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What Happens if I Am Charged with Possession of Child Pornography in Texas?

 Posted on August 18,2023 in Criminal Defense

Denton sex crimes defense lawyer

Originally published: December 27, 2021 -- Updated: August 17, 2023

Update: As described below, accusations that someone has possessed child pornography can lead to multiple types of serious consequences. However, it is also important to understand when a person could potentially be accused of promotion of child pornography, which is an even more serious offense. This sex crime can not only result in large fines and multiple years of jail time, but a person who is convicted will be required to register as a sex offender, which can limit where they will be able to live and affect their ability to find employment.

Promotion of child pornography generally involves the distribution of illegal materials to others. Actions like transmitting digital files to someone else may lead to these types of charges. However, other activities may fall into this category, such as printing photographs, displaying videos to others, or advertising or offering to sell or distribute child pornography. Any attempts to give, deliver, or transfer materials that depict minors engaging in sexual conduct to others may result in charges of promotion of child pornography. In fact, possessing at least six identical copies of materials that are considered child pornography creates the presumption that a person intends to promote child pornography.

A person who is accused of promotion of child pornography may be charged with a second degree felony. A conviction on second degree felony charges may result in a prison sentence of between two and 20 years. A second offense will be charged as a first degree felony, and a conviction may lead to a sentence of five to 99 years. It is also important to note that while state-level charges may apply, cases involving the distribution of child pornography may also be prosecuted at the federal level. Materials distributed over the internet may be transmitted through networks in multiple states or countries, and federal prosecutors may take action to pursue charges for offenses that affected interstate or international commerce. 

Contact a Denton County Promotion of Child Pornography Defense Lawyer

Defending against charges related to child pornography requires representation by an attorney who understands the applicable laws and has experience in these matters. At Magaña & Van Dyke, our Denton sex crimes attorney can help you understand your options for defending against these accusations, and we will fight to help you avoid a conviction while protecting your rights and your reputation. Contact us today to set up a free consultation.

Texas takes sex crime offenses very seriously, especially when they are perpetrated against a minor. It is illegal to create, sell, distribute, or possess sexual images, videos, and other media of children under 18. Convicted persons who have violated Texas child pornography laws face heavy fines, prison time, and lifetime registration as a sex offender.

Registered sex offenders have to provide personal information to the public, including their photograph, where they live, and the charges they have been convicted of. If you have been charged with child pornography-related crimes, a sex crimes defense attorney will be essential to helping you build a strong defense. 

Possession of Child Pornography in Texas

Texas law enforcement has many different ways of finding child pornography in someone’s possession. In addition to getting a search warrant and searching someone’s home for physical evidence, they may also try to catch perpetrators in the following places: 

  • Peer-to-peer file sharing-networks
  • Internet caches
  • Internet search histories
  • Text messages
  • Computer files
  • Internet service providers that report to federal law enforcement
  • Online police stings in chat rooms and other websites 

However the child pornography has been found, a first-time conviction for possession is a third-degree felony that carries 2-10 years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines. Second convictions are second-degree felonies that carry up to 20 years in prison and a third conviction can result in up to 99 years in prison - essentially a lifetime. 

Criminal Defense Strategies for Child Pornography Charges

An experienced sex crimes defense attorney can help Texans charged with possession of child pornography build a strong defense against the charges. This may include proving the material did not actually belong to the defendant, such as in the case of a shared computer. Another defense may be to establish that the material does not meet the definition of child pornography as set forth by the law. A third track a defense attorney might take could be unintentional possession, by showing the defendant received the material by accident. 

Speak with a Denton Sex Crimes Defense Lawyer

At Magaña & Van Dyke, we know how serious child pornography charges can be. That is why our Denton County sex crimes defense attorneys are dedicated to making sure our clients are given an aggressive defense. We provide a straightforward, nonjudgmental environment where you can get the legal counsel you need to protect your rights. Call us today at 940-382-1976 to schedule a free consultation. 



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