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PC 311.3 Sexual Exploitation of a Child (Produce / Exchange Child Porn): Law, Sentence, & Defense

Information on the crime of sexual exploitation of a child, also called “production or exchange of child pornography,” is found at California penal code § 311.3. This summary covers the law, penalties, & common defenses related to PC 311.3. For further information, contact our sex crimes criminal defense lawyers today for a free consultation.


PC 311.3(a) Law


Per PC 311.3(a), a person is guilty of sexual exploitation of a child if he or she knowingly develops, duplicates, prints, or exchanges any representation of information, data, video, or image…, that depicts a person under the age of 18 years engaged in an act of sexual conduct (PC 311.3(a) Abbrev.)).


Sexual Conduct Defined: The term sexual conduct, for purposes of PC 311.3(a) law, means any of the following:


Sexual intercourse, including genital-genital, oral-genital, anal-genital, or oral-anal, whether between persons of the same or opposite sex or between humans and animals (PC 311.3(b)(1)).


Penetration of the vagina or rectum by any object (PC 311.3(b)(2)).


Masturbation for the purpose of sexual stimulation of the viewer (PC 311.3(b)(3)).


Sadomasochistic abuse for the purpose of sexual stimulation of the viewer (PC 311.3(b)(4)).


Exhibition of the genitals or the pubic or rectal area of any person for the purpose of sexual stimulation of the viewer (PC 311.3(b)(5)).


Defecation or urination for the purpose of sexual stimulation of the viewer (PC 311.3(b)(6)).


Note: PC 311.3(a) does not apply to the activities of law enforcement and prosecution agencies in the investigation and prosecution of criminal offenses or to legitimate medical, scientific, or educational activities, or to lawful conduct between spouses.


Also, prosecution of sexual exploitation of a child does not preclude prosecution under any other law, such as possession of child pornography (PC 311.11), distribution of child pornography (PC 311.10), and more.


PC 311.3(a) Penalties


Wobbler Offense: Sexual exploitation of a child prosecuted under penal code 311.3 is classified as a “wobbler” offense. A wobbler offense is any criminal charge that may be filed either as a felony, or alternatively as a misdemeanor.


Felony PC 311.3(a): When sexual exploitation of a child is charged as a felony, the defendant may face up to sixteen months, two years, or three years in a California state prison, depending on the facts of the case, the defendant’s criminal history, and more.


Misdemeanor PC 311.3(a): When sexual exploitation of a child is charged as a misdemeanor, the defendant may face up to one year in county jail.


Prison Presumptive Felony: If the defendant is convicted of penal code 311.3(a), and he or she is not granted a probation sentence (See Probation Sentence), then the defendant must serve his or her incarceration in a California state prison, as opposed to a local county jail. In addition, no part of a prison sentence related to a PC 311.3(a) conviction may be “split” (served partially out of prison on work release), or “suspended” (not served subject to certain conditions).


Probation Sentence: A probation sentence is a period of supervision, as opposed to actual incarceration. A probation sentence is allowed in both felony and misdemeanor PC 311.3(a) cases, but a probation sentence is not guaranteed in any case.


Whether the defendant is granted a probation sentence after a conviction for sexual exploitation of a child depends on many factors, such as the defendant’s criminal history, the facts and circumstances of the case, the sophistication level of the offense, and more.


Work Release: A probation sentence will usually include “conditions of probation.” In most cases, these conditions will include a short jail sentence. This jail sentence, which is part of the defendant’s probation sentence, may be served locally in county jail. This is true even if the defendant is guilty of felony PC 311.3(a).


Three Strikes Law: Penal code 311.3(a) is not classified as a “strike” offense under California’s Three Strikes Sentencing Law. Nevertheless, if the defendant has previously suffered two of more strike convictions, then a conviction for sexual exploitation of a child may “trigger” a third strike, which could lead to a “life” prison sentence.


Sex Offender Registration: Sexual exploitation of a child is a crime for which sex offender registration is required upon conviction (PC 290). For more information, see CA Tier System for Sex Offender Registrants, Termination of Sex Offender Registration (PC 290.5), & Sex Offender Registration Requirements (PC 290).


Additional Penalties: In addition to the penalties listed above, if found guilty of PC 311.3(a), the defendant could lose immigration status, professional licensing status, military service status, suffer civil lawsuits, suffer criminal protective orders, lose firearm rights, pay restitution, and more.


Note: The scheduled bail amount for PC 311.3(a) is $30,000 [San Bernardino County]. This bail amount may be increased or decreased for various reasons. For more information, see Bail Schedules for CA Sex Crimes (SB County).


PC 311.3(a) Defenses


Common defenses related to sexual exploitation of a child criminal charges includes illegal search and seizure, statute of limitations, coerced confession, lack of Miranda Rights issued before defendant’s interrogation, entrapment, mistake of fact, and more.


Per PC 311.3(a): The provisions of PC 311.3(a) do not apply to an employee of a commercial film developer who is acting within the scope of his or her employment and in accordance with the instructions of his or her employer, provided that the employee has no financial interest in the commercial developer by which he or she is employed (PC 311.3(e) Abbrev.).


Also, per PC 311.3(f), PC 311.3(a) does not apply to matter that is unsolicited and is received without knowledge or consent through a facility, system, or network over which the person or entity has no control.


Post-Conviction Issues: If the defendant is found guilty of PC 311.3(a), or he or she plead “guilty” or “no contest” to PC 311.3(a) charges, then his or her post-conviction options might include a withdraw of the plea (PC 1018), appeal the criminal conviction, expunge the sex crime conviction (PC 1203.4), petition the court for a certificate of rehabilitation (PC 4852), and more.


For more information on the crime of sexual exploitation of a child, or CA penal code 311.3(a), contact our sex crimes criminal defense lawyers today for a free consultation. Our team of successful and aggressive criminal defense lawyers have helped thousands of clients in the Inland Empire for over fifteen years.


Our award-winning sex crimes criminal defense attorneys defend charges of soliciting prostitution (PC 647(b)), lewd act upon a child under 14 (PC 288(a)), pandering crimes (PC 266i), pimping crimes (PC 266h), sexual conduct with confined adult (PC 289.6), sexual battery (PC 243.4), possession of child pornography (PC 311.11(a)), attempted rape (PC 664-261(a)), and more. Call today!


909-913-3138


Further Reading


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PC 311.3 Sexual Exploitation of a Child (Produce / Exchange Child Porn): Law, Sentence, & Defense

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