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Child Pornography Charges in Texas


Possession of child pornography is a very serious criminal offense. It is a felony in Texas—and in some cases, it could lead to federal criminal charges. Of course, any person charged with any crime—no matter how serious—is presumed innocent until proven guilty. Here, our San Antonio child pornography defense lawyer provides an overview of the law and the penalties in Texas.

Texas Child Pornography Possession Statute

Possession of child pornography is one of the most serious crimes that a person can be charged with. Not only does a conviction carry very harsh criminal penalties, but it also carries a deep personal stigma. Under Texas law (Tex. Pen. Code § 43.26), there are specific criteria that must be met for a person to be convicted of child porn possession. To obtain a conviction in a possession of child pornography case, prosecutors must prove all of the following elements:

  • The defendant hand knowing or intentional access/possession to offending material;
  • That visual material involved a minor engaged in sexual conduct; and
  • The material was possessed or accessed for sexual gratification.

The Penalties for Possession of Child Pornography in Texas

There is no such thing as a “minor” child pornography offense. Any child pornography possession charge in Texas is, by definition, a felony criminal offense. With that being said, the specific penalties associated with the charge will depend on the nature of the allegations. There are three classifications of child pornography possession charges in Texas. Here is an overview:

  • A child porn possession charge in Texas starts out as a third-degree felony criminal offense. A conviction can carry up to ten years in state prison.
  • A child porn possession charge in Texas is a second-degree felony offense if the defendant already has a prior conviction for the same charge or was caught with in excess of ten violative images.
  • A child porn possession charge in Texas is a first-degree felony offense the defendant has multiple previous convictions or 50 or more violative images. This is a very serious offense that can carry life in prison in Texas.

Note: A conviction for any type of child pornography possession in Texas requires a person to register as a sex offender.

Child Pornography Could Be a Federal Criminal Charge

Most criminal charges are brought in state courts. Indeed, approximately 9 in 10 criminal cases pursued nationwide are state-based charges. However, the federal government often has jurisdiction over computer sex crime cases, including many child pornography allegations. A person accused of the unlawful possession of child pornography could face a federal criminal offense. It is crucial that any person in this situation is represented by a San Antonio child porn possession defense lawyer with experience handling federal charges.

Consult With Our San Antonio Child Pornography Defense Lawyer Today

At Hoelscher Gebbia Cepeda, PLLC, our San Antonio child pornography defense attorney takes on even the most serious of cases. If you or your loved one was charged with possession of child pornography, we are here to help determine the best course of action. Call us now or contact our firm online to set up your confidential initial case review. From our office in San Antonio, we defend child pornography charges in Bexar County and throughout the area.