§ 184b StGB (German Criminl Code) - amendment of the criminal code for child pornography in Germany: tightening of the law will be scaled back to a better level

Experts expect that, according to a draft law that has not yet been published, the penalty range for child pornography (Section 184b StGB - distribution, acquisition, possession of child pornographic content) in Germany will be reduced to a minimum penalty of six months' imprisonment in the first half of 2024. Such a sentence will normally be suspended in the event of a conviction.

We have defended over 100 child pornography cases in court in recent years and there has never been a case where a prison sentence was not suspended.

Apart from the reduction in the sentence, the change in the law expected for 2024 will mean that it will once again be possible to end proceedings outside of a public court hearing, which was hardly conceivable in the last two years. Since July 2021, child pornography offenses have been classified as felonies under criminal law - no longer as misdemeanors (Section 12 StGB) - with a minimum penalty of one year's imprisonment.

Following the tightening of the penalty range in July 2021, however, a reduction in the penalty range for child pornography is now imminent, which many insiders had been predicting for some time, but there was a heated debate about this for a long time.

Criminal defense lawyer on § 184b StGB - change in the law on child pornography

Due to the earlier tightening of criminal law, there has been a flood of proceedings in the last two years that have overburdened the courts in Germany, and often the wrong people were targeted. "Minor cases" could no longer be recognized and given lenient sentences. Child pornography cases - even if they had no pedocriminal background at all - could not be dismissed on the grounds of insignificance.

The expected change in the law on child pornography and pending proceedings

The forthcoming change in the law will also have a significant impact on all pending proceedings that have not yet been legally concluded.

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