Being arrested for child pornography is a serious and terrifying experience. A person can be charged with various offenses related to possessing, distributing, creating, sharing, or selling pornographic material depicting children. Due to the sensitive nature of these crimes, you may be treated as “guilty until proven innocent,” despite constitutional protection that says otherwise. Thankfully, bail is an option for most people who are facing child pornography charges, which provides you the time to work with an attorney to prepare your defense.
What Are Child Pornography Crimes?
Pornography that depicts or exploits children is considered child pornography and covered under California Penal Codes. These crimes include the following:
- Creation of child pornography
- Possession of child pornography
- Distribution of child pornography
- Selling of child pornography
Child pornography charges may be filed as a felony or misdemeanor, depending on the severity of the alleged crimes as well as any prior criminal history. There are valid legal defenses to these charges that your lawyer can discuss with you, which could include:
- Accidental or unknowing possession
- Illegal search and seizure
- Did not commit the offense
It is challenging to work with your defense lawyer while incarcerated – which is why posting bail is an urgent matter. By posting bail, you can work with your attorney at all hours of the day rather than just when they are permitted to visit you in jail. But to post bail, you need to understand the bail process.
Understanding the Bail Process
Within 24 to 48 hours of being arrested, you will likely be in front of a judge who will set bail, often over a live video feed. The judge will review several factors when determining bail, including:
- Any prior criminal history, and specifically crimes relating to children
- The severity of the crime
- Your personal circumstances, including family, stable job, and home
These factors will weigh heavily in the judge’s bail determination. The judge must determine whether or not you are a risk for flight (leaving the city, state, or country) and whether they believe you are a danger to the community and releasing you would put others at risk. This factor is particularly an issue in child pornography cases, as the courts will want to both protect children and their own reputation at any cost. Releasing a potential predator back into the community would be cause for anger from locals, and so the idea of innocent until proven guilty is often thrown out the window.
How Much Is Bail for Child Pornography?
The court system bases bail largely on the bail schedule set by the state of California. While the other factors we mentioned can and will come into play, you can get a baseline of what you will have to pay by looking at these schedules. According to the bail schedule issued by Los Angeles County, the standard bail amounts for child pornography include:
- Distribution of child pornography: $20,000
- Distribution of child pornography with prior offenses: $40,000
- Possession or control of child pornography: $20,000
- Possession or control of child pornography with prior offenses: $40,000
- Possession of more than 600 images (with a minimum of 10 images showing a prepubescent minor) or images that portray sadism or masochism: $40,000
Depending on the severity of the crime and your circumstances, the judge also has the option of:
- Granting release with no bail, also known as being released on your own recognizance, or
- Denying bail entirely
These are rare, however, and it is likely that you will be granted bail. Once you are, you will need to contact an experienced bail bond agent who can work to get you out of jail and back home with your loved ones.
Why You Need a Bail Bond Agent
Every action you take from the time of an arrest and charge for a child pornography offense has a bearing on your ability to be released on bail. A qualified, professional bail bond agent can assist you to be released on bail after a sex crime arrest and provide support and guidance throughout the entire process.
Our veteran team at Balboa Bail Bonds consists of highly trained, experienced, bilingual bond agents with an in-depth knowledge of local jails and courthouses, as well as experience working with the public officials located throughout Orange, San Diego, and Riverside Counties. We offer discounts for veterans and a low 10% premium fee on our payment plans, and we can work with you to help make sure posting bail is affordable for everyone. Call our offices today at (619) 760-2222.