What Are the Texas Laws Regarding Child Pornography?
While all criminal charges have the potential to be life-changing, being accused of a crime against a child can be especially disastrous. If you have been charged with an offense related to child pornography in Texas, you should not take these charges lightly. If convicted, you could face incarceration, substantial fines, plus a lifetime of stigma. A qualified criminal defense lawyer with experience fighting child pornography charges can help you understand your legal options if you have been accused of possessing, creating, or distributing child pornography.
Possession of Child Pornography
Title 9 of the Texas Penal Code addresses crimes related to child pornography. In Texas, it is against the law to produce, distribute, or possess media depicting a person under age 18 engaging in sexual conduct. This can include still photographs, videos, and other materials. Sexual conduct is defined in the law as actual or simulated intercourse, masturbation, deviate sexual intercourse, sexual bestiality, lewd exhibition of the genitals, anus, or female breast, and sadomasochistic abuse. If you are convicted of viewing or possessing child pornography, you face a third-degree felony punishable by 2 to 10 years of incarceration and a fine up to $10,000. If you have previously been convicted of possessing child pornography, the offense is a second-degree felony punishable by up to 20 years in prison. A third or subsequent child pornography conviction carries penalties including up to 99 years of imprisonment.
Promotion of Child Pornography
In Texas, the offense of creating, publishing, or distributing child pornography is punished more severely than viewing or possessing child pornography. If law enforcement finds six or more copies of media depicting child pornography, you can be charged with possession of child pornography with intent to promote. The promotion of child pornography is punishable by up to 20 years in prison for a first offense and up to 99 years in prison for a second offense. The creation of child pornography violates Texas law prohibiting “sexual performance by a child.” If the child engaged in sexual conduct is between the ages of 14-17, this offense is a Class 2 felony punishable by up to 20 years in prison. If the child is 13 years old or younger, the offense is a Class 1 felony punishable by up to 99 years in prison. Some criminal charges related to child pornography may also be prosecuted by the federal government, depending on the circumstances. In most cases, those convicted of child pornography offenses will be required to register as a sex offender with the state.
Contact a Plano, Texas Criminal Defense Lawyer
Possessing media that shows a minor engaged in sexual conduct is a serious crime in Texas. If you are convicted of possessing child pornography, you could face up to 10 years in prison for a first offense. If you are convicted of possessing child pornography with intent to sell or distribute the media, you face an even longer jail sentence. Collin County child pornography defense attorney Darlina Crowder has obtained more than 300 acquittals and “not guilty” verdicts for her clients. If you have been charged with a crime related to child pornography, contact The Crowder Law Firm. Call us today at 214-303-9600 to schedule a free, confidential consultation to discuss your case.