Child Pornography

All crime against children usually have heavy penalties. Possessing, transmitting, or creating child pornography can result in serious legal consequences. A person convicted of child pornography will face steep fines, registry in the sex offender database, and years behind bars.

Allegations of child pornography can ruin a person’s life. Even those who are pillars in the community feel the negative social stigma when accused of child pornography. To avoid having your life uprooted from child pornography charges, it’s vital that you contact an experienced sex crimes attorney.

Child Pornography Attorney in Harris County, Texas

Child pornography charges can result in severe legal ramifications. Take note, every electrical transmission of child pornography results in another count of child pornography. This means you could be facing multiple charges all at once for one offense. You must seek an attorney if you have been charged with child pornography.

Brian Benken is a practiced criminal defense attorney with years of experience in all types of sex offenses. Attorney Brian Benken is compassionate with each and every client. Rest assured, Brian Benken will do everything in his power to obtain the best results for your case. Act now and take the first steps in your defense with The Benken Law Firm.

The Benken Law Firm accepts clients in every community of Harris County and surrounding communities including Houston, Pasadena, Bellaire, Magnolia Park, River Oaks, and Westchase, and many others.

Call us now at (713) 223 - 4051 for a free consultation today.


Overview of Child Pornography in Texas


Elements for Possessing or Promoting Child Pornography in Texas

Texas law states it’s illegal to possess or promote any kind of child pornography. The Texas Penal Code § 43.26 defines child pornography as any type of visual material that depicts a child engaging in any type of sexual conduct. The term “sexual conduct” refers to any kind of sexual act, actual or simulated.

For the prosecution to convict a person of possessing or promoting child pornography, they must prove the following elements beyond a reasonable doubt:

  • The alleged offender intentionally or knowingly possesses or has access with intent to view inappropriate visual material;
  • The visual material depicted a child, younger than 18 years of age, engaged in sexual conduct;
  • The alleged offender is aware of the content on the visual material.

A person is presumed to possess the material with intent to promote if he or she possesses six or more identical visual depictions of a child engaging in sexual conduct. Possessing with intent to promote charges have more enhanced penalties than simple possession.


Texas Penalties for Possessing Child Pornography

The legal consequences for possessing or promoting child pornography are heavily dependent on the alleged offender’s criminal history. A first-time offender for child pornography may face a felony of the third degree, which is punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.

If the alleged offender has one previous conviction for child pornography, he or she will face a second-degree felony. The penalties for a second-degree felony include a maximum prison sentence of up to 20 years and a fine of up to $10,000.

Alleged offenders with two or more convictions for child pornography may face a first-degree felony. A first-degree felony has a minimum prison sentence of 5 years and a maximum prison sentence of 99 years or life imprisonment, and a possible fine of up to $10,000.

Any person who is convicted of possession with intent to promote child pornography may face a second-degree felony. If it can be shown that the alleged offender has been previously convicted of child pornography, those charges will be elevated to a first-degree felony.


Electronic Transmission of Child Pornography in Texas

In Texas, it is also a crime to promote child pornography even if a minor does it. This is usually done by “sexting.” It is unlawful to electronically possess or promote visual material depicting a minor to another minor. This applies even if the alleged offender knows the minor personally.

A person convicted for electronic transmission of child pornography may face a Class C misdemeanor, which is punishable by a fine of up to $500.

If the alleged offender does any of the following he or she will face a Class B misdemeanor:

  • Promoted the visual material for the sole purpose to annoy, alarm, abuse, torment, harass, embarrass, or offend another; or
  • Has a previous conviction for electronic transmission of child pornography.

A Class B misdemeanor is punishable by up to 180 days in Harris County jail and a fine of up to $2,000.

If the alleged offender is convicted of electronic transmission of child pornography and has the following criminal record, he or she will face a Class A misdemeanor.

  • Has one or more convictions for electronic transmission of child pornography; or
  • Has one or more convictions for a public indecency offense.

Possession or Promotion of Lewd Material of a Child in Texas

It is unlawful to possess or promote any type of lewd material of a minor in Texas. The prosecution must prove the following elements beyond a reasonable doubt to convict a person for possessing or promoting lewd material of a child.

  • The alleged offender knowingly possesses, promotes, or has access to visual material that;
  • Depicts lewd exhibition of a child’s genitals or pubic area, clothed or unclothed; and
  • Was created to appeal to a prurient interested in sex; and
  • Does not have any serious artistic, political, scientific, or literary value.

A first-time offense of possessing or promoting lewd material is charged as a state jail felony. The penalties for a state jail felony includes a maximum prison time of up to 24 months in jail, and a fine of up to $10,000.

Second-time offenders may face a third-degree felony, which is punishable up to 10 years in prison, and a fine of up to $10,00. If the alleged offender has two or more previous convictions, he or she may face a second-degree felony. A second-degree felony is punishable by up to 20 years in prison, and a fine of up to $10,000.


Defenses to Child Pornography in Texas

A child pornography charge can be extremely stressful. Allegations alone can harm a person’s career and personal lives. However, with the help of a skilled attorney there are certain defenses that are at your disposal.

An experienced attorney can gather evidence, file motions, suppress evidence, and take the legal steps to fight your charges. The following are some admissible defenses for child pornography charges in Texas.

  • The alleged offender was the spouse of the minor during the commission of the offense;
  • The actions in the visual material served a bona fide medical, psychological, psychiatric, judicial, educational, or legislative purpose;
  • The alleged offender was a law enforcement officer or school administrator who possessed the material for a law enforcement or law enforcement education purpose, and the material was destroyed in a timely manner; or
  • The alleged offender was not more than two years older than the minor.

Additional Resources

Texas Child Pornography Laws – Visit the official website for the Texas Penal Code, a collection of Texas offense laws. Find more information surrounding public indecency offenses such as prostitution, public indecency, and child pornography.

Child Rescue Coalition – Visit the official website for the Child Rescue Coalition, a partnership of child exploitation investigators, officers, digital forensic experts, prosecutors, and child welfare agencies that work towards ending child pornography production. Find more information surrounding child pornography statistics, solutions to the problem of child pornography, and news for the fight to stop child pornography.


Houston Lawyer for Child Pornography in Texas

Are you currently under investigation for possessing or promoting child pornography? Do you have no idea what to do next? If so, it is crucial that you gain the aid of an experienced criminal defense attorney today.

Brian Benken is a practiced criminal defense attorney who is passionate about defending your rights. Attorney Brian Benken understands the extreme stress those with child pornography allegations face. Find some peace of mind with a sturdy defense. Call Brian Benken at (713) 223 - 4051 for a free consultation surrounding your case.

The Benken Law Firm accepts clients in every part of Harris County and surrounding communities including Alief, Magnolia Park, River Oaks, Midtown, and Gulfton.

Call us at (713) 223 - 4051 for legal representation with a seasoned criminal defense attorney.


This article was last updated on October 12, 2018.


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