Sexual Exploitation of a Child Defense Attorney in Dallas, Ft. Worth
Lawyer in Collin County for Those Facing Charges Related to Sexual Performance by a Child
Sex crimes that involve children are among the most heinous offenses in all of criminal law. However, innocent people should not be subject to false allegations or exaggerated claims that they have sexually victimized children.
At The Crowder Law Firm, P.C., we understand that the phrase "sexual exploitation of a child" can have different meanings to different people, and there are many ways in which a child could be exploited sexually. We also know, however, that the term also refers to a specific federal offense that is punishable by a minimum of 15 years in prison and up to 30 years for a single conviction.
Federal Child Pornography Crimes
Section 2251 of the United States Code provides several ways in which a person could commit the offense of sexual exploitation of a child, all of which are related to the production and distribution of child pornography. If you are suspected of making any effort whatsoever to involve a minor under the age of 18 years "in sexually explicit conduct for the purposes of producing any visual depiction of such conduct," you could face federal exploitation charges. Visual depictions include photos, videos, digital images, or broadcasts. You could also face such charges if you are a parent or legal guardian who allows your child to become involved in such conduct. It is even possible for charges to be brought against you for distributing or making the visual depictions available to others, regardless of your participation in the production of the materials.
The actual sentence associated with a conviction on sexual exploitation of a child charges will typically depend on a number of factors, including the number of images or videos, the ages of the minors in question, and the nature of the conduct depicted. The suspect's prior history will be taken into account as well.
Sexual Performance by a Minor
Sexual exploitation of a child is a federal offense, but the state of Texas also maintains its own laws regarding the production of child pornography. Specifically, creating child pornography falls under the offense of sexual performance by a minor. Section 43.25 of the Texas Penal Code provides that a person who "employs, authorizes, or induces a child younger than 18 years of age to engage in sexual conduct or a sexual performance" has committed an offense. Similar to the federal law, a parent who allows their child to participate in such a performance may be charged under this statute as well. Any person who is involved with producing, directing, or promoting a performance of this nature can also be charged.
The law defines a sexual performance as "any play, motion picture, dance, or other visual representation that can be exhibited before an audience of one or more persons" that includes depictions of sexual conduct. Therefore, live performances by a minor, as well as performances by a minor that are recorded or photographed, are subject to prosecution. Sexual performance by a minor is generally a second-degree felony, but the offense is a first-degree felony if the child is under the age of 14, regardless of whether the suspect knew the child's age. A second-degree felony is punishable by up to 20 years in prison, while a first-degree felony carries up to 99 years or life.
Finding the Best Way Forward in North Texas
At The Crowder Law Firm, P.C., we know what the stakes are when you are facing charges related to the production or promotion of child pornography. We also realize that the sensitive and horrific nature of the subject matter can cause law enforcement officers and prosecutors to overreach with allegations and criminal charges.
With more than 20 years of criminal law experience, our team understands that there is a variety of strategies that could be useful in building a defense against sexual exploitation charges, and we will explore them all. We have secured more than 300 acquittals and not-guilty verdicts for our clients, including in several well-publicized, highly emotional cases. Our team is ready to put our knowledge and resources to work for you.
Schedule a Free Consult
For more information about sexual exploitation of a child charges at the state or federal level, contact our office. Call 214-303-9600 for a free, confidential consultation today. The Crowder Law Firm, P.C. serves clients in Collin County, Dallas County, Tarrant County, Denton County, Grayson County, and the surrounding areas. Se habla Espanol.