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Under Texas law, possession, distribution, or the creation of pornographic images of children is heavily punished. Charges may be filed in state or federal court, depending upon the facts in the case. Defending against an accusation related to child porn requires an exceptional degree of understanding of the state and federal justice system and procedures, how cases are developed prior to filing charges, and the types of case weaknesses that could lead to an acquittal.


Penalties for Child Pornography in Texas

Charges of possession of child pornography will be filed if it is believed you were in possession of visual images of sexual acts involving children, or if you were involved in producing any such content or distributing the content by physical or electronic means. The penalties imposed will be based upon the actual charges, but under the Texas Penal Code, are as follows:

  • Possession of child pornography: Third-degree felony with penalties of two to ten years in prison and fines up to $10,000.
  • Intent to promote child pornography: If the case involves six or more identical images, it will be believed you intended to promote the content. This is a second-degree felony with penalties imposed of two to twenty years in prison and fines up to $10,000.
  • Videoing or photographing a minor improperly: This is a state jail felony carrying penalties from 180 day to two years and fines up to $10,000.
  • Sexual performance of child: Second-degree felony, with two to twenty years in prison, fines up to $10,000.
  • Sexual performance of a child under 14: Penalties include from 5 to 99 years in prison and fines up to $10,000.

Federal Child Pornography Penalties

If you have been charged federally, your legal problem is extremely serious. Images of children under 18 years old depicting any sexual act or in a suggestive pose are not protected under your first amendment rights and are contraband. The images may be photos, video content, digital or computer images that have been altered to appear to be minors, or images that depict an actual minor that can be identified, whether altered, adapted or modified. Federal penalties imposed can include:

  • First time offense, production of child pornography: minimum 15 years, up to 30 years in prison.
  • First time offense transporting child pornography across state lines: minimum 5 up to 20 years in prison.
  • Aggravated charges (images with violence, sadistic, or masochistic, or filed against a repeat offender): Up to life in prison.
Child Pornography Lawyer Houston

Defending Child Pornography Charges

These are difficult cases, and a person accused of a child pornography crime is often treated as if guilty of the crime, which is very troublesome, frightening, and stressful. Defending such a case requires high level legal skills, along with experience in cases of child pornography. The defenses that could be employed include:

  • The accused was unaware that the images were on the digital device in his or her possession.
  • Other parties had access to the digital device other than the accused.
  • Factors related to distribution of the images are not supported by evidence.
  • Police violated the rights of the individual in gathering evidence.
  • Chain of custody was faulty.
  • Unsolicited images were sent to the accused in an attachment.
  • A shared network led to the images appearing on the device of the accused person.

Call the Law Office of James Alston Today.

Houston criminal defense attorney James Alston is a board-certified criminal law specialist who has extensive experience on both sides of the state and federal justice systems. His experience as a prosecutor has given him deep insight into how the prosecution will present the case against you. He is skilled in identifying the flaws and weaknesses that could increase reasonable doubt if the case goes to trial or could lead to a case dismissal. The penalties for these crimes are far too severe for you to take the risk of hiring a less qualified attorney. Call us today for help from one of the best child pornography attorneys Houston has to offer.

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