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Zoey_ JD
Zoey_ JD, JustAnswer Criminal Law Mentor
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 25440
Experience:  Admitted to NYS Criminal defense bar in 1989. Extensive arraignment, hearing, trial experience.
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This answer was rated:

What are the Statute of Limitations on possession of child

pornography in California. I had... Show More
pornography in California. I had unknowingly downloaded approximately 15 years ago. The computer drive has long since broke, but I am having anxiety about this question.

Thank you
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Hello Jacustomer,

The statute of limitations on a California crime for which 8 years of prison or more is possible is 6 years. You are past the statute of limitations. However if you have that old computer still, you ought to pull out that drive and smash it.
Customer reply replied 5 years ago.
The drive in question was trashed some years ago probably 4 years. Is their anything I can do to protect myself at this point?
Thank you
Hi,

Sorry for the delay. I turned in for the night before your reply came through.

Happy to hear about the drive. Sometimes a state can bring a charge after the statute of limitations has run, claiming that the statute starts to run not from when the crime took place but from when the authorities first could reasonably find out about the crime. In a case like this, the defense lawyer will argue that the statute has already run out, but the judge could side with the state, and whether or not the statute bars the action could be reviewed on appeal if the defendant lost his case.

All of that is no longer an issue. Note though that in many states, computer techs have a legal obligation to report evidence of child porn when they work on a computer. So you can't be too careful these days.

But you should be just fine.
Customer reply replied 5 years ago.
I hate to beat a dead horse, I promise my last response. But you left the door half open on your last answer by saying

"Sometimes a state can bring a charge after the statute of limitations has run, claiming that the statute starts to run not from when the crime took place but from when the authorities first could reasonably find out about the crime. In a case like this, the defense lawyer will argue that the statute has already run out, but the judge could side with the state, and whether or not the statute bars the action could be reviewed on appeal if the defendant lost his case".

Then you say

"All of that is no longer an issue. Note though that in many states, computer techs have a legal obligation to report evidence of child porn when they work on a computer. So you can't be too careful these days".

Please clarify this.

Again sorry maybe I`m a little thick.
Hi,

Sorry if I was unclear. The drive was trashed years ago. Nobody can prove what you may have had. You don't have anything to worry about.