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Child Pornography

Plano Child Pornography Lawyer

Generally speaking, child pornography (child sexual abuse images) refers to any sexually explicit image of a minor. In some cases, writing that involves sex with a minor or sexually explicit activities with a minor may be considered child pornography as well. Even explicit images that have been altered to look like minors may be considered child sexual abuse images. According to the United States Department of Justice, more than one million children have been victimized by child abuse images in the U.S. alone. Child pornography is an international issue, though, and the United States is devoted to working with other countries to eliminate child abuse images from the global market.

Penalties for Child Pornography Possession & Distribution

Section 43.26 of the state penal code, "Possession or Promotion of Child Pornography," describes the conditions under which a charge will be filed against you. For the purposes of the statute, "promotion" entails procuring, manufacturing, issuing, selling, giving, mailing, or various other methods of spreading pornographic material, or offering or agreeing to do any of the above actions. The law applies to any medium, including printed photos, digital image files, video, etc.

The legal penalties depend on whether you are charged with possession or promotion:

  • Possession: 3rd-degree felony - Prison sentence of 2-10 years and a fine of up to $10,000
  • Promotion: 2nd-degree felony - Between 2 and 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000

If the alleged crime involved inter-state commerce or the mail system, you may also be subjected to prosecution on the Federal level. The United States Code provides similarly harsh punishment for child pornography, with typical prison sentences ranging from 5 to 20 years.

Can a Minor be Accused of Child Pornography?

In the United States, child pornography is a serious federal offense. In fact, child pornography charges can easily result in severe fines and jail sentences. Additionally, child pornography convictions may have serious social consequences. A convicted sex offender can easily deal with the stigma of a conviction for the rest of his/her life. Additionally, he/she may be listed on a sex offender registry and have trouble obtaining jobs or certain certifications.

Under certain circumstances, minors may be accused of child pornography. In the past, child pornography laws have been used to prevent the exploitation of minors in child abuse images. However, the emergence of "sexting" has created a unique set of circumstances that can result in allegations of child pornography. How? When a minor sends or receives sexually explicit pictures, he/she may be accused of child pornography. According to the law, any individual may be accused of a child pornography crime if he/she sends a nude or semi-nude image of a minor.

Thus, teenagers who participate in sexting (even if voluntary and consensual) may be charged with serious crimes. According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), juvenile sexting has increased in popularity over the past several years. Statistically, one in six teens between 12 and 17 years old that possess a cell phone have received nude or semi-nude images from someone they know. With this increase comes an increased risk of young people being charged with serious sex offenses. Depending on the circumstances surrounding the images, the sender may be charged with sexual harassment as well.

Avoiding Child Pornography Charges

The FBI hopes to create awareness among young people about the consequences of texting explicit images of other minors. In order to avoid a serious criminal accusation, the FBI asks that young people think about the consequences of sending or receiving sexually explicit underage images. Additionally, the FBI asks that minors never take photographs of themselves that they wouldn't want their teachers, families, friends, employers, and classmates to see.

When a young person sends a text message to a friend that contains a nude or semi-nude picture of themselves or another minor, he/she has no control as to who will eventually see the picture. According to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, forwarding a sexual picture is considered the same offense as sending the original image. If convicted of a sexting-related crime, a minor could face jail-time, child pornography charges, and be placed on a sex offender registry.

Talk to Our Child Pornography Attorneys in Plano

The Zendeh Del Law Firm, PLLC is a group composed of aggressive trial lawyers. We take pride in our skill as negotiators, and we have earned a reputation for effective litigation in the Plano legal community. We can fight to see that you and your family aren't forced to suffer the consequences of a sex crime conviction. Not only would a guilty verdict potentially send you to prison, you would also be required to participate in sex offender registration, exposing you to public censure and possibly costing you employment opportunities. Our firm will provide you with an in-depth consultation to provide you with the criminal defense strategy with the greatest chances for success.

Contact a Plano child pornography lawyer if you need proven defense for your case.