Being arrested on allegations of possession of child pornography can have long-lasting negative implications – both personally and professionally. Not only do defendants face prison time and jail time, but they could have to register as a sex offender for the rest of their life.
That’s why it is vital to contact an experienced criminal defense attorney with knowledge about child pornography cases the moment an allegation is made or images are discovered. A Grapevine child pornography lawyer from our office can walk you through each step of the process and advise you moving forward. For example, it is absolutely imperative that you refrain from speaking to law enforcement without an attorney.
Our team is skilled at handling and achieving favorable results in child pornography cases at both the state and federal level. If you are facing child pornography charges, you next call should be to us.
Penalties for Possessing Child Pornography
Under Texas Penal Code Section 43.26, it is a criminal offense for anyone to knowingly possess or view any physical or electronic image depicting a child under the age of 18 engaging in sexual conduct. “Sexual conduct may entail any act, performance, or simulation that involves exhibition or manipulation of a child’s intimate areas.”
For first-time offenders, each count of pornography is generally a third-degree felony, punishable by two to 10 years in prison and a maximum $10,000 fine. It is not uncommon for multiple counts to be alleged in a single case. Also, the sentences for each count can run consecutively – or be stacked on top of each other – if a defendant it convicted of multiple counts.
Defendants with a prior conviction for possessing child pornography face a second degree felony, punishable by two to 20 years in prison and a maximum $10,000 fine.
Defendants with two or more previous conviction of child porn face a first-degree felony charge, punishable by up to life in prison.
As you can see, child pornography charges are punished harshly, especially for repeat offenders. Call our team today to understand what you are up against and your legal options.
Penalties for Promotion and Distribution of Child Pornography
If you are found in possession of at least six identical versions of the same images of child pornography, a court can presume you intended to promote or distribute those images to others. See Texas Penal Code Section 43.26(f). Promotion of child pornography is punished much more severely than simple possession — even a first offense is punished as a second-degree felony, punishable by up to 20 years in prison and a maximum $10,000 fine. Subsequent offenses are first-degree felonies, punishable by up to life in prison.
Furthermore, anyone who films or photographs a child performing sexual conduct may be charged with a third-degree felony if that child is under the age of 18, or a second-degree felony if the child is under 14. Employing or coercing a child to take place in a sexual performance may be a second-degree or first-degree felony based on the same age dynamics.
There are certain affirmative defenses allowable under Texas state law that may apply to someone who possessed or produced explicit images of a child or children in their official capacity as a law enforcement officer or school administrator.
Call Our Grapevine Child Pornography Attorneys Today
Child pornography possession is one of the most serious criminal charges you can face in Texas. Without professional legal counsel by your side, you have slim odds of achieving a favorable conclusion.