Electronic Transmission of Certain Visual Material Depicting Minor graphic with Texas flag Electronic Transmission of Certain Visual Material Depicting Minor
Electronic Transmission of Certain Visual Material Depicting Minor graphic with Texas flag

Electronic Transmission of Certain Visual Material Depicting Minor

The Electronic Transmission of Certain Visual Material Depicting Minor crime in the state of Texas is an offense that applies strictly to people under 18 years old. Law enforcement has the right to arrest you if they believe you are a minor and, in essence, you have electronic images or video depicting minors engaging in sexual conduct or you helped spread that kind of material. Learn more detailed information about the Electronic Transmission of Certain Visual Material Depicting Minor offense below.

Have you been charged with Electronic Transmission of Certain Visual Material Depicting Minor? Call criminal lawyer Paul Saputo at (888) 239-9305 to discuss legal representation.

This statute enables state prosecuting attorneys to target kids and teenagers who share what ultimately amounts to child pornography without coming down on the kids as harshly as a possession of child porn prosecution. Young people who engage in “sexting” can be held criminally liable under this law. People over 18 years old who engage in the same sexting with minors would be prosecuted under much harsher laws like Possession or Promotion of Child Pornography, Sexual Performance by a Child or Online Solicitation of a Minor.

Electronic Transmission of Certain Visual Material Depicting Minor is classified in the Texas Penal Code under Title 9 “Offenses Against Public Order and Decency”, Chapter 43 “Public Indecency.”

What is the current Texas law about Electronic Transmission of Certain Visual Material Depicting Minor?

The current Texas law is as follows:1

(b) A person who is a minor commits an offense if the person intentionally or knowingly:

(1) by electronic means promotes to another minor visual material depicting a minor, including the actor, engaging in sexual conduct, if the actor produced the visual material or knows that another minor produced the visual material; or

(2) possesses in an electronic format visual material depicting another minor engaging in sexual conduct, if the actor produced the visual material or knows that another minor produced the visual material.

How can I be charged with Electronic Transmission of Certain Visual Material Depicting Minor?

You can be charged with Electronic Transmission of Certain Visual Material Depicting Minor if the state’s attorneys believe that each of the elements of 43.261(b) as described in the section above have been met.

What is the punishment for Electronic Transmission of Certain Visual Material Depicting Minor?

A conviction for Electronic Transmission of Certain Visual Material Depicting Minor is punished as a Class C misdemeanor,2 with a maximum possible fine under Texas state law of up to $500. Learn about the differences between grades of felonies and misdemeanors

If it is shown in trial that the actor promoted the visual intent to harass, torment, or abuse another person or if the actor has been convicted one time of any offense under this section then a conviction for Electronic Transmission of Certain Visual Material Depicting Minor is punished as a Class B misdemeanor,2 with a maximum possible fine under Texas state law of up to $2,000 and jail time of up to 180 days.

If the actor has been convicted two or more times of any offense under this section then a conviction for Electronic Transmission of Certain Visual Material Depicting Minor is punished as a Class A misdemeanor,3 with a maximum possible fine under Texas state law of up to $4,000 and jail time of up to one year.

What if I deleted the pictures or video as soon as I received it? What if I was dating the person in the pictures or video?

There are a few statutory defenses (meaning that these are available to use in addition to other defenses) listed in the statute. There is an affirmative defense available that would allow your lawyer to keep you from being convicted if you can show that the material involved only yourself or your boyfriend or girlfriend and was kept or shared only between yourself and your boyfriend or girlfriend.4

The statute also lists a defense to prosecution for a situation where you did not produce or solicit the images, they were sent to you by another minor and you destroyed the images shortly after receiving them.5


Legal References:

1 Texas Penal Code §42.261.

2 Texas Penal Code §43.261(c)

3 Texas Penal Code §43.261(d)

4 Texas Penal Code §43.261(e)

5 Texas Penal Code §43.261(f)

Recent Case Results

  • 2019 Not Guilty in Collin County DWI >0.15
  • 2019 Not Guilty in Dallas County Indecency with a Child
  • Oral Argument at the United States Federal 5th Circuit Court of Appeals on Prosecutorial Misconduct Claim arising out of Northern District of Texas
  • 2018 Not Guilty in Martin County Aggravated Assault with a Deadly Weapon on a Peace Officer
  • Not Guilty in 2018 Dallas County DWI Trial
  • Client cleared in Dallas Police Shooting wrongful accusation
  • Federal sentencing results in 10 Year Downward Deviation from Sentencing Guidelines in 2018
  • Not Guilty Jury Verdict for client originally accused of Intoxication Manslaughter
  • Case Dismissed after picking jury in Aggravated Sexual Assault of Child case in 2017
  • United States Attorney dismisses case against client charged in El Paso Federal Court with Possession of Child Pornography
  • ALL CHARGES DISMISSED against our client in the Twin Peaks Waco Biker case
  • Client “No-billed” by grand jury investigating shooting death case
  • Coverage of Case Involving Waco teacher sending messages to student
  • Judge returns a Directed Verdict of Acquittal in case involving trainer of professional athletes
  • Rare Not Guilty verdict in Rockwall County DWI
  • 2016 Dismissal of Fort Worth Federal Possession of Obscene Visual Representation of the Sexual Abuse of Children
  • Hill County Money Laundering case Dismissed and civil asset forfeiture assets returned
  • Coverage of teen Lewisville client charged with hit-and-run death
  • Two Montague County Indecency with a Child cases Dismissed