minor, or the unclothed breast of a female minor, for the purpose of sexual stimulation of the viewer."

g ) "Touching of a person's clothed or unclothed genitals, pubic area, buttocks, or breast area for the purpose of sexual stimulation of the viewer."

Collateral Repercussions of Child Pornography Convictions

The impact of these charges extends far beyond imprisonment and heavy fines. Convicted individuals not only face the loss of their freedom but also endure the weight of social stigma, which can have lasting repercussions on their personal and professional lives.

The consequences may include limited employment opportunities, strained relationships, and the enduring label of being registered as a sex offender, all of which can significantly impact their future prospects and overall well-being. As such, it is imperative to seek legal representation from a skilled attorney. They can assess the specifics of your case and construct an appropriate defense.

Contact Our Team Today

Facing charges related to child pornography is a serious matter that demands an immediate and informed response. Understanding the laws and penalties involved is the first step in preparing for the legal challenges ahead.

If you or someone you care about is facing child pornography charges, get in touch with our team at Hester Law Group. Our sex crimes lawyers have the experience and knowledge needed to provide the support you need.

With a deep understanding of Washington State's child pornography laws, we are well-prepared to work towards protecting your rights and striving for a favorable outcome. Trust us to navigate this complex legal landscape and fight for your best interests.

Contact us today for a confidential consultation. Dial (253) 300-3034 or message us online.

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