Defending Child Pornography Charges In Texas
Charges relating to child pornography are serious, and convictions come with significant and severe consequences. If you are facing charges of child pornography, it is critically important to take these charges seriously and find a lawyer who will fight for your rights and freedom. For those who have been charged with child pornography in San Antonio or Bexar County, our former prosecutors turned criminal defense attorneys at Clarissa Fernandez Pratt, Attorney at Law, have the experience and knowledge to fight vigorously on your behalf in state or federal court.
What Constitutes Child Pornography?
Texas state law defines child pornography as material that visually shows a child engaging in sexual conduct. Under the Texas Penal Code, it is a felony crime to possess or access visual material depicting a minor (a child under the age 18 at the time of the image) engaging in sexual conduct. Sexual conduct is further defined to include sexual contact, actual and simulated sexual intercourse, masturbation, bestiality of a sexual nature, sadomasochistic abuse, and “lewd exhibition of the genitals, the anus or any portion of the female breast below the top of the areola.” If six or more identical visual depictions exist, there is also a presumption that the defendant had the intent to distribute and promote the pornographic materials.
When Does Child Pornography Become A Federal Crime?
Child pornography crimes can be prosecuted as state or federal offenses. Under U.S. federal laws, child pornography is defined as “any visual depiction of sexually explicit conduct involving a minor.” Visual depictions include:
- Photographs that are developed, undeveloped and/or electronically stored
- Videos that are developed, undeveloped and/or electronically stored
- Digital or computer-generated images of what looks like an actual minor
It is a federal crime to produce, distribute, receive or possess child pornography using interstate or foreign means or commerce, like U.S. mail or the internet. It is also illegal to persuade or coerce a child to engage in explicit sexual conduct for the purpose of producing a visual depiction.
The Consequences Of A Child Pornography Conviction
In Texas, a conviction related to child porn can be harsh. As a third-degree felony, a conviction for possession of child pornography can come with a fine up to $10,000 and include prison time ranging from two to 10 years. In addition, a conviction for a crime related to child pornography also comes with a lifetime requirement to register as a sex offender. Defendants of criminal federal pornography charges also face severe penalties. For example, under federal laws, when they’re convicted of producing child pornography, even first-time offenders face statutory minimum sentences of 15 to 30 years in prison. Convicted offenders with aggravating factors can even face lifetime sentences.
An aggressive defense to criminal charges of child pornography is critical. With required sex offender registration and the potential for lengthy prison sentences, the consequences of a conviction for child porn can last a lifetime. An experienced criminal defense attorney can fight for your rights and work on your behalf to help you fight criminal charges relating to child porn.
Call Now To Schedule Your Free Consultation
If you have been charged with a crime relating to child pornography, don’t wait. Call us at Clarissa Fernandez Pratt, today at 210-920-2535, or send an email through our online form to schedule your free, no-obligation, initial consultation. Our attorneys will fight vigorously on your behalf to defend your rights and freedom.