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Houston Child Pornography Defense Lawyer: The Charles Johnson Law Firm

Houston Homicide Lawyer Charles Johnson

Federal and state laws make it a crime to produce, possess, distribute, or sell pornographic materials that exploit or portray a minor. Increasingly, child pornography laws are being utilized to punish use of computer technology and the Internet to obtain, share, and distribute pornographic material involving children, including images and films.

Under federal law (18 U.S.C. §2256), child pornography is defined as any visual depiction, including any photograph, film, video, picture, or computer or computer-generated image or picture, whether made or produced by electronic, mechanical, or other means, of sexually explicit conduct, where

  • the production of the visual depiction involves the use of a minor engaging in sexually explicit conduct; or
  • the visual depiction is a digital image, computer image, or computer-generated image that is, or is indistinguishable from, that of a minor engaging in sexually explicit conduct; or
  • the visual depiction has been created, adapted, or modified to appear that an identifiable minor is engaging in sexually explicit conduct.

Federal law (18 U.S.C. §1466A) also criminalizes knowingly producing, distributing, receiving, or possessing with intent to distribute, a visual depiction of any kind, including a drawing, cartoon, sculpture or painting, that

  • depicts a minor engaging in sexually explicit conduct and is obscene, or
  • depicts an image that is, or appears to be, of a minor engaging in graphic bestiality, sadistic or masochistic abuse, or sexual intercourse, including genital-genital, oral-genital, anal-genital, or oral-anal, whether between persons of the same or opposite sex and such depiction lacks serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value.

Sexually explicit conduct is defined under federal law (18 U.S.C. §2256) as actual or simulated sexual intercourse (including genital-genital, oral-genital, anal-genital, or oral-anal, whether between persons of the same or opposite sex), bestiality, masturbation, sadistic or masochistic abuse, or lascivious exhibition of the genitals or pubic area of any person.

Who Is a Minor?
For purposes of enforcing the federal law (18 U.S.C. §2256), “minor” is defined as a person under the age of 18.

Is Child Pornography a Crime?
Yes, it is a federal crime to knowingly possess, manufacture, distribute, or access with intent to view child pornography (18 U.S.C. §2252).  In addition, all 50 states and the District of Columbia have laws criminalizing the possession, manufacture, and distribution of child pornography.  As a result, a person who violates these laws may face federal and/or state charges.

Where Is Child Pornography Predominantly Found?
Child pornography exists in multiple formats including print media, videotape, film, CD-ROM, or DVD.  It is transmitted on various platforms within the Internet including newsgroups, Internet Relay Chat (chatrooms), Instant Message, File Transfer Protocol, e-mail, websites, and peer-to-peer technology.

What Motivates People Who Possess Child Pornography?
Limited research about the motivations of people who possess child pornography suggests that child pornography possessors are a diverse group, including people who are

  • sexually interested in prepubescent children or young adolescents, who use child pornography for sexual fantasy and gratification
  • sexually “indiscriminate,” meaning they are constantly looking for new and different sexual stimuli
  • sexually curious, downloading a few images to satisfy that curiosity
  • interested in profiting financially by selling images or setting up web sites requiring payment for access

Who Possesses Child Pornography?
It is difficult to describe a “typical” child pornography possessor because there is not just one type of person who commits this crime.

In a study of 1,713 people arrested for the possession of child pornography in a 1-year period, the possessors ran the gamut in terms of income, education level, marital status, and age.  Virtually all of those who were arrested were men, 91% were white, and most were unmarried at the time of their crime, either because they had never married (41%) or because they were separated, divorced, or widowed (21%).3

Forty percent (40%) of those arrested were “dual offenders,” who sexually victimized children and possessed child pornography, with both crimes discovered in the same investigation. An additional 15% were dual offenders who attempted to sexually victimize children by soliciting undercover investigators who posed online as minors.4

Who Produces Child Pornography?
Based on information provided by law enforcement to the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children’s Child Victim Identification Program, more than half of the child victims were abused by someone who had legitimate access to them such as parents, other relatives, neighborhood/family friends, babysitters, and coaches.

What is the Nature of These Images?
The content in these illegal images varies from exposure of genitalia to graphic sexual abuse, such as penetration by objects, anal penetration, and bestiality.

Of the child pornography victims identified by law enforcement, 42% appear to be pubescent, 52% appear to be prepubescent, and 6% appear to be infants or toddlers.

