Because of the mass proliferation of child pornography available online, Texas and federal authorities are implementing a widespread crackdown to try to catch and punish as many people involved in making, distributing, or viewing child pornography as possible. The negative view that most people have regarding sex crimes against children means that the public has very little sympathy for people who may be wrongfully accused of child pornography possession, and that authorities are highly motivated to secure convictions, regardless of the quality of evidence. This makes it very important for you to take any charges or investigations for child pornography seriously; if you are facing any involvement whatsoever with sex crimes against children, hire a Texas criminal defense attorney right away.
Will Child Pornography Always Be Charged as a Federal Crime?
Being convicted of a child pornography charge under Texas law carries serious consequences, even without the charges escalating to the federal level. Those convicted of child pornography possession can have a third-degree felony placed on their permanent record, fines of up to $10,000, between two and 20 years in prison, and permanent registration on the sex offender registry. Keep in mind that these are simply the charges for viewing and accessing child pornography - creating or distributing child pornography carries much higher penalties, including up to 99 years in prison.
When the federal government gets involved, things get even more serious. Federal child pornography charges are common because the feds can bring charges for any activity across state or national lines. Given the widely accessible nature of the internet, it would be rare for any image online not to be viewed by people in different states. Whether you are the person creating, distributing, or viewing the child pornography, as soon as it crosses state lines, the federal government can get involved. No physical transportation of imagery need take place, although these laws also apply to any physical evidence of child pornography, including undeveloped film.