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California Child Pornography Laws & Defense

Penal Code 311.11(a)

California laws prohibiting child pornography can be found at penal code sections 311.10, 311.11(a), 311.11(b), and 311.11(c). By far, the most common child pornography crime alleged is PC 311.11(a), possession of obscene matter depicting a minor under the age of eighteen.

Child Pornography laws prohibit individuals from possessing, or distributing, materials depicting a minor engaging in, or simulating, sexual conduct.

Sexual conduct includes all sexual intercourse between people of the same or opposite sex, or between humans and animals. Sexual conduct consists of penetration of the vagina or rectum with any object, masturbation, sadomasochistic abuse, exhibitionism, defecation, or urination.

To prove that the defendant is guilty of possession of child pornography (PC 311.11(a)), the prosecutor must prove that:

  • The defendant possessed materials involving the sexual activity of a minor, and
  • The defendant possessed this material knowing that it depicted persons under the age of 18 engaging in, or simulating sexual activity.

Punishment & Sentence for PC 311.11(a)

The punishment for possession of child pornography can vary, depending on whether the charge is filed as a felony or a misdemeanor.

Punishment for PC 311.11(a) can range from probation to incarceration in jail or prison up to three years.

Other penalties include: mandatory registration as a sex offender, fines not exceeding $2,500, parole or probation terms, loss of professional license or immigration status, and more.

In some child pornography cases it might be possible to have the criminal charges dismissed, reduced, or changed; however, every case is different and if charged with possession of child pornography you should contact an experienced sex crimes attorneys without delay. 

Defense to Penal Code 311.11(a))

Every possession of child pornography case is different and therefore, every defense to a child pornography charge is necessarily different; however, PC 311.11(a) charges tend to follow one of several different defenses, these include: mistake of fact (as to age of person depicted), insufficient evdience to prove possession (actual or constructive), statute of limitations, coerced confession, and more.

If you have been charged with any child pornography crime in California, including PC 311.11(a), it is important that you contact a criminal defense attorney without delay. Time is not on your side. Police will do everything they can to get an incriminating statement from you before you retain a lawyer.

Our criminal defense attorneys are experienced and successful. Our consultations for PC 311.11(a) and other child pornography crimes are always provided at no cost to the accused. Call today


Crimes related to PC 311.11(a)

  • Bring child pornography into state to distribute PC 311.2(a)
  • Bring child porn into state for financail gain PC 311.2(b)
  • Use minor to distribute pornography 311.4(a)
  • Distribute child pornography PC 311.10
  • Possess obscene matter depicting a person under 18 PC 311.11(a)
  • Engage in live obscene sex act in public PC 311.6
  • Possess child pornography with prior PC 311.11(b)

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PC 311.11(a): Possession of Child Pornography Laws, California


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