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Houston Criminal Lawyers: Coping With An Arrest For Child Porn?

Leading Houston Lawyer
The Leading Houston Criminal Lawyers at the Charles Johnson Law Firm aggressively defend clients charged with a sexual offense. The firm handles all sexual offense charges, whether in state or federal court, and whether the sex crime allegations are against children or adults.

Parties in contentious divorce or custody proceedings have been known to encourage children to say the other parent “touched” them a certain way or otherwise imply molestation. Child care workers, pastors, teachers, coaches, and others are frequently falsely accused. Parents have even been known to target individuals for extortion by coaching children. They may be coached by well-meaning social service and health care professionals, law enforcement officers, and prosecuting attorneys who want to make sure they obtain a conviction regardless of the truth.

Allegations of sex crimes are taken very seriously in Texas, and across the nation. With more stringent penalties being imposed, a false claim unchallenged or a single error in judgment can require you to be a lifelong member of the sex offenders’ registry and database. Before your reputation is devastated, invoke your right to an attorney and your right to remain silent. Contact the Charles Johnson Law Firm for a free phone consultation when you are under investigation for sex crimes or if charges have been brought against you for anything from possession and distribution of child pornography to sexual assault and rape.

How is Child Pornography Defined?

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.

Possible Punishment for Sexual Exploitation of a Minor/Child Pornography

If the photographs include children who are fourteen (14) years of age or younger, it is a Dangerous Crimes Against Children (DCAC) and carries a very severe penalty. A first offense carries the following punishment for each and every conviction: ten (10) years minimum in prison; seventeen (17) years presumptive in prison; twenty-four (24) years maximum incarceration.

If convicted of one previous predicate felony (which includes a prior DCAC, among other serious felonies), the range of punishment increases to a minimum twenty-one (21) years, presumptive twenty-eight years (28), and maximum thirty-five (35) years. Because this is a DCAC, 100% of the prison time must be served before being eligible for release. In addition, if the person is convicted of two (2) counts, they must be run consecutive to each other (i.e., the minimum is now twenty (20) years in prison, and all other ranges double). This is why these charges are sometimes referred to as “life enders”.

The maximum penalty on a Sexual Exploitation charge actually carries more time than the maximum penalty on a Second Degree Murder charge. A conviction will require you to register as a Sex Offender for the rest of your life, and you are not allowed to have any contact with anyone under the age of eighteen (18) (this includes your own children), without going through numerous testing procedures and only with the consent of your Probation Officer.

If the child was ages fifteen – seventeen (15-17), it is not sentenced pursuant to the DCAC statute. A first offense class two (2) felony, carries punishment of probation with zero (0) days in jail up to one (1) year in jail, or prison of three (3) years to twelve and one half (12.5) years of incarceration. If the person has one (1) allegeable historical prior conviction, then the “prison only” range is four and one half (4.5) years to twenty-three and one quarter (23.25) years in prison. If the person has two (2) allegeable historical prior convictions, then the “prison only” range is ten and one half (10.5) to thirty-five (35) years of incarceration.

Possible Defenses for Sexual Exploitation of a Minor/Child Pornography

The critical defenses to Child Porn charges involve showing that the person did not “knowingly” possess, receive, or do any of the listed actions with the images. One way of asserting this defense is by presenting evidence that the defendant was not the person who accessed the images. If it can be shown that there were multiple users who had access to the computer, and who did in fact use the computer often, then it is much more difficult for the State to prove the defendant actually accessed the images, rather than some other person. This defense is especially appropriate when the defendant lacks any other sexual crime convictions. In order to assert this defense, we need to present a variety of our own evidence to contradict whatever has been presented by the prosecution. Typically, the State would normally have executed a search warrant and confiscated the computer involved, then searched for the “IP address” and passwords that were used to trace the activates to a particular time, date, and user. Before they do any of this they will have “cloned” the hard drive in order to avoid any accusations that they have somehow tampered with the computer by adding images.

Another typical defense is that the defendant inadvertently came across the images on his computer, and thus it was not a “knowing” exchange. It is an affirmative defense to Child Pornography charges if a person timely reports that they have received unsolicited images on their computer. Usually, reporting within three (3) days of discovering the child pornography is considered to be “timely reporting.”

The Top Houston Criminal Lawyers at the Charles Johnson Law Firm handles a very high percentage of the “Sex Crimes” cases. They have one of the largest libraries with research materials devoted to challenging accusations involving sex crimes. Registering as Sex Offender has drastic consequences and leaves a black mark on your record; do not underestimate the potential severity of this charge.

Additionally, because the Charles Johnson Law Firm fights conviction from all angles, they will assert a wide range of defenses and challenges to constitutional violations that apply in all criminal cases. The possibilities are numerous and diverse. One of those that is frequently asserted is a “Miranda rights violation.” In Texas, the standard of whether any incriminating statement (i.e., a statement which tends to admit guilt) is admissible into evidence is based upon a “voluntariness” standard. If we can demonstrate that the police coerced you (i.e., intimidated or tricked you) into making a confession or inculpatory statement, or that they did not properly read you your Miranda Rights, then we can suppress those statements and any evidence gathered as a direct result of those statements.

