False allegations of child pornography in Texas can occur in a number of situations. For example, if you were set up or blamed for viewing or possessing child porn, if the image didn't actually show an underaged child, or if you accidentally viewed child porn while browsing the Internet on a computer or cell phone, you could be falsely accused of committing this serious criminal offense.
Child pornography is commonly defined as any visual depiction of sexually explicit conduct that involves a child. Visual depictions can include any of the following:
- A video,
- A picture,
- A photo,
- A movie,
- A film,
- An image,
- A computer generated image,
- A computer generated graphic, and/or
- Any other recording, broadcast or transmission through electronic means.
Allegations of child pornography must be proven by the state prosecutor beyond a reasonable doubt in order to convict the alleged offender of the offense.
This can be a very difficult burden to meet and any doubt in the mind of the judge or jury at trial can result in an acquittal at trial of the charges you are facing.
Being prepared for trial also means that the prosecutor suddenly becomes more willing to drastically reduce the charges or negotiate a more favorable plea bargain.
An experienced sex crimes defense lawyer in Plano, TX, in Collin County, can help identify evidence or put on witnesses that that would raise doubts about the prosecutor’s case.
Therefore, it is important to contact a skilled defense lawyer in Texas once the false child porn accusations have been made against you. An experienced attorney will begin working on the best legal defense for your particular situation immediately.
Child Pornography Defense Lawyer in Plano, TX
Contact Stuckle & Associates PLLC for a consultation about your false child porn allegations in Plano, TX, and throughout the Greater Dallas Fort Worth (DFW) area, including the communities of Frisco, McKinney, Allen, Carrollton, and Richardson.
The attorneys of Stuckle & Associates PLLC in Plano, TX, are knowledgeable in all areas of Texas criminal statutes and will make every effort to help you achieve the most desirable outcome for your particular situation.
Call Stuckle & Associates PLLC for a free consultation today at (972) 423-4405 if you or a loved one has been charged with this offense.
Since our law firm works exclusively on sex crime related cases, we have both the experience and knowledge necessary to help you during this critical time.
Texas Child Pornography Information Center
- Improper Photography of a Child
- Charges for Sale, Distribution or Display of Harmful Material to a Minor
- The Definition of Sexual Performance of a Child in Texas
- Possession or Promotion of Child Pornography Arrests
- Penalties to Child Porn Crimes in Arlington
An individual can be charged with improper photography or visual recording of a child under Texas Penal Code § 21.15 if they photograph, videotape or otherwise record, broadcast or transmit through any electronic means a visual image of a child at a location without the videotaped minor’s consent and with the intent to arouse or gratify any person.
This offense must occur at any location besides a bathroom or private dressing room. This offense is generally punishable as a state jail felony.
An individual can also be charged with this offense if they photograph, videotape, or otherwise record, broadcast or transmit through any electronic means a visual image of a child at a bathroom or private dressing room:
- Without the child’s consent, and
- With the intent to invade the child’s privacy, or arouse or gratify the sexual desires of any person.
This offense is generally punishable as a state jail felony.
Texas law defines a minor, child or juvenile as anyone under the age of 18, according to the Texas Penal Code § 43.24(a)(1).
An individual can be charged with the sale, distribution or display of harmful materials to a minor under Texas Penal Code § 43.24 if they:
- Sell, distribute, exhibit or possess for sale, distribute or exhibit to a minor harmful material knowing the minor is underage and with knowledge the material is harmful;
- Display harmful material and is reckless about whether a minor is present that will be offended or alarmed by the display with knowledge the material is harmful; or
- Hires, employs or uses a minor to do or accomplish or assist in doing or accomplishing any of the acts prohibited above with knowledge the material is harmful.
This offense is generally punishable as a Class A misdemeanor or a felony of the third degree.
The term "harmful material" is defined under Texas law as any material that has a dominant theme that:
- Appeals to the prurient interest of a minor through sex, nudity or excretion;
- Is patently offensive to most adults with respect to what is suitable for minors; and
- Is utterly without redeeming social value for minors.
An individual can be charged with sexual performance of a child under the Texas Penal Code § 43.25 if they employ, authorize or induce a child under the age of 18 to engage in sexual conduct or a sexual performance knowing the character and content of the conduct or performance.
This offense is generally punishable as a felony of the second degree. However, if the alleged victim was under the age of 14, the offense is punishable as a felony of the first degree.
An individual can also be charged with this offense if they produce, direct or promote a performance that includes sexual conduct of a child under the age of 18 while knowing the character and content of the material.
This offense is generally punishable as felony of the third degree. However, if the alleged victim is under the age of 14, the offense is punishable as a felony of the second degree.
An individual can be charged with possession of child porn under the Texas Penal Code § 43.26 if they knowingly or intentionally possess visual material that depicts a child under the age of 18 engaging in sexual conduct and the alleged offender knows the material depicted a child under the age of 18. This charge for possession of child porn is generally punishable as a felony of the third degree.
An individual can be charged with possession or promotion of child pornography if they knowingly or intentionally promote or possess with intent to promote material that visually depicts a child under the age of 18 engaging in sexual conduct and they know the material depicts as child under the age of 18. If anyone possesses material that contains six or more identical depictions of a child under the age 18 engaging in sexual conduct, it is presumed they are possessing pornographic material with the intent to promote. This offense is generally punishable as a felony of the second degree.
If you have been falsely accused of possession or sale of child pornography in Dallas, it is important consult with an experienced child pornography defense attorney as soon as you are aware of the allegations. A conviction can result in any of the following repercussions or penalties:
- Sex offender registration requirements;
- Ineligibility to vote or hold public office;
- An inability to own or possess a firearm;
- Ineligibility to apply for certain jobs or occupations;
- A refusal to be admitted into certain educational programs; and/or
- Personal humiliations or public embarrassment.
The punishment also depends on the classification of the offense:
- A conviction for a Class A misdemeanor child porn offense can result in a jail sentence up to one year and/or a fine up to $4,000.
- A conviction for a state jail felony child pornography offense can result in a jail sentence ranging from 180 days to two years and/or a fine up to $10,000.
- A conviction for a felony of the third degree child porn offense can result in a prison sentence ranging from two to ten years and/or a fine up to $10,000.
- A conviction for a felony of the second degree child pornography offense can result in prison term ranging from two to 20 years and/or a fine not more than $10,000.
- A conviction for a felony of the first degree child porn offense can result in a prison term ranging from five to 99 years or life imprisonment and/or a fine up to $10,000.
Texas Business and Commerce Code Section 109.003 - The statute prohibits a computer technician, except in a case of willful or wanton misconduct, from being held liable in a civil action for reporting or failing to report the discovery of an image. The statute also prohibits a telecommunications provider, commercial mobile service provider, or information service provider from being held liable under this chapter for the failure to report child pornography that is transmitted or stored by a user of the service.
Stuckle & Associates PLLC|Collin County Child Pornography Lawyers
If you have been accused of committing a child pornography offense in Texas, including Dallas County, Collin County, Tarrant County, Denton County, and the surrounding areas, contact Stuckle & Associates PLLC today. We are ready to form a defensive strategy that best suits your individual needs. We can help you through every step of the process ahead.
With determination and hard work, we can fight to ensure that your rights and future are protected. Trust our experience and dedicated knowledge of this field. Call us today at (972) 423-4405 to schedule your free consultation regarding your child pornography charges. We can begin your defense today.
This article was last updated on Thursday, April 21, 2016.