graphic for Electronic Transmission of Certain Visual Material Depicting Minor

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.

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 law in Texas about Electronic Transmission of Certain Visual Material Depicting Minor?

The offense is described in Section 43.261 of the Texas Penal Code.

(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,1 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,1 with a maximum possible fine under Texas state law of up to $2,000 and jail time of up to 180 years.

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,2 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.3

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.4


Legal References:

1 Texas Penal Code Section 43.261(c)

2 Texas Penal Code Section 43.261(d)

3 Texas Penal Code Section 43.261(e)

3 Texas Penal Code Section 43.261(f)

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