Possession of Child Pornography Virginia – Proving that the Subject is a Minor

According to Virginia Law, a person can be convicted of Possession of Child Pornography if it is proven beyond a reasonable doubt that they knowingly possessed child pornography. According to the Virginia Code, “child pornography” means sexually explicit visual material which utilizes or has as a subject an identifiable minor.

Possession of Child Pornography Virginia - Proving that the Subject is a Minor

Possession of Child Pornography Virginia – Proving that the Subject is a Minor

The law itself allows the prosecution to prove by many methods, that a photograph or video depicts a minor. According to Virginia Code § 18.2-374.1:1, paragraph (F), “For purposes of this section it may be inferred by text, title or appearance that a person who is depicted as or presents the appearance of being less than 18 years of age in sexually explicit visual material is less than 18 years of age.” One should understand that, although the law allows these various methods, it provides for no presumption of conclusive proof. Proof of a subject’s age can also be offered by way of expert witnesses such as medical examiners. Proof that an image or video is authentic and not computer generated can be offered by other expert prosecution witnesses.

All this being considered, the prosecution still has the burden of proof beyond a reasonable doubt, which means that if a charge is to be contested, defense evidence is often needed to challenge or refute the prosecution’s evidence. According to the rules of court, if the prosecution’s evidence is not challenged, it stands as conclusive proof. If someone is charged with possession of child pornography, is should be presumed that the prosecution will have the expert witnesses and other evidence necessary to present a case that will prove the elements of the offense at face value, referred to by legal professionals as a prima fascia case. If a conviction is to be avoided, then this prima fascia case must be attacked in a way that will cast reasonable doubt as to its credibility.

If you, or someone you know, has been charged with possession of child pornography in Virginia and you are concerned about the consequences, you need to talk to a lawyer who has experience in this field and is supported by a law firm with the resources to mount an effective defense. If you even think you may be charged with any such offense, you should seek the assistance of counsel at first opportunity.

Contact our Virginia law firm for help and speak with one of our lawyers. We have client meeting locations in Fairfax, Prince William, Loudoun, Richmond, Virginia Beach, Fredericksburg, and Lynchburg.

We will do our absolute best to help you get the best result possible based on the facts of your case. Our law firm has the necessary experience to assist you with these matters.

Article contributed by Bryan Block
Sris Law Group


These summaries are provided by the SRIS Law Group. They represent the firm’s unofficial views of the Justices’ opinions. The original opinions should be consulted for their authoritative content.

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