Child pornography refers to anything that depicts a minor engaging in sexual intercourse or sexual activity. This is considered to be obscene material. Violating federal child pornography law may result in a fine and maximum prison of about 40 years. Each state has its own charges and penalties for violating child pornography laws.

Does Texas Have a Law against Promoting or Possessing Child Pornography?

Yes. Texas has a possession or promotion of child pornography law. According to the law, a person is guilty of the crime if they intentionally or knowingly access images of a child engaging in sexual conduct. The person must intend to view visual material.

What Does “Visual Material” Mean?

Visual material refers to:

  • Any videotape, film, photography, slide, photographic reproduction, videotape, or negative
  • Diskette, disk, or any other physical medium allowing images to be displayed on a computer or video screen
  • Any image transmitted to a video screen or computer via satellite, cable, telephone line, or any other method

What If I Did Not Actually Possess Child Pornography?

A person can be charged with promoting child pornography by promoting it. Texas regards promoting child pornography as:

  • Manufacturing
  • Selling
  • Issuing
  • Giving
  • Lending
  • Providing
  • Mailing
  • Delivering
  • Transferring
  • Publishing
  • Transmitting
  • Circulating
  • Disseminate
  • Exhibiting
  • Advertising
  • Presenting
  • Offering or
  • Agreeing to help distribute

Is Promoting or Possessing Child Pornography a Felony?

Yes. The type of felony class that the crime falls into depends on specific circumstances. The first time someone is charged with this crime, they are charged with a felony of the third degree which is punishable by:

  • Two to 10 years in state prison
  • $10,000 fine
  • Both fine and state prison time

A second conviction is a second degree felony punishable by:

  • Two to 20 years in prison
  • $10,000 fine
  • Fine and prison time

If the person knows the child depicted in the pornography, it is a first degree felony. That felony is punishable by:

  • Five to 99 years in state prison
  • $10,000 fine
  • Fine and prison time

Should I Contact an Attorney?

Like any other felony, a criminal charge involving child pornography is a serious matter that can result in a lengthy prison sentence. Contact a Texas attorney immediately to understand more about your legal rights.