10 things to know about felony child pornography allegations in texas

If you think you’re under investigation for child pornography, it’s wise to take the initiative and learn as much as you can about state and federal crime laws at sexuality and how quickly your world can turn upside down after you’re arrested.

Child pornography arrests can mean jail time and registration of sex offenders

The sentence can include imprisonment and a permanent place on the sex offender registry. Of course, last week’s case study produced an excellent result. The dallas teen faced several years in prison and ended up on probation and supervised release. But there is no universal defense when someone is accused of possessing or distributing child pornography.

Here are 10 things to know about child pornography felony charges in texas.

1. Definition of child pornography

Images that are on paper, on screen, stored in the cloud, or on disk will not be protected by the first amendment if they meet the legal definition of pornography under state or federal law.

Federal law 18 usc 2256 defines “child pornography” as any visual representation of sexually explicit conduct involving a minor (person under 18 years of age), as defined at 18 usc. 2256(2).

Specifically, under federal law, “child pornography” means any “visual image, including any photograph, film, video, image, or computer or computer-generated image or image. , Regardless of whether they are made with the help of electronic, mechanical or other means of a sexual nature, where-

1. The production of such a visual image involves the involvement of a minor in sexually explicit conduct;2. Such visual image is a digital image, computer generated image, or computer generated image that is or is indistinguishable from an image of a minor engaging in sexually explicit conduct; or3. Such visual representation has been created, adapted, or altered to give the impression that an identifiable minor is engaging in sexually explicit conduct.” Knowingly or intentionally possessing visual material that visually depicts a child under the age of 18 engaging in sexual activity” as defined in texas penal code section 43.25(a)(2).

2. State and federal jurisdiction

Both federal and state law have child pornography laws. In many cases, federal laws will apply these days because the internet will be involved. The federal government will seek jurisdiction if, for example, any uploaded image was involved in the allegations, or if a storage device (say, a flash drive) was at some point moved outside state or national boundaries.

It is possible to be arrested, charged, and prosecuted under both federal and state child pornography laws. Prosecution can take place in both texas and federal courts if prosecutors in both jurisdictions choose to do so.

Remember the subway guy? Read, child porn arrests: lessons from sentencing a former subway worker.

3. Illegal images

Federal law defines “visual images” as “photographs, videos, digital or computer-generated images that are indistinguishable from real minors, or images created, adapted, or altered that appear to depict a minor” . Identifiable, real juvenile.” This can be undeveloped film, undeveloped videotape, and electronically stored data that can be converted into a visual representation of child pornography.

4. Illegal content

According to the federal penal code, “sexually explicit behavior” in this image includes not only sexual acts, but everything that has “sexual overtones”. Texas law contains specific definitions in section 43.25(a)(2) of the texas penal code.

5. Age of person in image

Any person who is not legally of legal age is considered a minor by law.Minors are those under the age of 18 under federal law, and it doesn’t matter if a particular state defines the age of majority before 18. Federal law will control federal fees. Minors are not legally allowed to consent to sexual acts. Texas also defines the age of majority as 18.

This means that federal and state charges of “child pornography” can be brought against anyone who has a picture of a young woman who is two years old. Months before her 18th birthday, as if they were found with images of a preschooler. No distinction is made in the age of a person who has not reached the age of majority.

6. Categories of child pornography in criminal law

Sex offense laws criminalize child pornography in various areas. See 18 u.S.C. § 2251; 18 u.S. § 2252; 18 u.S. § 2252a. This is true for both federal and state fees. See section 43.25 of the texas penal code and following.

You can be arrested and charged with possessing it, as well as distributing it:

– Obtaining child pornography- possession of child pornography- distribution of child pornography- production of child pornography.

7. Legal defenses against child pornography

No two cases are the same, and each charge and allegation must be defended according to its unique characteristics. However, it’s generally fair to point out that the most common defense against child pornography charges, especially acquisition or possession, is that you had no idea you were downloading child porn.

Or the site you were visiting was a child pornography site. Or that you didn’t know the person in the image was under 18. It happens that someone downloads a tv show or movie from the internet and unknowingly takes possession of child pornography. Mistakes happen. The defense here is lack of intent or factual error.

Another common defense is that you don’t get hold of illegal images. You may be charged for a computer drive that you share with other people. Someone has been known to download child pornography and use the name or identity of a dupe in an attempt to protect themselves from being caught. If you’re a dupe, that’s a defense.

Finally, there are many defenses based on search and seizure laws and other issues related to how an investigation was conducted.

For more information, see: child pornography: protecting against investigations using the internet.

8. Sentence for child pornography

If you have a plea bargain or stand trial and are convicted, the range of punishment will depend on several factors. First time offenders are treated differently from career criminals. Obtaining child pornography or having child porn is treated differently than if you are found to have created illegal images (production) or if you have shared them (distribution).

For example, under 18 usc 2251, someone who is first convicted of producing child pornography faces federal sentencing guidelines with a statutory minimum of 15 years in prison (maximum 30 years). A person with a previous conviction for creating child pornography may be sentenced to life in prison under federal law.

9. Sex offenders database

Those who plead guilty to possession of child pornography under state or federal law will likely be asked to register with the national sex offenders database. For more information see:

– Texas sex offender registry: stigma and second chance; and the registry of texas sex offenders is huge, but not every listed sex offender is an adult sex offender.

10. Computer and child porn allegations

As shown in last week’s case study, child porn allegations could culminate in online investigations of computers and the internet. (This case began in new zealand with the kim dotcom case.) Both federal and state investigations will use search and seizure laws under the constitutional powers of the police to examine the contents of clouds and drives to detect illegal images of child pornography.Read, federal charges of child pornography are often linked to federal oversight of online communications, personal email, and computer files

There are active joint task forces working to monitor child pornography on the internet. They can expose individual ip addresses, leading to arrests. In addition, computer repair personnel or other third parties may report the discovery of child pornography on a computer, tablet, or phone. See child porn allegations: fbi computer surveillance and now private social media web hackers is a growing branch of law. While many see their mission of identifying and stopping child abuse through the production and distribution of child pornography as valid, it remains that it must be done with respect for the federal constitution and the sanctity of long-standing privacy and search and seizure laws. . See: fbi investigations and justice department prosecutions: fighting for your privacy rights


For more information, visit our web resources , read the results of the michael low case. , And read his detailed article “criminal investigations before arrest.”

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