If you or a loved one has been charged with Possession of Child Pornography in Houston, you need to be aware of the seriousness of the charges and hire a proven Board Certified Defense Attorney who will fight for your rights and freedom. Grant Scheiner has years of real trial experience and will help you navigate the often-confusing court and legal system and give you the best options for a positive outcome.
What is Possession of Child Pornography
A Possession of Child Pornography offense is usually called “Child Porn” or “Kiddie Porn.” This is a serious offense and there is special Texas discovery rules that determine how a defense attorney may inspect (but usually not possess) evidence in the case.
Due to the legal complexity of the charge and the technological complexity relating to how case evidence is discovered, copied, transferred and stored by police and prosecutors, a person accused of Possession of Child Pornography in Houston should find a defense attorney with experience in the subject matter, a successful track record of defending these types of cases in the state of Texas, and an understanding of computers and technology.
Attorney Grant Scheiner is a Former Chair of the Computer & Technology Section of the State Bar of Texas and has vast experience with the numerous ways law enforcement agencies gather and use the information they have obtained to prosecute potential offenders. Today’s technology used to identify and apprehend those in possession or distributing child pornography are very advanced and you need a lawyer that is fully aware of what you may be facing. Special task forces set up to monitor crimes against children work diligently and use IP address to monitor peer to peer networks as well as hash values that can narrow geographical locations of the offenders.
These technologies have proven to be very accurate and often help agencies obtain search warrants which will allow them to search your premises or confiscate your computer. Law enforcement agencies work with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children to compare the information they obtain electronically with the known providers.
About Possession of Child Pornography
Child Pornography charges may be brought in federal or state courts. Federal child pornography charges are usually only applicable when the alleged conduct occurs in a federal jurisdiction (such as a federal park or a Post Office) or when the alleged conduct involves interstate commerce or foreign commerce.
A prosecutor’s or arrest agency’s choice of whether to file a charge in federal court or state court can have a significant effect on the outcome of the case. In some instances, a charge filed in one type of court may be “removed” or dismissed and re-filed to a different type of court.
In Texas, Possession of Child Pornography is a Third Degree Felony, punishable by 2-10 years imprisonment and a fine of up to $10,000. It carries lifetime sex offender registration.
A person commits Possession of Child Pornography if the person knowingly or intentionally possesses visual material that visually depicts a child younger than 18 years of age at the time the image was created and depicts the child engaging in sexual conduct. Tex. Pen. Code § 43.26.
The specifics of Tex. Pen. Code § 43.26 has been broken down into subsections that include the following. Possession or Promotion of Child Pornography, Electronic Transmission of Certain Visual Material Depicting a Minor and Possession or Promotion of Lewd Visual Material Depicting a Child. For a detailed explanation of each, you can view the exact details on the Texas.gov website by following the provided link.
It is a defense to prosecution that the accused is a law enforcement officer or a school administrator, who possessed the visual material in good faith solely as a result of an allegation of a violation; allowed other law enforcement or school administrative personnel to access the material only as appropriate based on the allegation; and, took reasonable steps to destroy the material within an appropriate period following the allegation.
Have You Been Charged with Possession of Child Pornography
It is very important to remember that being charged with possession of child pornography is very serious and that talking to anyone associated with a law enforcement agency should only be done with or after having contacted an attorney who will advise you what to say and how your words can be used against you in a court of law. Contact the Scheiner Law Group immediately if you or a loved one have been charged with this crime or a similar offense.