Anything that shows a juvenile having sexual relations or engaging in sexual behavior is considered child pornography. This is regarded as obscene content. Federal child pornography laws may be broken with a fine and a possible sentence of roughly 40 years in jail. For breaking state laws against child pornography, each state has its own charges and sanctions.

Sexual intercourse is not a need for sexually explicit behavior. Any sexual or sexually related conduct that would be unacceptable to depict a minor engaging in is permissible. Regarding child pornography, there are both state and federal regulations.

It can be deemed child pornography even if a picture or video has been edited to make it appear a child is performing the act or engaging in the conduct. This law has a few exceptions, such as artistic renderings or representations with significant literary, aesthetic, or scientific value. For instance, a textbook on anatomy that includes illustrations of a kid’s anatomy may not be considered child pornography.

Unsuccessfully, some people have tried to make the case that the First Amendment should protect child pornography as free speech or expression. However, courts have rejected this reasoning primarily because of the simple fact that child pornography suggests that other crimes or violations occurred during the creation of the photos.

What are Child Pornography’s Illegal Uses?

The fundamental rule to keep in mind when considering whether child pornography is permissible is that it probably isn’t if it even mentions children. In terms of laws governing child pornography, each state has its own. It may also be charged as a federal offense. Federal offenses involving the use of child pornography may include:

  • Mailing child pornography across state lines, including via email.
  • Receiving child pornography with knowledge.
  • Selling or dispersing child pornography with knowledge.
  • Promoting child pornography through the mail across state lines, including via email.

Is There a Law in Texas Prohibiting the Promotion or Possession of Child Pornography?

Yes. Texas has a statute against owning or promoting child pornography. If someone willfully or knowingly accesses photographs of a minor participating in sexual activity, they are breaking the law, says the law. The person must have the intention to watch the video.

What Exactly Is “Visual Material”?

Any videotape, film, photography, slide, photographic reproduction, videotape, or negative are considered visual materials, as are any disks or other physical media that enable the display of images on a computer or video screen, and any picture sent by satellite, cable, phone line, or any other channel to a computer or video screen.

What if Child Pornography Was Not Actually in My Possession?

By advocating child pornography, one may be accused of doing so. Texas considers encouraging child pornography to be:

  • Manufacturing
  • Selling/Issuing/Giving/Lending
  • Providing/Mailing/Delivering/Transferring/Publishing
  • Transmitting, Circulating, Disseminating, Displaying, Presenting, Offering, or Agreeing to Assist in Distribution

Is it Illegal to Promote or Possess Child Pornography?

Yes. The crime’s classification as a felony relies on the case’s particulars. When someone is initially accused of this offense, they are charged with a third-degree felony, which carries the following penalties:

  • State prison sentence of two to ten years
  • $10,000 fine
  • Both a fine and a term in state prison

The following sentences apply to second-degree felonies:

  • Two to twenty years in jail
  • $10,000 fine

It is a first-degree felony if the person knows the child portrayed in the pornographic material. Punishment for that crime includes:

  • A state prison sentence of five to 99 years
  • $10,000 fine

If found guilty of breaking child pornography statutes, the defendant may also be required to participate in a supervised sex offender release program for longer or sign up for a sex offender database, sometimes known as a sex offender registry. A person who has been found guilty of one or more sexual offenses violating local, state, or federal law is referred to as a sex offender.

A defendant may face additional criminal charges if they do not register or update their registry as necessary.

State-maintained records of those found guilty of specific sexual abuse offenses are known as sexual offender registers. Federal legislation mandates that these registries be kept up to date by the states.

Even though the requirements for registration vary from state to state, they often include those who have been found guilty of felony statutory rape, criminal child sexual abuse, or both.

These registries typically include the offender’s name, residence address, and, in some states, the offenses of which they were found guilty. Although parole boards normally demand some residency listing, even if it is “the bridge beyond the Safeway store,” offenders who cannot provide an address are not penalized.

With a judge’s approval, these sex offender registration lists must be made available to law enforcement, victims, and individuals or organizations.

These lists are publicly accessible in some states. These listings are accessible in other states because all state documents are open to the public. Some states keep a list online.

Can Child Pornography Victims File a Civil Lawsuit?

Yes, those harmed by child pornography may file a civil lawsuit. The distributor may be sued by minors depicted in the material to prevent sales or distribution. Although a civil case does not have the same consequences as a criminal conviction, it nevertheless enables the kid to receive some compensation for their losses. Punitive damages and the cost of filing the action may be included in the damages awarded.

What Legal Representations Do I Have If I’ve Been Charged with Possession or Distribution of Child Pornography?

A few child pornography defenses may apply if someone is accused of using child pornography. To receive counsel, present defenses, and have the case resolved in the best way possible, it is always in the defendant’s best interest to seek the advice and aid of a lawyer.

Suppose it can be demonstrated that none of the people in the graphic material are truly children. In that case, a defense may be offered where the allegations involve disseminating of child pornography. There may be more defenses available in circumstances when the charges include possession of child pornography.

The best action in any situation where child pornography can unintentionally end up in someone’s possession is to destroy the item and report it to the police. Even if they have the best intentions, a person shouldn’t demonstrate them to others. They can get into legal or criminal issues because of this.

Being unaware that the content you were accessing, downloading, or otherwise using was child pornography is one of the best ways to fight child pornography allegations. Since it is lawful to own adult pornography, it is possible that someone unintentionally browsed child pornography materials or unintentionally downloaded the content from a file-sharing website under the impression that it was a movie or a TV show.

It is also conceivable to argue that even though a person’s computer has the material, they did not download it. When a computer is shared, located in a shared area, or has several users, such as in a work environment, this protection may be accessible.

Should I Get in Touch with a Lawyer?

A criminal charge involving child pornography is a severe matter that can lead to a protracted prison sentence, just like any other felony. Get in touch with a Texas criminal lawyer immediately to learn more about your legal options.