Child Pornography - PC 311, 311.2, 311.3, 311.4

Criminal Defense Picture

PC 311, 311.2, 311.3, 311.4 - Child pornography

In the state of California, the Penal Code 311 PC is the main law that makes child pornography a criminal offense. It is illegal to transmit, transport, reproduce, print, advertise, or possess child pornography, or to attempt to hire or persuade minors to participate in producing pornographic material. In California, the laws concerning child pornography are contained in Penal Code Sections 311.1, 311.2, 311.3, 311.4, 311.10, and 311.11.

Understanding the crime 

Child pornography is any image or material that depicts sexual activity involving someone under the age of 18. This includes films, photographs, negatives, slides, videotapes, and computer-generated images that show sexual intercourse, oral copulation, anal intercourse, and masturbation.

In California, an individual may only be convicted of a child pornography offense if they have acted with knowledge. This means they were aware of the content of the material they were transporting, possessing, advertising, and so on, and that it depicted someone under the age of 18 engaging in sexual activity.

In California, certain child pornography offenses are determined to have been committed if the material in question is deemed "obscene." This means that it would be judged to have offensive sexual content by a reasonable person, lacks serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value, and appeals to an average adult's shameful or morbid interest in nudity, sex, or excretion.

Possible defenses

In California, it is essential to remember that "child pornography" has a particular definition under the law. Therefore, it is a valid legal defense for anyone accused of possessing or participating in such material to prove that it did not fit the definition of child pornography.


 In California, an individual can only be found guilty of child pornography if they knowingly acted in such a way. In order for a prosecutor to prove this, they must be able to demonstrate that the accused was aware of their actions. An effective defense against such a charge involves arguing that they did not knowingly partake in any activity. For instance, someone may have downloaded an image without being aware that it contained pornographic content.

Lawful and legitimate purpose

 Material involving children may not be considered "child pornography" if it serves a legitimate purpose such as medical, scientific, or educational activities. Therefore, a defendant is not guilty of a crime if they were engaging in such activities.

Unlawful search and seizure

The Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution guarantees that citizens are protected from illegal searches and seizures. Any evidence gathered from an unlawful search may be excluded from a criminal case and could potentially lead to a reduction or dismissal of charges. This could be exemplified if law enforcement searched a person's computer without a proper search warrant or with a warrant that was found to be defective.


In cases of PC 311, suspects may be arrested after an undercover officer sells them pornography online or by mail. However, any charges related to this must be dismissed if it can be proven that the officer enticed the suspect into committing the crime. Entrapment is a legal defense that can be used if the accused can demonstrate that they were coerced into the crime due to pressure, harassment, fraud, flattery, or threats from the officer.


In California, the majority of types of child pornography are considered wobbler offenses or felonies. A prosecutor has the ability to choose whether to charge an offense as either a misdemeanor or a felony, which is referred to as a wobbler.


Penalties for violating this law may include a jail sentence of up to 12 months in county jail and/or a fine of up to $2,500.


In California, engaging in child pornography can be a felony offense, with individuals found guilty facing a possible sentence of up to three years in state prison.

In California, a conviction for child pornography carries with it the requirement that the defendant must register as a sex offender, regardless of whether or not they have a prior conviction.

Gun rights

A potential felony conviction for a violation of California Penal Code 311 may have serious repercussions for one's gun rights. If a prosecutor brings a charge of child pornography against someone and that person is convicted, they are then barred from owning or possessing a gun in the State of California.

If prosecutors charge you with child pornography, you will need to speak to an experienced California criminal defense attorney. These charges can have a severe effect on your life and your future. Speaking to an attorney can help you develop a defense strategy that fits your case's specific facts.