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Enhanced Penalties

In 1984, Congress authorized a commission to establish the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which are followed by every federal judge in imposing sentences. The Guidelines set up a point system with defendant receiving a certain number of “levels.” A defendant receives levels based on the charge he or she is convicted of plus “enhancements” and “reductions” of levels based on aggravating or mitigating factors. At sentencing, the judge counts up the levels to determine whether to assign probation, impose mandatory jail time, etc.

Enhanced Penalties in Child Porn Cases

In cases of child pornography, there are a number of penalty enhancements:

  • Prepubescent Enhancement: Individuals charged for possession of child pornography face enhancement of penalties if the child is prepubescent or under the age of 12. This can mean the difference between getting probation or a mandatory jail sentence. For child pornography involving a prepubescent minor, the enhancement is 2 levels.
  • Penetration Enhancement: Sexual penetration of a child under age 16 has an enhancement of 18 levels. If defendant used the computer to set up the meeting, there is an additional enhancement of 2 levels. If the defendant used a false identity to entice the minor in chat rooms, there is an enhancement of 4 more levels. If the minor was in the custody or care of the defendant, there is an enhancement of 4 levels.
  • Quantity Enhancement: Under the guidelines, there are enhancements in child porn convictions depending on the quantity of images found. For 10 to 150 images, it is an increase of 2 levels. For 150 to 300 images, it increases by 3 levels. For 300 to 600 images, it increases by 4 levels. For more than 600 images, it increases by 5 levels.

Get Help from a Child Pornography Lawyer in Las Vegas

At Okabe & Haushalter, we defend clients facing federal charges with enhancements in Las Vegas. Our attorneys understand that your freedom and future are at stake and work relentlessly against conviction and enhancements of penalties. We are former prosecutors skilled at spotting the weaknesses in the government case and are quick to take advantage for our client’s benefit.

We are accomplished at penetrating the prejudice that judges and juries have against defendants in these cases to get a hearing for our side of the case. Our attorneys have built a solid record of accomplishment in defending against child pornography charges with enhanced penalties.

We urge you to contact for a confidential consultation. If you or a loved one is facing child pornography charges with enhanced penalties, contact our firm today.