It should not be surprising to anyone that criminal charges related to the possession, distribution or creation of child pornography are taken very seriously by state and federal authorities. For the most part, people generally understand that these charges can prove to be ruinous.

Not only can a conviction mean a tarnished reputation and destroyed personal relationships, it can also mean several years in prison and the requirement to register as a sex offender. However, many people may forget or fail to realize that a conviction on child pornography charges can also mean that a person will be required to pay restitution to victims.

Restitution is defined as financial compensation that is paid to victims of a crime by the people who committed the crime. In regards to child pornography, victims can be paid restitution by anyone who viewed or shared their images and for every time the image was viewed or sold.

Last month, it was reported that the Senate approved a measure called the Amy and Vicky Child Pornography Victim Restitution Improvement Act. Under the terms of this act, a standard was set for the minimum amount of damages that could be ordered.

The bill also changed the way victims are paid. Instead of a victim having to track down and file a claim for damages against every perpetrator, a single offender would be ordered to pay. If restitution exceeds that individual’s share of the responsibility, the burden of tracking down other offenders would be left to the individual being held responsible for the damages.

What this means for a person convicted of child pornography is that there may be a chance that he or she could be held fully responsible for restitution. This means that restitution can be quite substantial, and instead of spreading it out over individual perpetrators, this bill would make it possible for one person to have to pay the total sum and have to seek out other offenders to recover damages.

This is yet another way in which a conviction for child pornography can be quite costly to people facing these allegations. To protect yourself, your future and your finances, it can be crucial to aggressively defend against the charges with the help of a criminal defense attorney.