Nevada child pornography laws make it a felony for a person knowingly to produce, promote, or possess any sexual depiction of children. The penalties include state prison and 25 years of registering as a Tier II sex offender, which is publicly searchable. A conviction may never be sealed from the defendant’s criminal record.
The prison terms depend on the specific crime the defendant is charged with:
- Possession carries 1 – 6 years in Nevada State Prison (for a first-time offense);
- Advertising carries 1 – 15 years imprisonment;
- Using a computer to control or view the pornography carries 1 – 5 years in imprisonment (for a first-time offense);
- Using a child to make pornography carries a life sentence
Child pornography is an “intent crime” in Nevada. Therefore, charges should be dismissed if the prosecutor cannot prove that the defendant meant to possess, promote, or produce kiddie porn.
On this page, our Las Vegas criminal defense attorneys discuss:
- 1. What constitutes child pornography in Las Vegas, Nevada?
- 2. How do I fight the charges?
- 3. What are the penalties?
- 4. Can I get my case sealed?
- 5. Can I get deported?
- 6. Are there other crimes I can get arrested for in a child pornography case?
1. What constitutes child pornography in Las Vegas, Nevada?
Child pornography (or “kiddie porn”) in Nevada is a display of sexual conduct involving minors meant to appeal to a viewer’s baser instincts. Sexual conduct means either:
- sexual intercourse,
- lewd exhibition of the genitals,
- anal intercourse,
- sadomasochistic abuse,
- masturbation, and/or
- the penetration of any object manipulated or inserted by a person into the genital or anal opening of the body of another.1
Child pornography can take the form of photos, videos/ films, plays, and/or any other kind of visual representation or performance.2
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.3
Nevada prohibits possessing, advertising, or creating child pornography in Nevada.
2. How do I fight the charges?
Two common defenses to fight child pornography charges in Nevada are “lack of intent” and “lack of pornography”:
2.1. No intent
A defendant is innocent of child pornography if he/she did not knowingly promote, advertise, or possess child pornography.4
Example: Jed lives in Las Vegas and receives a child porn magazine in the mail that he did not order nor expect. He calls the police right away to report the incident. Since Jed did not knowingly acquire the child porn and alerted authorities as soon as possible, he should not be prosecuted for possessing child porn.
Similarly, a person who casts a minor actor in a pornographic movie but had every reason to believe the actor was an adult committed no crime. As long as the prosecution cannot prove beyond a reasonable doubt the defendant acted knowingly, criminal charges should not stand.
2.2. No pornography
There may be a genuine debate about whether the material in question qualifies as child pornography. Perhaps the material is not sexual and instead has serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value. If the prosecution cannot prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the material is child pornography, then Nevada’s child porn laws should not apply, and the case should be dropped.5
3. What are the penalties?
Anyone convicted of child pornography in Nevada is required to register as a sex offender.6 The prison sentences and fines depend on whether the defendant is convicted of (1) producing, (2) advertising, (3) possessing, or (4) using the internet to watch child pornography, which are separate offenses in Nevada.7
Note that it may be possible for a criminal defense attorney to get child pornography cases dismissed or reduced to lesser crimes with no sex offender registration.
3.1. Using or promoting the use of a child in pornography
NRS 200.710 and 200.720 make knowingly using or promoting the use of a child in pornography a category A felony in Nevada.8 The penalties are:
- a life sentence in Nevada State Prison, and
- a fine of up to $100,000
If the child was fourteen (14) or older at the time of production, eligibility for parole begins after five (5) years have been served. If the child was under fourteen (14) at the time, parole eligibility begins after ten (10) years.9
Note that penalties still apply even if the pornography is produced for personal use and with no intention to sell, exhibit, or distribute it.10
Learn more about using a child to produce child pornography (NRS 200.710) and promoting a child sexual performance (NRS 200.720).
