Charged with Child Pornography?
Houston criminal attorney, Frank Svetlik, has focused his practice on the agressive defense of child pornography and related criminal charges brought in Texas and Federal Courts.
Law Pertaining to Child Pornography, Public Indecency and Potential Penalties - Texas and Federal Courts
Have you been charged or are you about to be charged with:
- Possession of Child Porn
- Receipt of Child Pornography
- Distribution of Child Porn
- Production of Child Pornography
- Public Indecency
- Online Solicitation
- Internet Crimes
Child porn allegations and charges in Texas and Federal Courts are extremely serious matters. Under the provisions of the United States Code child pornography is "anything depicting a child engaging in sexually explicit conduct." Now, more than ever, you may need a lawyer on your side. Having child porn under your control either on a computer or on a computer server or in physical form or even in the cloud may result in your being prosecuted by the United States government and imprisonment. A Houston attorney familiar with the Houston, Harris County and Federal Courts in the Southern District of Texas can be essential to your affective defense for child porn.
FEDERAL CHILD PORN INVESTIGATIONS
The federal government can easily access records of websites visited. Even an accidental or unintentional visit to a website can expose a party to child pornography indictment and charges under the federal statutes. For instance, do you have an unsecured Wi-Fi Internet antenna in your home that your neighbor has been accessing to watch child porn in his own house? You may receive a visit from the FBI and you may need the help of a good lawyer to assist you in your defense.
There are complex standards applicable to distribution, possession, and trading of images and video depictions of minors. Whether these involve thousands of images or fewer than that the understanding of the case law and the constitutional limitations on seizing property, searches, and surveillance and the application of those standards to your circumstances by your attorney are critical to your defense. In Texas, a Houston criminal defense attorney well versed in the applicable law concerning child porn, can analyze and provide counsel and defense applicable to your case.
If you believe that you are being investigated for child pornography or a sex offense involving the Internet in Texas you should receive the guidance and advice of a criminal defense attorney to potentially minimize whatever exposure you might have and protect your interests and your freedom. If you have been accused of child pornography in Texas then contact an attorney for criminal defense at the Law Offices of Frank Svetlik. Your freedom and your entire future are at risk once you have been charged with a State or Federal child porn crime. Call today to enlist a child pornography lawyer right here in Houston for the effective advocacy that you seek.
Child pornography possession and distribution cases involve complex information technology issues as well as legal issues. Possession and distribution charges are often brought against the recipient of child pornography who has been a party to the distribution of the material through the Internet. Computer hacking may result in someone entering your computer and planting images or video there which results in charges being filed against you for violation of child pornography statutes. For instance a co-worker has been accessing your work computer after hours to watch child porn on your computer instead of his. Competent experts in the computer field must be retained and prepared to testify in your behalf if they are able to determine that such an intrusion or hacking has occurred.
If you are convicted of child pornography you may be required to register as a sex offender and maintain that registration for the remainder of your life. In Texas that involves publication of your name and address and picture on the Internet for all to see including your friends, neighbors and co-workers.
If your Texas home or office is raided or made the subject of a search with or without a search warrant by federal authorities, it is almost never advantageous to speak with those conducting the search without the presence of a Texas criminal defense lawyer. Concessions, admissions, and damaging statements are almost always elicited at the time of such searches if the party being interviewed is not represented by a criminal defense attorney. Contact us immediately Law Office of Attorney Frank Svetlik: 713-724-8538.
FEDERAL LAW ENFORCEMENT OF CHILD PORNOGRAPHY CASES IS VERY AGGRESSIVE
Federal law enforcement of child pornography cases is very aggressive. Federal agencies attempt to hunt down on the Internet anything that they believe to be child pornography and link people to that material which they believe possessed it. If the Department of Homeland Security (US Customs), a US Postal Inspector or the FBI called you about your "Internet use" it is mandatory that you engage a lawyer and counsel with that criminal defense attorney before you speak or write to that agency. If no statement is made or given and there is no probable cause for a search warrant prosecution can sometimes be avoided.
The penalties for even first time offenders under the child pornography statutes are shockingly harsh. Hard time in prison with mandatory minimum sentences is the usual result of such charges. Under the federal statutes punishment for child pornography offenses range from terms of 5 to 20 years to terms of 10 to 20 years with the possibility of enhancement to terms of 15 to 40 years and even life imprisonment. The prohibited conduct includes receiving, or distributing or selling material which includes the visual depiction of a minor engaging in sexually explicit conduct and the visual depiction of such conduct. Federal law defines a child for the purposes of child pornography as anyone under 18 years of age.
