Have you been charged with child pornography or a related offense involving a minor in Plano, TX? It is not just your freedom on the line; it’s also your reputation. Conviction of a sex crime in Texas can have serious and lasting consequences.
You do not have to face these charges alone. Call the Edgett Law Firm to speak with a Plano child pornography lawyer during a free case review. We will help you explore legal defenses, protect your rights, and fight for the best possible outcome.
How a Criminal Defense Lawyer Can Help You Fight a Child Pornography Charge
When you are facing a child pornography charge, you may feel frightened and overwhelmed. The punishment if convicted is very serious and the prosecution will not be sympathetic. You deserve a compassionate legal advocate who will fight for you.
At the Edgett Law Firm, we focus completely on criminal law in Texas. We have decades of experience representing Plano residents against child pornography charges with more than 5,000 cases handled. A Plano criminal defense attorney at the Edgett Law Firm will represent you with our core values of empathy, talent, and transparency while fighting for the best possible resolution to your case.
When you hire the Edgett Law Firm to represent you, you can trust us to:
- Protect your constitutional rights
- Guide you through the criminal justice system and answer your questions
- Perform an investigation of your case
- Gather evidence strengthening your defense while seeking and attacking weaknesses in the prosecution’s case against you
- Fight for a reduction or dismissal of the charges and negotiate for a fair plea deal
- Present your defense before a jury if the case goes to trial
Contact the Edgett Law Firm today for a free case review with a Plano child pornography defense lawyer who will fight for you.
Child Pornography Laws in Texas
The term “child pornography” usually refers to visual material that depicts sexually explicit behavior involving a child under 18.
Child pornography may include:
- Digital images
- Films or movies
- Computer-generated graphics or images
Under Texas law, child pornography crimes are among the most serious types of sex crimes. If convicted of a crime involving child pornography, you face very harsh penalties. The following are possible charges related to improper recording or photography involving children.
Invasive Visual Recording
Improper photography is illegal under Texas Penal Code Section 21.15. Invasive visual recording may be charged if you photography, record, or transmit an image or video of someone in a changing room or restroom or the intimate area of someone without consent. This can include taking a photo up a woman’s skirt in public, for example.
Invasive visual recording is a state jail felony. While this law covers victims of all ages, it is most likely to be charged when an adult is victimized. If invasive images are taken of a minor, child pornography may be charged instead.
Sale or Display of Harmful Material to a Minor
Under Texas Penal Code § 43.24, it is illegal to sell, distribute, or display harmful materials to a minor. “Harmful material” is defined as material with a dominant theme that:
- Appeals to a minor’s prurient curiosity or interest through sex or nudity,
- Is offensive to most adults in consideration of what is appropriate for a minor, and
- Has no redeeming social value for a minor.
This offense may be charged for displaying pornography to a minor, but it is not, for example, likely to be charged for displaying an educational documentary that includes nudity. This offense may be a Class A misdemeanor or a third-degree felony.
Sexual Performance of a Child
Under Texas Penal Code § 43.25, someone can be charged with sexual performance of a child. This refers to inducing, authorizing, or employing a minor to engage in a sexual performance or conduct or simulated intercourse. A performance can refer to a photograph, video, play, dance, or visual representation before an audience of at least one person.
Sexual performance of a child is usually a second-degree felony. It becomes a first-degree felony if the victim is younger than 14.
Possession or Promotion of Child Pornography
Texas Penal Code Section 43.26 makes it a crime to intentionally or knowingly possess visual material depicting a minor engaging in sexual conduct when the offender knows the material depicts a child. Possession of child pornography is usually a third-degree felony.
Promoting child pornography can be charged when someone intentionally or knowingly possesses child porn with the intent to promote it. This is assumed when someone is found in possession of material with six or more identical depictions of a minor engaging in sexual conduct. This is a second-degree felony.
Federal Child Pornography Charges
In addition to Texas state punishments, a child pornography offense can also result in federal charges. Federal law can include many related sex crimes such as:
- Transporting child pornography in interstate commerce, punishable by up to 20 years in prison
- Production of child pornography, punishable by up to 30 years in prison for a first-time offense
- Aggravated child pornography offenses that involve material with a violent or sadistic nature can be punishable with life in prison
If you are facing federal child pornography charges, it’s crucial to consult with a federal crimes lawyer. Not all personal injury lawyers have the experience and ability to represent you in a federal court.
Penalties for a Child Pornography Conviction in Plano, TX
If you are convicted of child pornography charges in Texas, you face very stiff penalties. In addition to the loss of your freedom, you may be punished with hefty fines and other consequences including sex offender registration.
The penalties for child pornography depend on the charge:
- State jail felony, 180 days to two years in prison
- Third-degree felony, two to 10 years in prison
- Second-degree felony, two to 20 years in prison
- First-degree felony, five to 99 years or life in prison
If you are convicted of possession of child pornography, you will likely be required to register as a sex offender. Sex offender registration comes with many specific rules that must be followed or you can be charged with another felony. Registration is usually required for life, but it is lower for juvenile offenders and it may be terminated early in some cases.
Conviction of a sex crime involving a child can also lead to significant social stigma, ineligibility for certain jobs and educational programs, and the loss of the rights to own a firearm and vote.
If you have been charged with possession of child pornography, it’s crucial to consult with an experienced child pornography defense attorney in Plano as soon as possible. At the Edgett Law Firm, we will begin work immediately to investigate your case and help you build the strongest possible defense.
Possible Defenses to Plano Child Pornography Charges
While you may feel hopeless when facing serious sex charges involving a minor, a Plano child pornography defense lawyer will help you build the strongest defense possible. A defense to child pornography often focuses on whether the accused acted with intent regarding the nature of their conduct. The prosecution must prove that the defendant acted intentionally or knowingly to possess the material with the knowledge that the victim was a minor.
You may have a valid defense if you accidentally came into possession of child pornography. For example, you may have been attempting to download or view material involving adults. Accidental possession can happen in other ways, such as malware that downloads illegal content.
Unintentional possession is also a common defense that may also be claimed if the material did not belong to you, your household has a shared computer, or you used an unsecured network.
You may also present any evidence that the individual depicted was at least 18 years old.
Texas Penal Code Section 43.25 lists specific defenses to prosecution for sexual performance of a child. You have a defense if the conduct was for a legitimate psychological, medical, educational, or law enforcement purpose or the defendant was not more than two years older than the minor.
In addition to these defenses, your Plano child pornography lawyer may attack weaknesses in the case against you. An illegal search and seizure or other procedural errors that violate your rights may make evidence inadmissible.
Contact a Plano Child Pornography Lawyer at the Edgett Law Firm
Child pornography and related offenses are treated very seriously in Texas. You deserve a vigorous legal defense to protect your legal rights and fight the charges you are facing. At the Edgett Law Firm, we are here to fight for your freedom.
Contact our law office to schedule a free consultation with a Plano child pornography lawyer. We will discuss your case and possible legal defenses that may be available to you.