Child pornography is one of the most serious Nevada crimes. Created for the purpose of protecting children,1 Nevada child porn laws prohibit the production, promotion, advertisement, and possession of any sexual depiction of minors. But since child pornography is an "intent crime" in Nevada, suspects who genuinely could not have known that minors were involved are wrongly accused and may be able to escape a criminal conviction in Las Vegas.
On this page, our Las Vegas child porn attorneys answer the following questions about Nevada child porn laws:
Child pornography (or "kiddie porn") in Nevada is just what it sounds like: A display of sexual conduct meant to appeal to a viewer's baser instincts, but it involves minors instead of adults or in addition to adults.2 Child pornography can take the form of plays, films, photos, or any other kind of visual representation or performance.3 Everything from the production to the possession of child pornography is a serious crime in Nevada.
In determining whether a person depicted in pornography is indeed a minor, a Nevada court or jury may inspect the person, view the pornography, consider witness and medical expert opinions, and use any other legal method available.4
Two main defenses to fight child pornography charges in Nevada are "lack of intent" and "lack of pornography":
If your criminal defense attorney can prove that you did not "knowingly" promote, advertise or possess child pornography, then a Nevada court cannot convict you of child porn crimes in Nevada.5 For example, if you receive a child porn magazine in the mail that you never ordered or expected, you should not be found guilty of child porn possession in Nevada (as long as you report it to the authorities as soon as possible). Similarly, if you cast a minor actor in a pornographic movie and had every reason to believe the actor was an adult, you should not be found guilty of child porn production in Nevada.
There may be a genuine debate about whether the material in question is child pornography or not. If its purpose is not sexual, and it has serious literary, artistic, political or scientific value, it may be possible to prove that it does not qualify as child pornography and therefore that Nevada's child porn laws do not apply.6
As discussed below, Nevada criminalizes three main acts involving child pornography: Producing it, advertising it, and possessing it. Although the production and advertisement of child pornography necessarily involve the possession of child pornography, they are all separate offenses with specific elements and differing punishments.7
Using or promoting the use of a child in pornography (NRS 200.710; NRS 200.720)
Nevada may prosecute anybody who knowingly allows a child to be used in the production of pornography8 as well as anyone who promotes children for the purpose of using them in child pornography.9 Even if the child pornography is produced for personal use and with no intention to sell, exhibit or distribute it, the penalties still apply.10
Using or promoting the use of a child in pornography is a category A felony in Nevada, carrying a life sentence in Nevada State Prison and a fine of up to $100,000. If the child was fourteen or older at the time of production, eligibility parole begins after five years have been served. If the child was under fourteen at the time, parole eligibility begins after ten years.11
Advertising child pornography (NRS 200.725)
Nevada also prohibits anyone from knowingly advertising child pornography, but it carries a slightly lesser sentence. Advertising child porn is a category B felony in Nevada, punishable by one to fifteen years in prison and/or a fine of up to $15,000.12
Possessing child pornography (NRS 200.730)
Finally, anyone who knowingly possesses child pornography depicting children under age sixteen in Nevada faces arrest and criminal charges. A first offense is a category B felony and carries one to six years imprisonment. But any subsequent offense is a category A felony, punishable by one year to a life sentence with the possibility of parole. Fines of up to $5,000 may be ordered for each offense as well.13
Child pornography is a crime involving moral turpitude in Nevada. Therefore, immigrants and other non-citizens who've been convicted of child pornography in Nevada may be thrown out from the United States because crimes involving moral turpitude in Nevada are usually removable offenses. Aliens charged with child pornography crimes should hire an attorney as soon as possible to attempt to get the case dismissed or changed to charges that are not deportable offenses in Nevada.
Read our informational articles about the following offenses which may be related to Las Vegas child porn crimes:
For general information about Nevada child sex crimes, see our article on Nevada child sex crimes.
Stated in Penal Code 311, California child pornography laws operate much like Nevada's. California law defines child porn broadly as material that depicts minors engaged in or simulating sexual conduct. California prosecutes those who possess, distribute, advertise, produce, or employ minors in the production of, such material.
