How to Beat a Charge of Pandering Obscenity Involving a Minor in California

Free & Confidential Consultations

Facing a charge of pandering obscenity involving a minor in California is a grave matter that demands immediate attention. This offense, defined as creating, distributing, or possessing obscene material depicting minors, carries severe repercussions under California law.

Those accused confront not only the possibility of imprisonment but also long-term personal and professional damage, including mandatory sex offender registration.

The stakes in such cases are incredibly high. Given the complexity of the legal statutes governing obscenity and the nuanced definition of what constitutes ‘obscene material’ involving a minor, navigating these charges requires a deep understanding of both state and federal laws.

Immediate legal counsel from an attorney with comprehensive knowledge and history in sex crimes defense is crucial.

What Is Pandering Obscenity Involving a Minor?

Pandering obscenity involving a minor in California is a serious offense addressed under several statutes, including California Penal Code sections 311.1, 311.2, and 311.3.

These laws criminalize the production, distribution, or possession of obscene materials depicting persons under the age of 18. The term “obscene” refers to content that lacks serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value and is offensive to prevailing standards regarding sexual conduct.

Critical aspects of the statute include the following: 

  • Producing, distributing, or possessing with intent to distribute any obscene matter depicting a minor;
  • Knowingly advertising, promoting, presenting, or distributing material that is obscene and involves minors; and
  • Hiring, employing, or using a minor to prepare, produce, or distribute obscene content.

Generally, courts will look to the totality of the circumstances or material to determine whether it meets the obscenity criterion. 

Examples of Pandering Obscenity Involving a Minor 

Pandering obscenity involving a minor can manifest in various contexts, often entangling individuals in complex legal battles. Examples of such offenses include the following: 

  • Creating or producing obscene material—an individual engages in photographing, filming, or otherwise producing visual depictions that are obscene and feature minors;
  • Distribution—sharing, selling, or distributing obscene materials depicting minors, either through physical means like magazines or digitally via the internet;
  • Possession with intent to distribute—holding onto obscene materials involving minors with plans to distribute them, even if no actual distribution occurs; and
  • Advertising or promoting—offering or promoting obscene materials involving minors, which can include online advertisements or printed flyers.

Each action constitutes a serious offense under California law, exposing the accused to significant legal consequences.

What Are the Consequences of a Pandering Obscenity Charge in California?

In California, the penalties for pandering obscenity involving a minor are severe. Individuals convicted of this crime face substantial legal consequences under the California Penal Code.

  • Prison time. Convictions can lead to extensive periods of incarceration. Depending on the severity and specifics of the offense, sentences may range from several years to life in prison;
  • Fines. Courts may impose hefty fines, often exceeding tens of thousands of dollars, to penalize the offender and deter similar conduct;
  • Sex offender registration. A conviction requires mandatory registration as a sex offender, a status that significantly affects where one can live and work and involves regular reporting to law enforcement. 
  • Professional and personal repercussions. Beyond the immediate legal penalties, individuals may experience lasting damage to their careers, primarily if they work in education or any field involving minors. The social stigma associated with a conviction can lead to isolation and strained relationships.

Understanding the gravity of these penalties is crucial for anyone facing charges of pandering obscenity involving a minor. The legal system treats these offenses with the seriousness they warrant, aiming to safeguard the well-being and rights of minors against exploitation and abuse.

Defenses Against Pandering Obscenity Involving Minor Charges

In defending against these charges, it is vital to critically assess the nature of the alleged material, the intent behind possessing or distributing it, and the circumstances under which the individual came into contact with it.

The line between legal and illegal content can be surprisingly thin, and often, defenses hinge on challenging the classification of the material in question or the circumstances of its possession or distribution.

Beating charges of pandering obscenity involving a minor requires a strategic and informed defense approach

  • Challenging the obscenity claim. This involves arguing that the material is not legally obscene, focusing on its artistic, literary, political, or scientific value.
  • Questioning the evidence’s integrity. An attorney can scrutinize how law enforcement obtained the evidence, ensuring no rights were violated during the search and seizure.
  • Disputing intent. This defense hinges on demonstrating that the accused lacked the intent to produce, distribute, or possess obscene material involving a minor.
  • Verifying age. A criminal defense lawyer can provide proof that the individuals depicted in the material are not minors.

A skilled San Diego County criminal defense law firm can be pivotal in asserting these defenses effectively. 

How to Choose a San Diego County Sex Crime Defense Lawyer

Choosing the right criminal defense attorney when accused of pandering obscenity involving a minor in California is crucial.

Immediate legal representation can profoundly influence the case’s direction and outcome. Immediate legal representation is essential in these cases for many reasons, including the following: 

  • Ensures timely defense. Engaging an attorney early helps in building a solid defense, which is crucial for challenging the prosecution’s case.
  • Safeguards rights. An attorney well-versed in criminal law will protect your rights from the outset, especially during critical stages like police interviews. 
  • Navigates legal complexities. The complexities of sex crime allegations demand a knowledgeable approach that only a seasoned lawyer can provide.

Prompt action in securing legal representation can significantly affect the legal journey ahead.

How to Find and Choose the Right Attorney

Choosing an attorney with the right background and a proven record in defending sex crime cases is vital for a solid legal defense.

  • Look for focused experience—choose a lawyer with a background in defending against sex crime allegations, showing their familiarity with these cases;
  • Consider the track record—assess the lawyer’s history in handling cases like yours, with attention to their success in court; 
  • Read client reviews—client experiences can offer insight into the attorney’s ability to manage cases diligently and respectfully; and
  • Take advantage of initial consultations—use the first meeting to evaluate if the attorney’s approach aligns with your needs and expectations.

A law firm with a strong track record in San Diego County will understand local legal procedures and how to effectively represent clients facing these serious accusations.

Are You Facing Felony Sex Charges?

If you were recently arrested and charged with pandering obscenity involving a minor, your future depends on securing effective representation. The Law Offices of Kerry L. Armstrong, APLC, our San Diego County sex crimes lawyer has extensive experience defending clients charged with incredibly serious sexual offenses.

We’ve handled thousands of cases and know how to provide you with emotional support throughout the process while aggressively defending your rights, your freedom and your future.

To learn more, and to schedule a free consultation today, call The Law Offices of Kerry L. Armstrong, APLC, or reach out to us through our secure online contact form

Where You Can Find Our San Diego Office

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