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How Are Federal Child Pornography Crimes Sentenced?

Posted on in Federal Crimes

Denton County child pornography defense lawyerCriminal offenses related to child pornography are treated very seriously by law enforcement officials. In many cases, prosecutors will pursue the most serious charges possible, and in the name of protecting children, they may seek the maximum prison sentences, or they may even ask for additional prison time or other consequences based on the seriousness of the crime. Anyone who has been accused of creating, distributing, or possessing child pornography will need a strong criminal defense attorney on their side to protect their rights and help them defend against criminal charges that could affect their freedom, as well as attacks in the court of public opinion that could affect their reputation.

State and Federal Child Pornography Charges

If a person faces child pornography charges at the state level, the penalties will depend on the specific nature of the crimes and whether a person has previously been convicted. In Texas, possession of child pornography or accessing sexually explicit images or videos of children with the intent to view them on a device such as a computer or cell phone is a third-degree felony for a first offense, and a person may be sentenced to two to 10 years in prison. Distributing child pornography, including publishing, selling, transmitting, or advertising sexually explicit content depicting children, is a second-degree felony for a first offense, and a person may be sentenced to two to 20 years in prison. Creating child pornography through the sexual performance of a child is a second-degree felony, but if the child was under the age of 14, it is a first-degree felony in which a person may be sentenced to five to 99 years in prison.

In many cases, child pornography offenses will result in federal charges. Possession of child pornography will often involve material that was transported or transmitted across state lines, resulting in prosecution in federal courts. Possessing or distributing child pornography can result in a sentence of between five and 20 years, although longer sentences may apply if child pornography depicted children under the age of 12 or if a person had been previously convicted under federal or state laws of an offense involving sexual abuse or exploitation of children. Creation of child pornography may result in charges of sexual exploitation of children, which can result in a prison sentence of 15 to 30 years.

The severity of sentences for federal child pornography charges was illustrated in a couple recent cases that took place in Texas. In one case, a man in Alvarado was sentenced to 10 years in federal prison after he was found to have over 110,000 images of child pornography in his possession. In another case, a man in Denton County was convicted of sexual exploitation of a child after being accused of taking sexually explicit photographs of a minor, and he was sentenced to 30 years in prison, followed by 10 years of supervised release. Because of the serious nature of the offense, the court determined that a sentence that was higher than the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines was appropriate.

Contact Our Dallas, TX Child Pornography Defense Attorney

Because child pornography charges are so serious, it is crucial for anyone facing these allegations to secure representation from an attorney who is experienced in these types of cases. At The Crowder Law Firm, P.C., we will fight to protect your rights and help you determine how to achieve the best possible outcome to your case. Contact our Plano crimes against children lawyer at 214-303-9600 to set up a free, confidential consultation.

Sources:

https://www.justice.gov/usao-edtx/pr/denton-county-man-sentenced-production-child-pornography

https://www.star-telegram.com/news/local/crime/article250869134.html

https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/2251

https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/2252A

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