| Read Time: 2 minutes

The State of California criminalizes several different forms of online sex abuse.

However, the line between what is considered online sex abuse and what is not can be confusing.

Some people assume that as soon as you receive an internet sex or solicitation charge, your life is over. That is not the case.

A qualified online exploitation defense lawyer in San Diego County can review your case and determine if a valid legal defense might apply. 

Contact The Law Offices of Kerry L. Armstrong, APLC, today to speak to a qualified sex crimes defense lawyer. 

Criminal Charges in California for Online Sex Abuse

Online sex abuse can result in a number of different charges depending on what conduct occurs. Some of the most common charges are outlined below.

Child Pornography

The State of California has a number of different statutes that address the creation, possession, and distribution of child pornography.

Child pornography is defined as any matter or material depicting sexual conduct by a person under the age of 18.

California prohibits knowingly sending, transporting, producing, possessing, or duplicating child pornography with the intent to distribute it.

You can face misdemeanor or felony child pornography charges for these acts.

A misdemeanor carries a potential of up to a year in jail, while a felony carries a potential of up to three years in prison.

These penalties can increase based on your level of involvement in the crime. Additionally, child pornography convictions in California require registration as a sex offender, often for life.

As a registered sex offender, you may be restricted from living in certain areas or neighborhoods. 

You may also be placed onto Megan’s Website, which shows your photo, the area you live in, your conviction, and other identifying information. 

Also, your internet access might be monitored if you get put on probation.

If you are facing child pornography charges, do not panic. There are a number of legal defenses that could apply to your case.

And even if you do not want to face the uncertainty of trial, those defenses become leverage that can help you negotiate a favorable plea deal.

For example, a photograph might include someone who looks younger than 18. However, the person in the photo might actually be 18 years old.

Thus, the photograph does not depict a minor. Contact our office today to see if a legal defense applies to your case. 

Sexual Exploitation of a Child

The State of California imposes penalties for the sexual exploitation of a child.

This statute prohibits the act of knowingly developing, duplicating, printing, or exchanging matter that depicts a person under 18 engaged in any sexual act (Penal Code §311.3).

This statute specifically addresses any sex offenders on the internet exchanging child pornography, like some sort of sex offenders web network.

Sexual conduct means any of the following:

  • Sexual intercourse;
  • Sodomy;
  • Vaginal penetration;
  • Masturbation; or
  • Sadomasochistic abuse.

California considers sexual exploitation of a child a misdemeanor unless you have a prior conviction for the same offense.

Facing Online Sex Abuse Charges? Contact a San Diego County Criminal Defense Lawyer Today

As a sex offender, you could lose many of your basic rights and privileges, not to mention the risk of spending time in jail or prison and paying a hefty fine.

Our team at The Law Offices of Kerry L. Armstrong, APLC, has tried well over 100 cases to jury and knows what it takes to fight for our clients.

When your freedom is at stake, you need someone with the knowledge and experience to defend your case.

Contact our office today so we can review your case. 

Author Photo

Kerry L. Armstrong


Attorney Kerry Armstrong opened up his law firm in June 2007. Mr. Armstrong attended Thomas Jefferson School of Law, San Diego, California, and received his B.S. from Middle Tennessee State University. Kerry L. Armstrong became certified by the State Bar of California’s Board of Legal Specialization for criminal law in August 2020, making him one of the few criminal defense attorneys with a criminal law legal specialization certificate in San Diego County.  Between 2014 – 2019, Mr. Armstrong was selected for inclusion in the California Super Lawyers list, an honor only awarded to 5% of the nation’s attorneys.

Rate this Post

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars