header-logo-3    Richard   C.   McConathy  
Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy
 [email protected]  
 
15110 Dallas Pkwy #400
  Dallas ,   Texas ,   75248   United States  
 
(972) 233-5700

This hCard created with the hCard creator.

Child Pornography

In Texas, child pornography is defined as any visual depictions of sexual conduct that involves a child. If an individual is found to be in possession of child pornography or took place in the production of it, he or she can be charged with a crime.

Crimes against children usually carry steep penalties, and offenses involving child pornography are no exception. Individuals convicted of crimes associated with child pornography will usually face years behind bars, be ordered to pay fines, be required to register as sex offenders, and have limitations placed on their employment and educational opportunities.

The simple accusation of child pornography can have devastating effects on a person’s life. People who are simply charged with child pornography offenses will often see major differences in the way they are treated by their friends, family, and co-workers even when they have not been convicted of any crime.

Convictions for child pornography can also carry highly serious penalties, such as lengthy prison sentences and enormous fines. Child pornography is prohibited under both Texas state law and federal law, with either form of criminal charges being enormously stressful for alleged offenders. 

Child Pornography Defense Lawyer in Irving, Dallas, Carrolton, Richardson, TX

If you have been arrested for possessing, promoting, or conducting child pornography contact the Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy today for a consultation about your alleged offense in Irving, Dallas, Carrolton, Richardson, and surrounding areas of Dallas County, Texas.

Call Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy for a free consultation at (972) 233-5700 about your allegations stemming from child pornography. Your consultation is the first step in arming yourself with a strong defense.

Texas State Child Pornography Penalties in Dallas

Texas basically has three laws relating to child pornography offenses. Under Texas Penal Code § 21.15, the crime of invasive visual recording involves a person, without another person’s consent and with intent to invade the privacy of the other person either:

  • photographing or by videotaping or other electronic means recording, broadcasting, or transmitting a visual image of an intimate area of another person if the other person has a reasonable expectation that the intimate area is not subject to public view;
  • photographing or by videotape or other electronic means recording, broadcasting, or transmitting a visual image of another in a bathroom or changing room; or
  • knowing the character and content of a photograph, recording, broadcast, or transmission, promoting a photograph, recording, broadcast, or transmission described above.

Invasive visual recording is a state jail felony punishable by up to two years in state jail and/or fine of up to $10,000.

The crime of sexual performance by a child is established under Texas Penal Code § 43.25. Under Texas Penal Code § 43.25(b), a person commits this offense if, knowing the character and content thereof, they employ, authorize, or induce a child younger than 18 years of age to engage in sexual conduct or a sexual performance. A parent or legal guardian or custodian of a child younger than 18 years of age commits this offense if they consent to the participation by the child in a sexual performance.

An offense under Texas Penal Code § 43.25(b) is a second-degree felony punishable by up to 20 years in prison and/or fine of up to $10,000, but the offense is a first-degree felony punishable by up to 99 years or life in prison and/or fine of up to $10,000 if the alleged victim is younger than 14 years of age at the time the offense is committed, regardless of whether the alleged offender knows the age of the victim at the time of the offense.

Texas Penal Code § 43.25(d) establishes that a person commits a third-degree felony offense  punishable by up to 10 years in prison and/or fine of up to $10,000 if, knowing the character and content of the material, they produce, direct, or promote a performance that includes sexual conduct by a child younger than 18 years of age. This crime is a second-degree felony if the alleged victim is younger than 14 years of age at the time the offense is committed, regardless of whether the alleged offender knows the age of the victim at the time of the offense.

Finally, Texas Penal Code § 43.26 is the state law for possession or promotion of child pornography. A person commits an offense under Texas Penal Code § 43.26(a) if they knowingly or intentionally possess, or knowingly or intentionally access with intent to view, visual material that visually depicts a child younger than 18 years of age at the time the image of the child was made who is engaging in sexual conduct, including a child who engages in sexual conduct as a victim of an offense under Texas Penal Code § 20A.02(a)(5), (6), (7), or (8) (relating to trafficking of persons) and they know that the material depicts the child as described above.

Possession or promotion of child pornography is a third-degree felony, but it is a second-degree felony if the alleged offender has a previous possession or promotion of child pornography conviction, and it is a first-degreee felony if the alleged offender has two or more prior possession or promotion of child pornography convictions. 

