Avvo Rating Badge
State Bar of Texas

Child Pornography

Being charged with a crime related to the possession of child pornography is very serious. If convicted, you will experience long term effects on your life.

Even the accusation of a child pornography-related crime can tarnish your reputation. If this is the case, it is important to understand child pornography laws.

child pornography laws

At the offices of the Tidwell Law Firm, PLLC, our experienced Texas criminal law attorneys can guide you through child pornography laws in our state.

If you are facing criminal charges for a child pornography-related crime, call our law office immediately and exercise your right to legal representation. Working with a skilled lawyer may improve the outcome of your case.

What Constitutes Child Pornography in Texas?

One important thing to establish when facing child pornography charges in Texas is the legal definition of child pornography and possession of the pornographic material. As found in Texas Penal Code Section 43.26, a person commits an offense when the person:

  • “Knowingly or intentionally possesses, or knowingly or intentionally accesses with intent to view, visual material…” that features or depicts any child who is younger than the legal age of majority (18) engaging in any form of sexual conduct; and
  • The person knows that the child is depicted in a sexual manner.

To clarify one of the terms used in the above statute and description, “visual material” can include any film, photograph, negative, computer screen, and more.

Different Child Pornography Crimes

Possession of child pornography is a serious crime, but the punishment is less harsh than other child pornography crimes.

  • [Promotion or production of] sexual performance by a child. As found in Texas Penal Code Section 43.25, sexual performance by a child is any performance that includes any content where a child conducts themselves sexually in a performance. Any person who produces such content (directly contributes to the creation of the content or its manufacture) or promotes the material is guilty of a crime.
  • The sexual exploitation of children is also illegal under federal law. As found in 18 U.S. Code Section 2251 – Sexual Exploitation of Children, it is against the law to employ, use, persuade or coerce a minor to engage in sexual conduct for the purpose of producing any visual depiction of said conduct.

What Are the Penalties for Child Pornography?

A person convicted of a child pornography crimes faces penalties dependent upon the specifics of the crime.

For example, production of sexual performance by a child is a more serious offense than is possession of pornographic materials depicting a minor.

The crime of possession of child pornography is a third-degree felony. The offense may increase to a second-degree felony if the defendant is a repeat offender.

Promotion of pornographic material that depicts a minor is a second-degree felony, although it may be a first-degree charge if this is the defendant’s secondary or subsequent offense.

If a person employs, authorizes, or induces a minor to engage in sexual conduct (for the purpose of creating pornographic material), the offense is a second-degree felony. If the child involved is younger than 14 years of age, the offense is a first-degree felony.

Second- and first-degree felony charges are extremely severe. If a defendant faces such charges in Texas, the penalties may include:

  • First-degree felony – Between five and 99 years to life imprisonment plus a $10,000 fine;
  • Second-degree felony – Between two and 20 years in prison and a fine of $10,000; and
  • Third-degree felony – Between two and 10 years in prison and a fine of $10,000.

As found in the same section of U.S. code cited above, a person found guilty of exploitation of children will face between 15 and 30 years of imprisonment. This mandate comes from the federal government.

If the defendant has previously been convicted of a sex-related crime, including sexual contact involving a minor or sexual abuse, the punishment increases to between 25 and 50 years’ imprisonment.

As a note, the FBI does actively prosecute child sex crimes.

The Importance of Hiring a Skilled Attorney if Facing Child Pornography Criminal Charges

If you face charges of a child pornography crime, you must understand child pornography laws and how to best defend yourself against charges. The best way to do this is to hire a legal professional who is fluent in the language of the law and can provide you with the critical information that you need.

In addition to prison time and a large fine, a child pornography conviction can also have a huge impact on other aspects of your life, including your personal relationships, your career, and your future opportunities.

There are few crimes that are more stigmatized than child pornography-related crimes, and the charges against you alone may be enough to adversely affect your life even if you are not found guilty of the crime.

Regardless of the criminal charges that you’re facing, you have the constitutional right to representation from a competent lawyer.

Remember: you are innocent until proven guilty. Unfortunately, in cases like this, a judge and jury are often biased against the defendant from the get-go. This is all the more reason to hire the best criminal defense attorney in Texas that you can find.

Our Lawyers Are Available to Talk Today

At the offices of the Tidwell Law Firm, PLLC, we understand the severity of child pornography-related charges and the potential repercussions you are facing.

Our lawyers believe that every person charged with a crime deserves skilled legal counsel. When you hire us, we will work hard to protect your rights, help you to understand child pornography laws, and defend you against the charges you are facing.

To reach our law office today for your initial case consultation, please call us directly or send us a message at your convenience.

Client Reviews

I needed legal advice for a child custody dispute and had spoken with a few lawyers in order to gauge expenses and commitment requirements for legal action. Most of the lawyers I spoke with heard my situation...

William C.

I used Jerry Tidwell as the representing lawyer for two family law cases: my divorce and subsequent modification to child possession schedule. In each situation, Jerry took the time to listen to my concerns...

Karl Y.

