What are the penalties for possessing child porn in Texas?
The penalties for child pornography will depend on whether you’re charged in state court or federal court. For child pornography in Texas, you can be charged in either venue. Very often where you end up will depend on what agency developed the case. If you have just a few images, there’s a good chance you’ll end up in state court. If you have lots of images or video, you’ll end up in federal court.
In state court, the difference in the offense will depend on the facts of the case. There is a third-degree offense and there is a second-degree offense. In state court, you can end up being placed on probation and not have to serve any prison time, but you’ll still have to register as a sex offender for your entire life. In federal court, they’re going to look at the number of images, they’re going to look at the type of images, and they’re going to look at whether or not the child was younger than 14. All of those issues play a role in the amount of time that someone could potentially serve in jail. In federal court, it’s not uncommon to have somebody serve anywhere from four to ten years or more in prison depending on your criminal history, the type of images, if it’s prepubescent picture, and if they are involving very egregious type of images.
What ends up happening in federal court is you are given some additional benefit if you come forward and take responsibility early. In state court, there’s no reward for coming forward early for trying to work something out quickly. In fact, it’s almost the opposite. In state court, very often by fighting the case, you’re going to end up with a better deal than if you just agree to some sort of plea bargain. In federal court, your lawyer needs to look at the case and hire an expert to look at the images to see if there’s some way those images could have gotten onto the computer without the knowledge of the person charged. You need to do that quickly so that the person can take responsibility if that’s in their own best interest.
Were you or a loved one charged with a sex crime and have questions about the penalties for possessing child porn in Texas? Contact a San Antonio sex crime lawyer at Rush & Gransee today for a consultation on your case and all of your potential defenses. Let our experience work for you.
Subscribe to Our YouTube Channel.