3.2. Advertising child pornography
NRS 200.725 makes knowingly advertising child porn a category B felony in Nevada, punishable by:
- one to fifteen (1 – 15) years in prison, and/or
- a fine of up to $15,00011
Learn more about advertising or distributing child pornography (NRS 200.725).
3.3. Possessing child pornography
NRS 200.730 makes knowingly possessing child pornography of children under sixteen (16) a category B felony, carrying:
- one to six (1 – 6) years in prison
A second or subsequent offense of child porn possession in Nevada is a category A felony, punishable by
- one (1) year to a life sentence with the possibility of parole, and
- maybe fines of up to $5,00012
Learn more about possessing child pornography (NRS 200.730).
3.4. Using the internet to view child pornography
NRS 200.727 makes knowingly using the internet with the intent to view pornography with a child under 16 a category C felony in Nevada carrying:
- one to ten (1 – 10) years in prison, and
- maybe a fine of up to $10,000
A second or subsequent offense is a category B felony, carrying:
- one to six (1 – 6) years in prison, and maybe
- a fine of up to $5,00013
Learn more about using the internet to control a visual depiction of child pornography (NRS 200.727).
4. Can I get my case sealed?
If child porn case gets dismissed (meaning there is no conviction), the case can be sealed right away. Otherwise, Nevada does not permit sealing child porn cases.14
5. Can I get deported?
Yes, child pornography is a deportable offense.
Child pornography is considered a crime involving moral turpitude. Consequently, aliens who have been convicted of child pornography may be deported from the U.S.
Foreigners charged with child pornography crimes are advised to retain experienced counsel as soon as possible. An attorney may be able to get the case dismissed or charges reduced to a non-removable offense.15
6. Are there other crimes I can get arrested for in a child pornography case?
Depending on the facts of the case, defendants in child porn cases may face additional charges for the following offenses:
- Lewdness with a child under 16 (NRS 201.230): It is a crime in Nevada for a person to commit a sexual act on a child under 16. The penalty includes a life sentence (with the possibility of parole after ten (10) years), sex offender status, and possibly a fine of up to $10,000.16
- Child abuse (NRS 200.508): It is a crime in Nevada for a person to cause a child to suffer physical or mental harm. Depending on the severity of the injuries, the penalties range from just a fine to life in prison.17
- Statutory sexual seduction / statutory rape (NRS 200.368): It is a crime in Nevada for an adult to have sexual penetration with a child age 15 or 14 and with a minimum 4-year age difference (16 is the age of consent in Nevada). The penalties include up to ten (10) years in prison and sex offender status.18
Have you been arrested for child porn in Nevada?
Then do not wait to phone our Las Vegas child pornography attorneys for a consultation. Our Las Vegas criminal defense attorneys will negotiate with prosecutors to try to dismiss or plead down your charges.
Go back to our Nevada sex crimes page.
¿Habla español? Visita nuestra página web en español sobre leyes de pornografía infantil Nevada.
In California? See our article on Penal Code 311 PC.
In Colorado? See our article on child pornography laws.
- NRS 200.700; NRS 200.727. See also Castaneda v. State, 132 Nev., Adv. Op. 44, 373 P.3d 108 (2016) (defendant’s simultaneous possession of multiple images of child pornography comprised one violation of NRS 200.730) and Shue v. State, 133 Nev. Op. 99 (2017).
- Wilson 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.”).
- NRS 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.”).
- Zana v. State (2009) 125 Nev. Adv. Op. No. 41 (“[E]vidence of defendant’s lewd behavior was admissible to prove the knowing and willful element of the pornography charges.”)
- NRS 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.”).
- NRS 179D.097.
- Wilson v. State, supra, (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.”).
- NRS 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.”); NRS 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.”); NRS 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[.]”).
- NRS 200.750.
- Samuel 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.”).
- NRS 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[.]”).
- NRS 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.).
- NRS 200.727.
- NRS 179.245.
- United States v. Santacruz, 563 F.3d 894 (9th Cir. Apr. 20, 2009).
- NRS 201.230.
- NRS 200.508.
- NRS 200.368.