New Texas Law Creates Lesser Offense of Possession or Promotion of Lewd Visual Material Depicting a Child
Texas HB 1810 created a much needed non-registerable offense differing from possession of child pornography.
Texas HB 1810 creates the new offense of possession or promotion of lewd visual material depicting a child. Previously, Texas law only criminalized the possession and promotion of child pornography. There was never an explicit ban on lewd or obscene visual material involving a child under 18 years of age. Some material may be obscene, but does not quite rise to the level of pornography.
While this new law may address a gap in the law, it certainly presents a host of new questions especially as it pertains to teen sexting. The bill does not provide any guidance as to what statute should govern the consensual exchange of photographs between consenting high school students whether it be via text message or via internet or social media. This new development in the law, however, may be a recognition that potentially inappropriate material between two consenting minors needs to be treated differently than another type of pornography criminal case.
If you have been charged with possession or promotion of child pornography, contact Attorney J. Michael Price II right away. The laws are changing. Confusion will continue to arise. Mike is here to untangle the law for you and make sure your rights are protected every step of the way.
What happens if I am Charged with Possession or Promotion of Lewd Visual Materials Depicting a Minor?
HB 1810 criminalizes accessing with an intent to view, or the possession or promotion of lewd pictures of someone under 18 years of age. The now law states that the obscene material must appeal to “prurient interest,” and have no serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value. If found guilty of this offense, the punishment will largely depend on whether the individual had previously been convicted of possession or promotion of child pornography. The punishments are as follows:
- First offense: This is considered a state jail felony, punishable by confinement in state jail for no less than 180 days and no more than 2 years.
- Second offense: If previously convicted of possession or promotion of child pornography, the offense would be considered a third degree felony. Punishment would be confinement in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice for no less than 2 years and no more than 10 years.
- Third offense: If previously convicted of possession or promotion of child pornography twice, the offense would be considered a second degree felony. Punishment would be confinement in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice for no less than 2 years and no more than 20 years.
If you have been charged with possessing or promoting child pornography or lewd visual material depicting a child, you need a qualified criminal defense attorney by your side right away.
A child pornography charge or facing the newer charge of possession or promotion of lewd visual material depicting a child is serious. The penalties are severe, the stigma of the charge is very real, and a conviction can follow you for the rest of your life. Don’t leave anything up to chance. Get the trusted legal representation of Board Certified Criminal Law specialist by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization, Attorney Michael J. Price II. Contact Mike today to schedule your free case evaluation.