The services of a sexual deviancy evaluator to prepare the accused for participation in any evaluation mandated by the court may be engaged if there are no substantive defenses to the criminal allegations. Identifying and participating in a treatment program prior to trial or disposition of the case is imperative. Proof of progress on the road to rehabilitation may minimize or avoid a prison term. Zealous advocacy in the legal process and answers you need to make good decisions regarding the accusations against you and resolution of your case in a way that makes the most sense for you and your family will be provided by criminal defense attorney Frank Svetlik.
If you are under investigation for distribution, or even possession of child pornography whether on a computer or in physical form, or if you have been indicted or arrested or otherwise charged, call and speak with Houston criminal attorney, Frank Svetlik, 713-724-8538 immediately. A criminal defense lawyer will schedule a meeting with you to analyze the facts of your case and the best future course of action.
TWO SIDES TO THE ISSUE
"CHILD PORN, THAT'S ALL WE NEED TO HEAR. ITS THE SERIOUSNESS OF THE CHARGES, NOT THE FACTS THAT COUNT. LOCK'EM UP, THROW AWAY THE KEY, AND THEN LEAVE'EM UNDER THE JAIL" - IS THE ATTITUDE OF MANY STATE AND FEDERAL PROSECUTORS.
There is a never ending battle in the legislatures of our state and country to determine who can appear to be the most strident and harshest punisher of the criminal element of our society. Child pornography is attempted to be portrayed by the harsh penalty advocates as one of the most loathsome of the crimes committed by man. The federal statutes addressing child pornography have many provisions for a mandatory minimum sentence of five years. The sentencing guidelines used by the United States district courts to measure the punishment meted out for crimes involving child pornography impose additional penalties sometimes referred to as enhancements based on a number of factors, including the age of the children depicted in the images and whether a computer was involved in the criminal activity. Notwithstanding that these factors made the basis of the enhancements are not included in the indictment, to which the accused must respond and which must be proved beyond a reasonable doubt, they form the basis of the punishment imposed. Justice Department prosecutors and representatives frequently assert that a substantial percentage of child pornography offenders are pedophiles who either have sexually abused a child or might try to do so. The legislators have enacted a system with the full approval of their constituents that oftentimes imposes harsher penalties to the child pornography viewer than to those who abuse the children and produce the pornography.
Between 2006 and 2011 indictments for sexual exploitation of minors by the United States Department of Justice increased from 1,901 to 2,713, almost 50%. The advocates of stern punishment assert that it is through sentencing that the courts express to society and to the victims and their family members who have been harmed the recognition of the seriousness of the child pornography offense. Neither the casual viewer of child pornography nor the sexual predator have any advocates in the legislature willing to align themselves with the potential defendant and propose reasoned or proportional punishment. No elected official is going to stand up and say, “I’m fighting for child porn possessors”. You should retain a lawyer who is not afraid to diligently defend you and fight for every right you may have no matter how serious the crime charged against you may be.
PROPORTIONALITY AND INDIVIDUAL TREATMENT IN SENTENCING
It is a fact, however, that many of the persons accused of viewing child pornography have stable employment, no prior contact with the criminal justice system and strong family support. Draconian sentences of imprisonment accomplish nothing other than the destruction or at least the weakening of appropriate social influences and the lives of these accused persons. Testimony has been provided to the United States Sentencing Commission that there is a lower rate of recidivism among child pornographers than among child predators and that many could be safely monitored by supervised probation.
The concept that tough sentencing will dry up the market for child pornography is the highest folly has been advocated by experienced federal public defenders in testimony before the United States Sentencing Commission. Federal District Court judges in 2010 made downward departures in sentencing persons indicted for child pornography at more than twice the rate of downward departures for any other crime. Certainly the judges whose sentencing decisions may be appealed by the Department of Justice by the very statistic quoted above, recognize that the United States Sentencing Guidelines for child pornographers are inappropriate. The most universally expressed sentiment among such judges was that the measure of the guidelines did not match the culpability of the individual defendant. Some judges are advocates for supervised release for persons convicted of child pornography offenses. These judges are all too conscious of the fact that they will be the subject of what can be vicious criticism for the downward departures and public statements advocating flexibility in sentencing different activities and involvement in the child pornography area.
Apparently 90% of the defendants accused of child pornography violations are white/caucasians. The disproportionately harsh sentences imposed for the effectively identical crimes of possession and distribution of child pornography may be viewed through the same lens that prompted a rollback in the disproportionately harsh sentences imposed for crack cocaine and powdered cocaine where the defendants are disproportionately black. This argument based on racial bias has not been addressed by the highest court of our land and represents a potential opportunity in the defense of child porn charges.
Call us to have your case evaluated and for a zealous and appropriate defense of child porn charges, 713-724-8538.