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What to Know About Internet Sex Crimes in Texas

Posted on in Criminal Defense

The field of internet sex crimes has quickly become an important part of skilled criminal defense attorneys’ jobs.  While sex crimes defense is already a specific area of practice unto itself, the rise of the internet has quickly given way to new kinds of sex crimes, all punishable under the law and requiring unique strategies for fighting charges in court. Conviction of one of these crimes may result in prison time and/or steep fines, as well as require guilty parties to register as a sex offender.

Texas, like most other states, has specific statutes and punishments for various types of internet sex crimes. Read on to learn more and find out what you need to know to protect yourself; then, call The Crowder Law Firm, P.C. for an internet sex crimes attorney you can trust.

Unlawful Disclosure or Promotion of Intimate Visual Material Law

Under Texas state penal code, Section 21.16(d), it is illegal to post, send, or otherwise distribute specific types of images online.  The statute defines this behavior as criminal if you are posting images of someone’s private parts without their express consent. Posting images in which the person depicted believed said images would stay private may also carry criminal misdemeanor charges.

Intimate Visual Material Involving a Minor

Intimate visual material charges involving a minor will almost always be prosecuted more seriously than a general intimate visual material charge. These types of charges, including child pornography possession and other related offenses, may be tried as felonies, resulting in significant jail time or fees.

Texas internet sex crimes involving children include:

  • Display of Harmful Material to a Minor: Under Texas criminal code Section 43.24, it is illegal to show harmful material, which may include nude images, sexual images, or otherwise inappropriate content, to a minor. Usually, display of harmful material to a minor is punishable as a class A misdemeanor. The offense may become a felony charge if the images in question include a minor. A conviction for this offense can carry significant prison time, large fines, and will force the guilty party to register as a sex offender.
  • Possession or Promotion of Child Pornography: Texas penal code, Section 43.26, makes it a crime to knowingly possess or access “with intent to view” visual material depicting a minor engaging in sexual conduct. A defendant doesn’t have to distribute or purchase child pornography to be prosecuted for accessing it. As long as it is in their possession, they can be found guilty of this offense. Individuals found guilty of possessing and viewing child pornography may face a prison sentence up to 20 years, a fine up to $10,000, and mandatory lifetime registration on the Texas sex offender list. Harsher penalties are usually handed down to individuals with an intent to distribute images.
  • Online Solicitation of a Minor: In the state of Texas, it is a felony to use the internet to communicate with a minor in a sexually explicit way. Internet sexual communication may involve asking an underage individual to meet in person to engage in sexual activity, or it may involve electronically communicating with an underage person in a sexual way (i.e. sending inappropriate images, using suggestive language). Convictions for online solicitation of a minor may carry a prison sentence of up to 10 years, fines up to $10,000, and mandatory registration as a sex offender.

There Is Hope with The Crowder Law Firm, P.C.

The consequences of internet sex crimes are capable of ruining a person’s personal and professional life. But there is hope. With the aid of an experienced defense lawyer, there are multiple ways to fight an internet sex crime charge. It is possible to argue you were not aware of the subject’s age in a child pornography case, or that you don’t know how the images ended up in your possession. Individuals accused of online solicitation of a minor may be able to argue down charges if they were less than three years older than the minor involved in the case, or if the minor consented to their communication.

To learn more about these and other defenses, contact The Crowder Law Firm, P.C. today. With over 200 acquittals over the course of her legal career, our attorney has a proven history of not guilty verdicts and dismissals. You can also trust The Crowder Law Firm, P.C. to always put your interests first, which is why we offer free consultations to all prospective clients. For compassionate and fierce representation who will be on your side no matter what the circumstances are, call now, and begin crafting your defense today.

The Crowder Law Firm, P.C. is available by phone at [[phone1]], or you can contact us online to schedule a consultation.

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