In addition, the “denial of right to Counsel” is another common defense which is often raised. This occurs when a suspect is in custody and requests to speak to their attorney, but is denied and questioning continues. Other defenses may include challenging the validity of any search warrant, or whether there were any “forensic flaws” during the investigation of your case. Depending on what else you have been charged with, this could include exposing flawed procedures regarding blood, breath, and urine testing; fingerprints analysis; DNA testing; computer analysis/cloning hard drive procedures; forensic financial accounting reviews; etc. Lastly, one of the most common defense tactics is exposing sloppy or misleading police reports which include everything from misstatements, false statements, flawed photo line-ups and inaccurate crime scene reconstruction. It is important to hire a skilled  lawyer to defend you who has knowledge of all the possible defenses to assert in your case.

Do Not Make Statements. Obviously, the best defense begins before a defendant is ever charged. Often, in a misguided attempt to help law enforcement, defendants make statements that are twisted and turned into prosecutorial evidence. It is important to remember not to allow yourself be interviewed government agencies without an attorney present.

Any interview will be sent to the police and the county attorney’s office and can be used against you. An obvious corollary is do not let yourself be interviewed again by the police without your attorney present.

Computerized Evidence. Internet child pornography is a growing offense across the nation. Often files can be downloaded to a computer without the user knowing the content of the download. In such cases the electronic file will often include tell tale electronic evidence about the file, where it came from and its date of download. Using this evidence or challenging law enforcement’s sloppy investigation and acquisition of potentially exculpatory information is the best way for a defense lawyer to prove actual innocence.

Examine Prosecution Expert’s Background. An important part of every case is the ability to counter the reports and testimony of computer professionals, caseworkers and “experts” who examine pornographic evidence. To effectively counter a prosecution expert, the defense attorney must be well educated on the expert’s education, work history, published works and testimony in prior cases.

Use a Polygraph. When it is advantageous to the defense against a sexual assault, defense attorneys should obtain a credible polygraph examination from a respected professionals.

Texas Sex Offender Registration

In addition to the prison terms and fines one can face when convicted of any of these offenses, you may be required to register as a sex offender. This means you will be tracked for the rest of your life.

Knowing where to turn when facing charges as dark as these can be difficult. You have likely already seen people turn their backs on you because of the charges and you haven’t even gone to trial. You need someone in your corner fighting for your good name.

You are innocent until proven guilty. The Best Houston Criminal Lawyers will see to it that you get the best possible results on your day in court.

Hire the Best Houston Child Pornography Defense Lawyer: The Charles Johnson Law Firm

The Top Houston Criminal Defense Lawyers at the Charles Johnson Law Firm defend against sexual assault allegations throughout Texas, no matter how small or large the city. They have developed a unique understanding of the dynamics of these very serious cases. Their competent, aggressive and thorough representation has made them a leading criminal defense firm in dealing with sex and pornography related criminal charges.

Defending in these areas is a very specialized area of criminal defense. Unfortunately, the very accusations themselves are often treated as conclusive proof of criminal activity. If Attorney Charles Johnson is retained at an early stage in the investigation, he is sometimes able to avoid charges altogether. At a minimum he will be able to avoid the trauma and embarrassment of his client being arrested at home or at the workplace by contacting law enforcement and the court in order to make the necessary arrangements.

Depending on the facts of your case and the evidence against you, the Leading Houston Criminal Defense Lawyers will 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.

Call today for your free consultation.

 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.

Houston Criminal Lawyers: Coping With An Arrest For Child Porn?

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 The Best Houston Criminal Lawyer » Fighting a Drug Possession Arrest? The Following Is Your Most Effective Plan Of Action

Hire the Finest Houston Drug Crimes Attorney!

Drug possession is a severe criminal charge in Texas carrying a wide range of punitive measures from probation to lengthy prison sentences, depending on the quantity of the drug. A conviction on drug possession charges could have serious implications for you mainly because of the likelihood that you might have to go to jail and pay stiff fines reaching into the thousands of dollars, in addition to the probability the authorities may perhaps seize your vehicle or other assets.

Drug possession charges will follow you with a criminal record which can also keep you from certain jobs and professional licenses. If you are charged under the possession law, it means the state has arrested you for transporting or having access to a controlled substance including marijuana, cocaine, or Ecstasy.

A drug possession conviction may possibly bring about a six month driver’s license suspension under Texas statutes, so it makes sense to contact an criminal defense attorney for more information on alternatives to pleading guilty should you require the ability to drive. Law enforcement will be able to charge you with drug possession should they find drugs in your pockets or anywhere else on your body, or they can certainly charge you under a claim of “constructive possession“. This means the drugs had been in a place that you normally control or could very easily reach, that could be your car, your apartment, or the cushions of a couch where you had been sitting when police officers entered.

