If you were arrested on charges related to child pornography, or even if you just suspect an investigation is targeting you, it is critical to team up with an experienced sex crimes attorney immediately. Child pornography charges carry severe penalties, and conviction will impact your life forever with significant jail time, fines and registration on the sex offenders list.

A Plano child pornography lawyer could help you with addressing these charges. There are many ways to effectively address the allegations, but you must work closely with an experienced and committed defense team.

What is Child Pornography Under the Law?

Texas Penal Code §43.26 makes it illegal to possess or view material that depicts any individual under age 18 engaging in sexual conduct. The law defines “sexual conduct” broadly to include any actual or simulated sexual activity, masturbation, and indecent exposure of private body parts.

To be guilty of possessing child pornography, an individual must intentionally access the material with an intent to view it. The person must know that the material depicts a child engaging in sexual conduct when they initially intend to view the material.

A person could be prosecuted under the federal statutes, the state statutes, or both for these charges. An attorney familiar with the federal, state, and Plano laws and prosecutorial strategies stands the best chance of crafting a coherent and effective defense to the child pornography charges.

Evidence in Child Pornography Cases

Most of the recent images of alleged child pornography that law enforcement seizes are in digital or electronic formats. Officers executing a search warrant for these charges can confiscate any of the following from a suspect:

  • Computer or laptop
  • Cell phone
  • Hard drives
  • External storage devices
  • Any electronic equipment that can download, store, send, or display electronic or digital images

Typically, law enforcement becomes aware of someone who might be accessing child pornography through tips from internet providers, from cooperating witnesses, or by posing online as someone interested in trading, buying, or selling images. Investigators can trace the activity to a specific IP address and then get a search warrant to look for evidence.

Evidence in child pornography cases is often quite technical. It might rest less on the content of the images and more on tracing the path of the images through the internet to the accused’s device. A lawyer defending a child pornography case in Plano might consult computer forensics experts and others to identify potential weaknesses in the prosecutor’s case linking the images to the defendant.

Challenging the Prosecution’s Case in Plano

Defending child pornography charges is not easy, but there are numerous defenses available that a diligent local attorney could raise. For instance, one fundamental question to consider is whether the images at issue actually depict child pornography. If the individuals were at least 18 when the images were made, the images are not child pornography. Similarly, a prosecutor must demonstrate that the images depict an actual person rather than a computer-generated representation of a person who does not exist in life.

Lack of Intent

Asserting lack of intent also could be an effective defense. For example, if the defendant intended to download adult pornography but the file contained an image of a child unbeknownst to the defendant, the prosecutor might not be able to prove knowing intent to view the image.

If others had access to the device where the material was stored, it could be difficult for the prosecutor to prove that the defendant intended to download and view the images. Similarly, an accidental visit to a website could leave an electronic record of child pornography, but the prosecutor must also prove knowledge and intent to view.

Rely on a Plano Child Pornography Attorney to Defend Your Future

If you are facing child pornography charges or believe you are being investigated, getting professional legal advice as soon as possible is vital. A capable defense team could ensure that investigators do not infringe your rights and that you do not make admissions that might come back to haunt you later.

Get a Plano child pornography lawyer in your corner. Schedule a meeting with our experienced team at Barbieri Law Firm to discuss your situation as soon as possible.

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