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Secrets of the Texas Criminal Justice System and Your Rights
Child pornography is any material that depicts a person under the age of 18 in a sexual manner. Mere possession of this material may be a state or federal crime, and if the images traveled across state or national lines, the federal government may take charge of the investigation.
You may feel uncertain about your future if you have been accused of possessing, creating, selling, or distributing pictures or videos of underage persons. Generally, the best first step is getting answers from a criminal defense attorney, so you understand what you are facing. Consult with an Amarillo child pornography lawyer to discuss what type of evidence the government needs to prove and what defenses you may have available.
Definition of Child Pornography in Amarillo
To be convicted, a person accused of a criminal act related to child pornography must have acted on purpose or intended to possess or distribute the material showing underage people. Also, the images must depict the minors in a sexual manner, or the creator must have made them to gratify sexual desires.
The law also applies to people who broadcast the described images. Many cases come down to small details like these, but a skilled Amarillo child pornography attorney could help argue on a defendant’s behalf regarding these aspects of their alleged offense.
Amarillo Child Pornography Laws
The federal government and the Texas government have different laws addressing these types of allegations. Upon conviction, a person may face the following penalties:
- Registration as a sex offender
- Permanent criminal record
- Loss of job opportunities
- Negative impact on the reputation
Texas Child Pornography Statutes
Possession of images of underage people is a third-degree felony in the state of Texas. The government may punish a convicted person with up to ten years in prison and $10,000 in fines.
If the government believes the arrested person intended to distribute visual depictions, that is a second-degree felony as described in Texas Penal Code §43.23. The court will automatically presume intent to distribute if a person possesses at least six identical pictures of a minor. The maximum associated penalties are 20 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.
Improperly filming a minor could lead to two years in prison and a $10,000 fine. If the child engaged in sexual acts, that is a second-degree felony, which is noted in T.P.C. §43.25. When a child under the age of 14 is involved, it is a first-degree felony. In which case a conviction may lead to 99 years in prison.
Federal Child Pornography Statutes
If a sexually explicit image of a child is passed through the mail or across state lines. The issue falls under federal jurisdiction and the federal government may pursue charges against an individual. A first federal offense of transporting sexual images of children is punishable by five to 20 years in federal prison, as noted in 18 U.S.C. §2252.
Speak with an Amarillo Child Pornography Attorney
Because of the severe consequences of a conviction, you may wish to take immediate action to protect yourself. An Amarillo child pornography lawyer may be able to help you understand your situation. As well as what steps you can take to fight for a positive outcome. While no attorney can guarantee any results, a skilled legal representative can make sure you take full advantage of your rights and that your situation is adequately demonstrated in the court of law.