However, to be liable for distribution of child pornography, California law requires that the material also be "obscene." Obscenity refers to material that "appeals to the prurient interest, that, taken as a whole, depicts or describes sexual conduct in a patently offensive way, and that, taken as a whole, lacks serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value."
While California law adds the element of "obscenity" to the crime of distributing child pornography, it imposes no such requirement on mere possession of child porn. Nevada law, by contrast, makes no such distinction. Instead, Nevada incorporates the obscenity requirement into its general definition of child pornographic material.
Have you been arrested for child porn in Nevada?
Then do not wait to phone our Las Vegas child porn attorneys at 702-DEFENSE (333-3673) for a free consultation. Our Las Vegas criminal defense attorneys will negotiate with prosecutors to try to dismiss or plead down your charges.
1Wilson v. State, 121 Nev. 345, 358, 114 P.3d 285, 294 (2005) ("The purpose of Nevada's child pornography statutes is to protect children from the harms of sexual exploitation and prevent the distribution of child pornography.").
2NRS 200.700 (Child pornography in Nevada "appeals to the prurient interest in sex and . . . does not have serious literary, artistic, political or scientific value.").
3Wilson v. State, 121 Nev. 345, 357, 114 P.3d 285, 293 - 294 (2005) ("This definition of a performance is broad and covers various types of performances that can be considered sexual in nature as well as how those performances are recorded. But notwithstanding this broad definition, it is the use of a child in a sexual performance that is prohibited under NRS 200.710, and that performance can be of any type and documented in any manner.").
4NRS 200.740 ("For the purposes of NRS 200.710, to 200.735, inclusive, to determine whether a person was a minor, the court or jury may: 1. Inspect the person in question; 2. View the performance; 3. Consider the opinion of a witness to the performance regarding the person's age; 4. Consider the opinion of a medical expert who viewed the performance; or 5. Use any other method authorized by the rules of evidence at common law.").
5Zana v. State, 2009 WL 3048454 (Nev.) ("[E]vidence of defendant's lewd behavior was admissible to prove the knowing and willful element of the pornography charges.")
6NRS 200.700 ("Sexual portrayal means the depiction of a person in a manner which appeals to the prurient interest in sex and which does not have serious literary, artistic, political or scientific value.").
7Wilson v. State, 121 Nev. 345, 359, 114 P.3d 285, 295 (2005) (Explains how Nevada child porn laws are separate offenses: "The crime of possession of child pornography is not a lesser-included offense to the production of child pornography as defined by Nevada law. Consequently, NRS 200.710 and NRS 200.730 are not mutually exclusive and . . . a violation of each requires proof of an element that the other does not.").
8NRS 200.710 (The production of child pornography in Nevada includes a "person who knowingly uses, encourages, entices or permits a minor to simulate or engage in or assist others to simulate or engage in sexual conduct to produce a performance" or a "person who knowingly uses, encourages, entices, coerces or permits a minor to be the subject of a sexual portrayal in a performance . . . regardless of whether the minor is aware that the sexual portrayal is part of a performance.").
9NRS 200.720 (The promotion of child porn in Nevada includes a "person who knowingly promotes a performance of a minor . . . [w]here the minor engages in or simulates, or assists others to engage in or simulate, sexual conduct; or [w]here the minor is the subject of a sexual portrayal[.]").
10Sumuel v. State 2008 WL 6124467, 1 (Nev.) ("Appellant claimed that the purpose of the child pornography statute was to prevent distribution of child pornography, and that because there was no evidence that he was engaged in distribution, he could not have been convicted of the use of a minor to produce pornography. Because distribution was not an element of the crime with which he was charged, appellant's claim was without merit.").
12NRS 200.725 (This Nevada child porn crime encompasses anyone "who knowingly prepares, advertises or distributes any item or material that depicts a minor engaging in, or simulating, or assisting others to engage in or simulate, sexual conduct[.]").
13NRS 200.730 ("[A] person who knowingly and willfully has in his possession for any purpose any film, photograph or other visual presentation depicting a person under the age of 16 years as the subject of a sexual portrayal or engaging in or simulating, or assisting others to engage in or simulate, sexual conduct" may be prosecuted in Nevada.).
14NRS 201.230, Lewdness with a child under 14 in Nevada.
15NRS 200.508, Child abuse, neglect and endangerment in Nevada.