San Antonio Child Pornography Attorneys
Since the creation of the computer, and the ability to obtain, save, and send photographic images on the computer, there has been an explosion of the number of criminal prosecutions for child pornography. While not every artful depiction of a nude child is criminal, governmental authorities take a dim view of these depictions, and will not hesitate to prosecute any possession or display they believe constitutes pornography. It is now current thought that the child is a victim every time any person views such a picture, and therefore it is not a victimless crime. Statutes have been enacted by the federal government and every state in the union making it a crime to receive, possess, and distribute child pornography, and a conviction can result in a sentence of many years, or even life.
Being charged with the crime of child pornography is embarrassing, stigmatizing, and can result in a multitude of unforeseen adverse consequences. Child pornography is a term that may be broadly used, and often used as a label to include a wide variety charges:
- Receipt of child pornography materials
- Possession of child pornography materials
- Distribution of child pornography
- Production of sexually explicit images and illegal photography of children
- Promotion of obscene or lewd photography/video of children
While no state will hesitate to prosecute the crime, the federal government has made a particularly active and vigorous effort to prosecute these crimes. Because these cases are difficult, and require a particular expertise, states have often deferred their prosecution of these crimes to federal authorities, knowing that federal punishments and sentencing can be particularly harsh. The federal government has computer experts easily on call, and is usually willing to spend whatever financial costs may be necessary to prosecute their case. Experts are often needed to get past security codes, establish the date of the images, and determine whether images are real or virtual. Because prosecutions fall on local counties who have limited budgets and may not have a similar access to experts, it would be fair to say that most of these prosecutions are filed by the federal government.
Notwithstanding the complexities and the costs, Texas District Attorneys will vigorously prosecute child pornography cases. Many of these prosecutions will begin with disgruntled spouses or girlfriends, and as a consequence, successful challenges to the legality of the searches can often be made. While it may simply be coincidence, a disproportionate share of the local prosecutors of child pornography seem to be women who zealously prosecute these types of cases, and can often times be more difficult to deal with. While these prosecutors certainly have every right to vigorously seek a conviction, Ray Taylor will insure that his clients are not improperly intimidated, and every client receives a fair and vigorous defense.
A lot of the cases filed against defendants can ultimately be traced back to web sites and individuals well known to law enforcement authorities. It is not unusual for law enforcement to receive information concerning web sites and individuals, and then simply monitor their activities. Investigators then follow the distributions, and seek search warrants for the computers and financial records of the parties involved. Some have argued that the Federal authorities allow those websites and individuals to continue to operate in order to maintain a continual flow of defendants to prosecute. While that may be impossible to verify, law enforcement does have a seemingly endless supply of cases to prosecute.
When law enforcement executes its search, they will often times attempt to get the permission of the owner of the computer or someone at the residence or office, to consent to the search, rather than rely on the search warrant. If they can obtain voluntary consent, then any objections to the validity of the search warrant become irrelevant. Therefore, one should never consent to a search, but always insist on a search warrant.
When conducting the search, law enforcement will collect anything useful in a prosecution, including computers, storage media, camera equipment, financial records, and if discovered, any other contraband such as drugs, guns, etc. Individuals whose property is taken as a result may not get their property back for years, if at all.
At the time that a search warrant is executed, law enforcement will often make a particularly strong effort to get the owner to make statements about the computer equipment, its ownership and use, and knowledge about what is on the computers. This is because the investigating agents know that they are more likely to obtain admissions and confessions when a person does not have a lawyer, and if they can obtain admissions and confessions, they can destroy any hope of preparing a legal defense. Officers are well trained in obtaining these confessions, and at the time of the search, most people are dazed, confused, and susceptible to making statements they otherwise would not make. THIS IS THE TIME A PERSON SHOULD NOT TALK TO THE OFFICERS AND ASK FOR A LAWYER. A person in this situation should not try to explain or talk his way out of the situation -- it never works, and the case will be much harder to defend.
If one considers local television news reports, newspaper, and on-line websites, it becomes clear that a large number, if not most, of the defendants charged with possession of child pornography are otherwise upstanding and contributing citizens, often well liked and gainfully and honestly employed in lucrative occupations to the benefit of their communities and families. Some are pillars of the community. Most who are charged with receipt, possession, and distribution of child pornography are not themselves sexual offenders or had any improper sexual experiences, but rather persons who received and may have passed on child pornography. They are often guilty of no more than satisfying their curiosity about things sexual, and viewing that which is forbidden.
Besides the usual legal defenses that may be raised, there are a number of technical defenses to these charges, but they are difficult to prove and may require the use of experts. A frequent defense is that the defendant did not knowingly and intentionally possess the images found in his or her computer and that others had access to the computer. One is never guilty of a possessory offense without a knowing and intentional possession, and depending on the circumstances, that may be difficult for law enforcement to prove. Other possible defenses include the images were of adults rather than children, or that the images were virtual and not of real children.
40 Years of Extensive Credentials - Experienced San Antonio Child Pornography Lawyer
At our San Antonio law firm, the Law Offices of Ray Taylor & Associates, P.C., attorney Ray Taylor is able to handle the most complex and high-profile child pornography cases.
When you need a defense lawyer, you want someone like Ray Taylor.
With 40 years of criminal trial experience, he is one of only 36 lawyers (out of 87,000) in Texas to be Board Certified in Criminal Trial Advocacy by the National Board of Trial Advocacy.
Schedule a free initial in-office consultation and case analysis. Contact Ray Taylor at (210) 807-9916. Remember, the key to successful representation is the earliest possible intervention. Remain silent and then consult with one of our San Antonio child pornography charges attorneys immediately!
“Thank you for your article "Accused of a Sex Crime." Unfortunately for me, it is too late. Let your clients know that they need to do everything in their power NOT to be put on the registry. Because of it I am unemployable, cannot move, am ostracized publicly and have had my car vandalized twice. Even the police will not assist me. Even when I am lucky enough to procure employment, because of the registry, vigilantes are able to find me and get me fired. They will stop at no cost other than my job.”
Contact a San Antonio Child Pornography Defense Attorney
Child pornography charges are very serious and you need a skilled attorney right away. Contact an experienced Texas child pornography defense lawyer with the knowledge and resources to build a strong defense. Call the San Antonio, Texas, Law Offices of Ray Taylor & Associates, P.C., at (210) 807-9916 to schedule a free initial in-office consultation and case analysis.