Any Houston criminal defense lawyer will tell you, possession of a child pornography is a serious felony criminal offense in the state of Texas. Under section 43.26 of the Texas Penal Code, an individual is considered guilty if he or she knowingly possesses visual material of an underage engaging in sexual performance. An underage, in this case, is a person aged below 18 years.
Possession also refers to manufacturing, selling, distribution, lending, mailing or any form of dissemination of child porn. Sexual performance, on the other hand, entails both intercourse and exhibition of a child’s sexual organs. The visual material can either be in the form of photos, videotapes, films and any media that can be used to store images or videos.
What are The Penalties?
Possession of Child Pornography: A Felony
The state of Texas and the Federal government prohibit and condemn the use of children aged 18 and below in any form of sexual performance. As a result, possession of child pornography is charged as a second-degree felony. And, it can carry a sentence of 2 to 20 years in a state prison. You can also be penalized a fine of up to $10,000.
The penalties tend to be more severe if the child involved is below the age of 14 years. This is regarded as a first-degree felony, and the sentence can range from 5 to 99 years. You should also know that all sex crimes do require one to register as a sex offender if found guilty.
If found in possession of 6 or more copies of child pornography, the law assumes that the individual had the intent to distribute the material. Moreover, a parent or guardian who gives consent for a child to engage in sexual performance, he or she can also be punished as per the Texas laws.
A Houston Criminal Defense Lawyer Can Help
Fight Back Against Texas Criminal Child Pornography Allegations!
Being convicted of possession of child pornography can impact your social life, family, and career. This is why if you have been charged with possession or distribution of child pornography, you ought to contact a Houston criminal defense lawyer to help you salvage your reputation. Lack of knowledge and intent are some of the few defenses that can be used to plead innocent to your case.