Texas Penal Code § 43.26(e) also provides that a  person commits an offense if they knowingly or intentionally promote or possess with intent to promote material described by Texas Penal Code § 43.26(a)(1) and they know that the material depicts the child as described by Texas Penal Code § 43.26(a)(1). Texas Penal Code § 43.26(f) establishes that a person who possesses visual material that contains six or more identical visual depictions of a child as described by Texas Penal Code § 43.26(a)(1) is presumed to possess the material with the intent to promote the material. A violation of Texas Penal Code § 43.26(e) is a second-degree felony, but it is a first-degree felony if the alleged offender has a prior conviction for this offense. 

Child Pornography

Federal Child Pornography Penalties 

It is not uncommon for many child pornography charges to become federal cases because using the internet inherently crosses state lines. The federal government has a number of statutes addressing child pornography, including:

Possession of child pornography, 18 U.S.C. §2252(b)(2) and 18 U.S.C. §2252A(b)(2) — First offense punishable by up to 10 years in prison, alleged offenders with prior sex offense convictions can be sentenced to up to 20 years in prison.

Mailing, transporting, or receiving, or possession with intent to sell child pornography, 18 U.S.C. §2252(b)(1) and 18 U.S.C. §2252A(b)(1) — First offense punishable by up to 20 years in prison, alleged offenders with prior sex offense convictions can be sentenced to up to 40 years in prison.

Possession of visual representations of sexual abuse of children, 18 U.S.C. §2252(b)(2) and 18 U.S.C. §2252A(b)(2) — First offense punishable by up to 10 years in prison, alleged offenders with prior sex offense convictions can be sentenced to up to 20 years in prison.

Mailing, transporting, or receiving, or possession with intent to sell images depicting sexual abuse of children, 18 U.S.C. §2252(b)(1) and 18 U.S.C. §2252A(b)(1) — First offense punishable by up to 20 years in prison, alleged offenders with prior sex offense convictions can be sentenced to up to 40 years in prison.

Sentencing in federal cases is very complicated because a number of factors could impact a person’s sentence, such that offenses involving children of certain ages or large numbers of images may result in longer sentences than other cases.

Child Pornography Defenses in Dallas

Under Texas Penal Code § 43.25(f), it is an affirmative defense to prosecution for sexual performance by a child that:

  • An alleged offender was the spouse of the child at the time of the offense;
  • The conduct was for a bona fide educational, medical, psychological, psychiatric, judicial, law enforcement, or legislative purpose;  or
  • An alleged offender is not more than two years older than the child.

Texas Penal Code § 43.26(h) establishes that it is a defense to prosecution for possession or promotion of child pornography that an alleged offender is a law enforcement officer or a school administrator who possessed or accessed the visual material in good faith solely as a result of an allegation of a violation of Texas Penal Code § 43.261, allowed other law enforcement or school administrative personnel to possess or access the material only as appropriate based on the allegation described by Texas Penal Code § 43.26(1), and took reasonable steps to destroy the material within an appropriate period following the allegation described by Texas Penal Code § 43.26(1).

Child Pornography Resources in Denton County

Citizen’s Guide To U.S. Federal Law On Child Pornography | Department of Justice — Visit this section of the Department of Justice website to learn more about federal child pornography laws. As the website states, “Images of child pornography are not protected under First Amendment rights, and are illegal contraband under federal law.” You can also find answers to frequently asked questions and report violations.

Prosecutors Dropping Child Porn Charges After Software Tools Are Questioned — View an April 2019 ProPublica article that discusses how over a dozen cases were dismissed after defense attorneys asked to examine, or raised doubts about, computer programs that track illegal images to internet addresses. ProPublica noted that the dismissals represented a small fraction of the hundreds of federal and state child pornography prosecutions since 2011, as defendants frequently plead guilty in exchange for a reduced sentence. The article notes that software that relies on unconfirmed information from big data brokers not only directs police to the wrong internet address owner, but also enables them to gather a mountain of personal details about a suspect without a court order.

Find A Dallas County Defense Attorney for Child Pornography Charges | Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy

If you are facing charges for allegations stemming from child pornography, contact Richard McConathy, a dedicated defense attorney with Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy. The firm has offices conveniently located in Irving, Plano, Allen, Dallas, Denton, McKinney, and Arlington, which allow them to provide quality legal services to a large portion of the state of Texas.

Call (972) 233-5700 or submit an online form for a free, confidential consultation about your alleged child pornography offense throughout Dallas County in Texas and the surrounding counties of Denton County, Collin County, Parker County and Tarrant County.

0/5 (0 Reviews)
0/5 (0 Reviews)