Child pornography charges have the capacity to ruin someone’s life. The stigma of being a potential pedophile can result in a person being ostracized from their community, losing access to housing and employment opportunities, as well as having to face the legal penalties of a child pornography conviction. With so much at stake, it is vital that you get in touch with someone who can help. Time is of the essence when it comes to these charges, which is why you should contact an experienced sex crimes attorney as soon as you realize there is an accusation against you. If you face child pornography charges, get in touch with a Lubbock child pornography lawyer who will fight for you.

 Child Pornography Charges

In Lubbock, the charges are possession or promotion of child pornography, so the person can get charged with possessing something that qualifies as child pornography. They have to have known that the person in the material that they were possessing or had access to through the internet was younger than 18 years old.

Then, if the person is in possession or had access, the person can also be presumed to intend to distribute the material, which is a higher aggravating factor and enhances the charge and the case. Basically, child pornography in Texas is the act of possessing or promoting sexual content that involves a minor.

Differentiating Child Pornography From Other Sex Crimes

Child pornography differs from other sex crimes because the defendant does not have to have met with the alleged victim. The alleged victim is either on the internet, in a photo, or in a video, so it can be a remote, non-capped sexual offense that the person did not actually have contact with anybody. Also, the person can access things through the internet. Investigators troll the internet trying to find people. It is just the investigation for the offense the way the prosecutor’s office handles it is a little bit different.

Child Pornography Cases

For child pornography charges to be brought against someone in Lubbock, they have to have evidence that somebody is possessing or accessing with the intent to view visual material that depicts a child younger than 18 years old at the time that the image was made and the child engaging in sexual conduct.

A common situation is somebody at home that is trying to access pornography on the internet and does not realize that the person in the photo or image being depicted is younger than 18. A lot of times, people can look older than they actually are, which is something a Lubbock child pornography lawyer can incorporate into their client’s defense.

The Lubbock Police Department is typically involved in investigating child pornography cases. It can take, normally, two months to a year for an indictment to come. Once an indictment comes and the person has court dates set, it can take another year before a case is worked out or decided to go to trial. Sometimes these cases can go on for several years. Like any other sex offense, people take child pornography charges seriously and Lubbock juries are known to be harsh whenever children are involved.

Prosecution of Charges

In order to successfully prosecute an individual for child pornography charges, the prosecution needs to prove that the defendant knew that they were in possession of the pornography, knew that they were accessing, and knew that the person depicted in that image was under 18 at the time that the image was created. The most common tool used to collect evidence in these cases is the internet. Another way that is if the police department is searching someone’s home for another reason like they think they are possessing drugs. They get a search warrant to go in for drugs and they might find some pornography in the closet, as well.

Consequences of a Child Pornography Conviction

For child pornography, the minimum is a third-degree felony. They are looking at two to 10 years in prison. It can go up to a second or even a first, depending on if somebody has previous convictions.

The implication is the requirement that the person has to register as a sex offender. Those requirements can last for life, depending on the punishment that the person received. Even if the person did not have to do it for life, they often have to, even after they serve prison time or punishment, continue to do it for up to 10 years.

Defending Charges

When defending these charges,  it is important that a Lubbock child pornography lawyer gets started right away, so they can begin to plan their client’s defense. The attorney can hire an investigator or someone else who can start tracking down evidence so that they can testify in court as to how evidence was obtained to prove a proper predicate to get it in a trial.

After acquiring all of the pertinent information, the defense can also begin thinking of potential defenses that can add to a person’s case. For example, in some cases, there have been issues of whether or not it is constitutionally valid to convict somebody of child pornography if they did not know that the person in the image was a minor.

Common Defenses

A common defense would be that the defendant did not know they were possessing or accessing pornography. Sometimes, the person sees stuff that just pops up on the person’s screen or gets downloaded on the person’s computer without them knowing it. Another common defense is just that the defendant did not know that the person in the image was a minor.

If somebody else is using the computer, then that is a defense as well. That would be a defense saying that the defendant did not knowingly possess it. It might have been the defendant’s computer, but they did not know it was on there.

Retaining a Lawyer

If someone has been charged with child pornography, they should contact an attorney because the person is facing a serious range of punishment and the prosecutor’s office will be swift in investigating these cases. A Lubbock child pornography lawyer can start trying to get computer records from the defendant’s computer before they are received by the prosecution or the police. They can also try to track down any witnesses, any paper trail, or evidence, that could bolster someone’s defense. If you face child pornography charges, get in touch with a lawyer who can devote the time and resources necessary to build your case.