Having to deal with the complex world of criminal cases, you will need the best legal representation on your side. Attorney Jerry Tidwell Jr. is that lawyer who knows his craft and always on the side of truth...

Joseph B.

Jerry has been amazing to work with and fights for you in every legal way possible while being completely open and honest throughout the entire process. I highly recommend Jerry for any legal matter you may...

Charles J.

When I found myself in need of a lawyer, I was referred to Jerry Tidwell. I am grateful for his help and expertise. After deciding to take my case to jury trial, the DA decided to make a deal, and anything...


Mr. Tidwell was reliable and well informed. He was just the individual that I needed in my time of legal need. I would refer him without a doubt and would utilize his services again in the future.


I hired Mr. Tidwell on a Tuesday evening. By Thursday, we had a final order and the case was settled. Mr. Tidwell was efficient, extremely communicative, and able to get us the exact result we had hoped for...

Candice H.

I was recommended to seek legal counsel from Jerry W. Tidwell, Jr. when I found myself accused of a crime I did not commit. Jerry helped me through the full process of my Criminal Defense from the early stages...

Dave **

They were awesome and very caring during my divorce. Very knowledgeable on all the laws. I have referred this firm to several people. My attorney was a bull dog!

Denise T

This lawyer is very thorough and knowledgeable about the law. He helped us rescue our grandchild from a very abusive home, and gave this child a much happier life. As God must’ve chose him to deliver children...

Flo S

Thank you for helping me to get through my divorce case — your wide range of expertise and representation was indispensable during this difficult time and I can’t thank you enough for your work ethic and most...


When Mary called me from [the] law firm I was pensive. She immediately settled me and knew why I was calling and provided sincere empathy. My current situation is quite dire but she assured me the attorneys can...

John E

Jerry gave me excellent legal representation. He is very knowledgeable, attentive and answered all my questions. I highly recommend him! I would give 10 🌟 if I could

Jordan B.

[The law firm] was recommended to me by several people in the area. I hired ... Jerry Tidwell has been my family lawyer. He has been available, honest and helpful. Nobody wants to be in the position to hire a...

Katie O

Mr. Tidwell is an exceptional attorney. He is prompt in his response time, knowledgeable, and compassionate. Mr. Tidwell outlined all options & their pros and cons. Highly recommend!

Katie P

I’m not sure if I can find the words to express how thankful we are to Mr. Tidwell for resolving our custody case. He goes above and beyond and never sugar coats things. If you’re looking for a custody lawyer...

Kristina B.

At first with [the other law firm], I started off, pretty bumpy and very slow. [Wound] up going through ... different lawyers and finally ended up with Jerry Tidwell. Once Tidwell took over [the] case...

Natisha M

I really can’t say enough of how much I appreciate Jerry and how he handled my case. The situation I was put in felt impossible but Jerry got everything taken care of and gave me the best outcome I could have...

Nick S.

We are forever grateful for all of the hard work Jerry and Mary put into our case. They communicated with us every step of the way and got our case closed with the BEST outcome in record time.

Jennifer K

This firm specifically Sarah Blackstock did exceptional work on my behalf. Her responsiveness is beyond exceptional.

Tim T

Mrs. Lanski was very kind, polite, and professional. She really made me feel welcome and that the team had my back. Thanks for all your hard work and dedication.

Melissa O

After 11+ years of fighting a battle I didn't think I could ever win, Sarah was able to change my mind. She was very considerate of all feelings involved, and found the best solution for everyone. Definitely...

Mary L

I had a wonderful consultation with this firm. Jerry and Mary were extremely helpful guiding me in the right direction. They are very professional, polite and knowledgeable. I’d recommend using them for your...

Nicole M

Mary Lanski is a real asset ... [s]he is attentive, courteous and very responsive. Out of 10, I would give her a 10+

Julia K

Phenomenal service. From the moment they picked up the phone call until the moment we disconnected it was top notch. Would definitely recommend.

J (Anonymous)

This guy has great reviews. He is going to help me resolve a problem I had on a case 16 years ago that I paid him for. Awesome guy!

Jonathan M

A well versed and trusting attorney! Mr. Tidwell was reliable and well informed. He was just the individual that i needed in my time of legal need. I would refer him without a doubt and likewise myself would...


When I found myself in need of a lawyer, I was referred to Jerry Tidwell. I am grateful for his help and expertise and I road the wave of the legal system. After deciding to take my case to jury trial, the DA...


Great guy to have in your corner I hired Mr Tidwell to assist me with some family law issues. From the first meeting I had a good feeling about him. His no nonsense, straight shooting ways are something to be...


Worth it! Mr. Tidewell viewed my case and warned me of potential holes in my own legal strategy that I had overlooked. He was open and honest with his intent and execution. Stellar performance; was aggressive...


Aggressive, Knowledgeable, and Trustworthy I consulted with and hired Jerry Tidwell to represent me on a child custody modification case back in February of this year. He was respectful of my perspective, and...

Mallory E
Fill out the contact form or call us at 972-234-8208 to
schedule your free consultation.

Leave Us a Message

5151 Headquarters Drive
Ste 205

Plano, TX 75024