Speak to a Houston, Texas law firm to schedule a free of charge preliminary consultation with a qualified, aggressive Drug Possession Defense lawyer.

Aggressive Drug Possession Defense

The Most Effective Houston Criminal Lawyer will have a great deal of working experience providing vigorous defense for adults and juveniles confronting defense criminal charges for possession of illegal substances, that include:

  • Marijuana
  • Crack cocaine
  • Heroin
  • Methamphetamines (meth
  • Other illegal drugs

The penalties for a drug conviction can range from fines of $2,000 and 180 days in jail to fines of $50,000 and an entire lifetime in prison. The level of misdemeanor or felony charge is based upon the amount of drugs confiscated. By way of example, possession of five ounces of marijuana would lead to state felony charges with a sentence potential of up to $10,000 and a couple of years in prison.

A drug possession conviction might lead to criminal penalties, including fines and incarceration, and other penalties, such as license suspension, damage to reputation and loss of ability to acquire student loan financing. The Most Qualified Houston Criminal Lawyer will make every effort to minimize or altogether avoid such drastic repercussions through providing zealous defense counsel.

Drug Possession Sentencing

Judges will typically attempt to determine if the drugs had been for personal use or drug possession for sale and distribution when sentencing. Quite often the fines are quite major and quite often the sentence will include at least random drug testing and probation if not some jail time. Drug awareness classes and community service hours are quite often the initial option for the majority of judges, once it has been confirmed that the drugs had been for personal use.

Houston Criminal Defense Lawyer Charles Johnson can help prove this, or simply prove that the drugs were definitely not yours in situations where they were recovered from an automobile or residence.

Protect Your Rights

You have a right to remain silent and the right to a lawyer – USE THEM. The Recommended Houston Drug Crimes Attorney investigates the methods in which the evidence was acquired in order to uncover violations of your constitutional rights.

Elicited confessions and the seized drugs are quite often the only evidence creating a case against you. This will certainly provide leverage in plea negotiations and even lead to dismissal of drug criminal charges. Any evidence that is obtained in violation of your legal rights is inadmissible in court – which means the evidence can’t be utilized in a case against you. Any time a confession was obtained unlawfully or unlawful drugs had been confiscated with an invalid search warrant (illegal search and seizure), your attorney should fight to suppress the evidence. As a highly skilled drug possession criminal defense lawyer, Charles Johnson understands how to mitigate damaging evidence.

Will I have to go to Jail on my Drug Possession Criminal Charge?

State possession law allows counties to set up diversion programs for men and women charged with offenses concerning the use or possession of drugs, including marijuana. And, judges are required to give probation, or community supervision, in certain drug possession court cases.

The state health code also requires any county with a population of more than 200,000 to establish a drug court program to send some drug offenders to treatment as opposed to jail.

The punishment primarily depends on the quantity of drugs involved and your prior conviction history, but it is very conceivable you could possibly not have to serve time for a drug possession conviction if it’s your initial offense for a relatively small amount./p>

The Texas Code of Criminal Procedure makes community supervision and mandatory drug treatment programs a sentencing requirement for folks convicted of possessing:

  • Less than 1 gram of drugs such as crack or meth.
  • Less than 5 units of drugs that include LSD.
  • Less than 1 gram of drugs including Ecstasy (MMDA) or PCP.
  • Less than one pound of marijuana.

Nevertheless, the judge doesn’t have to sentence you to probation if you have been found guilty of a previous felony, or in the event you have violated an earlier probation sentence. In those cases, it is up to the judge whether or not you go to jail or get probation.

If your attorney can show the officers did not have probable cause, your consent, or a search warrant, your attorney may possibly be able to challenge the legality of the search that turned up those drugs and get the evidence suppressed, keeping the state from making its case against you.

To do that, the prosecutor must show that law enforcement officials found the drugs on you or in your control following a legal search. The judge also can sentence you to serve three to six months in jail before starting probation. Bear in mind, the state must first prove the criminal charge of drug possession before you may be sentenced. I highly recommend you get in touch with your lawyer for a free of charge consultation on your Texas drug possession charge, and your lawyer will walk you through the basic facts of your case, and your ideal legal defense solutions. As you can see, drug possession court cases get complicated very quickly.

Hire The Very Best Houston Drug Possession Defense Attorney: The Charles Johnson Law Firm

If you are confronting misdemeanor or felony drug possession charges following a drug charge in Texas, defend your liberties and future. Contact the Best Houston drug crime defense lawyer to schedule a free preliminary consultation. Many times the first arrest on Drug Possession criminal charges can be dropped down to a disorderly conduct, resulting in less significant penalties that usually do not include incarceration. Additionally, the Best Houston Drug Crimes Attorney could possibly even be able to have the criminal charges dropped in situation where you had been merely within the vicinity where the drugs had been located.

Houston Criminal Defense Lawyer Charles Johnson will definitely negotiate these types of arrangements to avoid you from having a drug related charge on your record.

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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