What Are the Effects of Child Pornography on the Child Victim?
It is important to realize that these images are crime scene photos – they are a permanent record of the abuse of a child. The lives of the children featured in these illegal images and videos are forever altered. Once these images are on the Internet, they are irretrievable and can continue to circulate forever. The child is revictimized as the images are viewed again and again.

Houston Child Pornography Defense Lawyer: The Charles Johnson Law Firm

Depending on the facts of your case and the evidence against you, we work to help you beat a false accusation or try to lessen the punishment. We understand your freedom is at stake and that a conviction of possession of child pornography may result in lifetime registration as a sex offender. To protect your rights and liberty, we conduct thorough investigations to prepare for trial or to minimize the consequences or sentence.

can be reached 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Call us at 713-222-7577 or toll free at 877-308-0100.
Major Credit Cards Accepted.

Related News Stories – Child Pornography in Houston, TX

Top Houston Lawyer » Dealing With Probation? What You Should Know

Houston Lawyer Charles Johnson offers Post-Conviction Relief (he has on staff Texas’ most prolific appellate and Habeas Corpus attorney), Parole (Attorney Johnson has personally developed a unique, detailed and successful parole package program) and Probation services including Motions to Revoke/Adjudicate and Terminations for any criminal matter.
Leading Houston Lawyer

Regarding Probation:

Instead of sentencing a defendant to a jail term, a judge may perhaps choose to sentence a defendant to probation. Probation releases a defendant back into the community, however the defendant does not have the same amount of freedom as a normal citizen. Probation comes with conditions that restrict a probationer’s behavior, and if the probationer violates one of those conditions, the court could possibly revoke or modify the probation.

Courts commonly grant probation for first-time or low-risk offenders. Statutes determine when probation is practical, but it is up to the sentencing judge to determine whether or not to actually allow probation.

Houston Criminal Defense: Hire the Recommended Houston Lawyer » The Charles Johnson Law Firm

Although sentencing judges have this latitude, they will have to still remain within the statutory limits when granting probation. By way of example, a judge cannot impose probation for a period longer than the maximum sentence prescribed by statute.

Probation has 3 primary objectives:

  • To rehabilitate the defendant
  • To safeguard society from further criminal conduct by the defendant
  • To protect the legal rights of the victims

Once a judge has granted probation, the matter moves into the jurisdiction of probation officers, who monitor the probationer’s compliance with the terms of the probation.

Probation Conditions

Conditions are an inherent part of probation. Judges set conditions in order to meet the goals for probation stated above. A probationer should comply with these conditions or else the court could possibly impose a prison sentence or add more restrictive conditions to their probation.

Courts often have a good deal of discretion when setting probation conditions, nevertheless that doesn’t mean that judges may set whatever terms they desire. Probation conditions must be reasonable. This means that the conditions can’t be vindictive, vague, overbroad or arbitrary. In addition, the conditions must be related to the protection of the public. Also, any time a judge wishes to impose special conditions, those conditions must relate to the nature of the transgression that the probationer committed.

Judges set the conditions, however probation officers enforce them. If a probation officer finds probable cause to believe that the probationer has violated the terms of the probation, the judge could very well either change the terms of the probation or revoke the probation and impose a jail sentence.

Probation Revocation

Because the probationer’s freedom is at stake, however, the probationer must receive some procedural due process before a court revokes their probation. Although the decision to revoke probation, just like the judgment to grant probation, is at the court’s discretion, the court needs to go through a number of procedural requirements prior to revoking probation. The probationer fighting revocation doesn’t have as many rights during revocation proceedings as they do during the original criminal trial, however.

In order to revoke probation, a court has to provide the probationer with notice of the proposed revocation and conduct a hearing on the matter. The probationer has a right to testify at the hearing, present supporting witnesses, and confront the witnesses against them. The probationer also has a right to a neutral hearing body, and must receive a written statement containing the reasons for revoking probation.

If there is sufficient evidence, a violation of even a single condition might result in revocation of probation. The violated condition must be valid, however. If the condition is afterwards found to be unreasonable then violation of that condition will not constitute grounds for revocation.

Houston Probation Issues: Hire the Top Houston Lawyer Charles Johnson

If you are accused of violating the terms of your parole or probation or have questions regarding a potential probation criminal offense, please call Houston Criminal Defense Lawyer Charles Johnson 24/7 for a no charge preliminary consultation.

We can be reached 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Call us at 713-222-7577 or toll free at 877-308-0100.
Major Credit Cards Accepted.

 
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