Possession of child pornography is a serious charge, one that carries severe penalties. Due to how frowned upon child pornography is in the United States, you may assume that after your arrest, whether you are guilty or not, that you have no chance of getting out of jail. Thankfully, you would be wrong. America practices a system known as “bail.” This system allows you to pay for your release, and have the money returned to you once your trial is over, no matter the verdict.
That is where we at Balboa Bail Bonds come in. We work hard to help the people of Southern California through difficult situations, such as posting bail. If you are in need of bail for any charge, whether it be possession of child pornography or domestic violence, we can post bail for you immediately, getting you out of jail and back home where you belong. For compassionate support, quick bail, and a low premium, call Balboa Bail Bonds today at (619) 760-2222.
Under California law, child pornography is any material that depicts someone under the age of 18 in a sexual way. “Materials” could be movies, pictures, homemade video, or even computer-generated content. The nature of the sexual act does not matter when it comes to child pornography charges, as any sexually explicit act would count under the banner of porn. That being said, acts that are most certainly sexual in nature, and thus illegal, include intercourse, oral copulation, and masturbation. There are also countless other acts that could be considered sexual.
One thing to keep in mind is that knowledge is an important factor when it comes to possession of child pornography. You must know that you have the pornography in your possession in order to be convicted of a possession charge. For example, if your computer became infected with a virus that automatically downloaded child pornography, and you were unaware of the virus or the download, then you should not be convicted. Similarly, if someone mails you child pornography, then simply receiving that mail would not be a crime. Keeping it, after discovering the nature of the mail, however, would be.
Given how serious a charge of child pornography possession is, the bail for it is set incredibly high. In California, bail is determined primarily by bail schedules, which are set by local governments. These schedules tell judges how high a bail should be set for specific crimes. The bail schedule covers countless crimes, from felonies to misdemeanors.
Bail for possession of child pornography in California is set at $20,000.
A charge of distribution of child pornography, or the act of supplying the pornography to others, can result in a bail of $40,000 according to the bail schedule.
These are incredibly high amounts. However, it is important to remember that bail is never set in stone. Bail schedules exist to help a judge quickly determine around what ballpark the bail should be set in. It is possible for bail to be made higher, or lower.
Beyond the bail schedule, there are several other factors that determine how high or low your bail is set. While the bail schedule sets a helpful guideline, the person determining your bail will be a judge. This is because every arrest and alleged crime comes with its own circumstances. Those circumstances may cause the judge to lower your bail, raise it, allow you to be released without bail at all, or eliminate bail as an option and keep you in jail until your trial. Given the serious nature of possession of child pornography, it is unlikely that you will be released without posting some form of bail first.
That factors that will be considered include:
- Your criminal history
- Who the alleged victims are, and whether they suffered serious harm
- Whether you are a flight risk
If someone has been convicted of a similar serious crime in the past, then the judge is unlikely to trust that they will not continue to commit serious offenses. That means the judge may raise the bail amount, in order to keep the alleged criminal in jail. On top of that, if there were victims involved in the crime, such as if the alleged criminal made the pornography, or was somehow involved in the making, and thus victimized the children themselves, then the judge would consider the harm done to the victims and likely raise the bail even higher.
Finally, there is whether or not the alleged criminal is a flight risk. Flight risk means how likely someone is to try and evade law enforcement while out on bail. The alleged criminal may leave town, the state, or even the country in order to avoid being convicted. If the alleged crime is a serious offense, such as possession of child pornography, and the alleged criminal is considered a high flight risk, then the judge may elect not to grant bail at all, instead keeping the suspect in jail until the trial. When determining flight risk, the judge will consider:
- Whether the suspect lives locally
- Whether the suspect has family that live locally
- Whether the suspect works locally
- Whether the suspect has a history of evading law enforcement
With all of these factors considered, the judge will then set the bail. The bail may be higher than the $20,000 suggested by the bail schedule, or it may be lower. For such a serious crime, however, it is unlikely that the bail will be significantly lower than what the schedule suggests.
After your bail is set, you will have the option to pay it. Considering how high bail for possession of child pornography can be, you may assume you won’t be able to afford the steep cost. After all, few of us have a cool $20,000 sitting around in our bank accounts. But that’s where Balboa Bail Bonds comes in. With our flexible payment plans, we can pay your bail, and then work out a repayment system that works for you. We got into the bail business to help, not to hinder. That is why we only charge a 10% premium, and work with our clients to find a plan that works for their wallets. Our low premium means that if your bail is set at $20,000, you will only owe us $2,000 once your trial is over.
On top of that, while other bail bond agencies may only contact you to collect their payments, our agents are available at all times to answer any questions that may come up during the process. We care for our clients, and we understand that being charged with any crime, but especially one as serious as child pornography possession, is stressful and lonely. But our agents are always happy to provide the support that you need. At Balboa Bail Bonds, we care. If you need help posting bail for a child pornography-related charge or other sex crime, call our office at (619) 760-2222. We are available to post bail any time, any day, 24/7 and 365 days a year.