Skip to Content
Child Pornography

Federal Child Pornography Crimes

Images involving child pornography are illegal under federal law. As a form of child sexual exploitation, those images are not protected by the First Amendment. Child pornography cases have grown significantly over the last 10 years and now account for nearly 2,000 federal cases year years.

In any possession of child pornography case prosecuted in federal court, the sentence imposed after a conviction is harsh. In addition, the ultimate sentence can be increased for many additional reasons that would seem to be a part of the underlying crime. For instance, the punishment for federal child pornography charges can be increased if the offense involves aggravating factors such as:

  • Use of a computer
  • Having multiple images
  • Having younger children in the images
  • Having images that are sadistic or masochistic
  • Having video files as opposed to photographic images
  • Images of sexual exploitation or abuse
  • The relationship of the defendant to the child

The penalties can also be increased if the offender has a prior conviction for child sexual exploitation. Such a prior record could subject the offender to a sentence of life in prison if convicted of the new offense.

As the United States Congress has created longer and longer sentences for child pornography crimes, it has also required the U.S. Sentencing Commission to increase the advisory federal sentencing guidelines for those offenses. As a result, the length of child pornography sentences in federal court has increased nearly 500 percent in the last 15 years.

Attorney for Federal Child Pornography Crimes in San Antonio

If you were charged with being in possession of child pornography (sometimes called ”child sexual abuse images”) in federal court in the Western District of Texas in the San Antonio Division, then contact an experienced criminal defense attorney. Don Flanary has experience fighting child pornography crimes in state court and federal court.

Call for a free consultation to discuss your case, the charges pending against you, and the best defenses that can be used to aggressively fight the case. Call (210) 899-7566 today for a free and confidential consultation.

Contact Our Firm
Ready to take action? Reach out to us today and let's start working towards your legal goals together. Whether you have questions about your case, need immediate assistance, or want to schedule a consultation, our experienced team is here to help.

Types of Federal Child Pornography Offenses

Federal crimes involving child pornography can include:

  • 18 U.S.C. § 2252A – certain activities relating to material constituting or containing child pornography
  • 18 U.S.C. § 2252 – certain activities relating to material involving the sexual exploitation of minors involving the possession, distribution, and receipt of child pornography
  • 18 U.S.C. § 2251A – selling and Buying of Children
  • 18 U.S.C. § 2251 – sexual Exploitation of Children involving the production of child pornography
  • 18 U.S.C. § 2260 – production of sexually explicit depictions of a minor for importation into the United States

Federal Jurisdiction for Child Pornography Prosecutions

Although Texas law prohibits the possession, distribution or production of child pornography, federal jurisdiction is implicated if the crime occurred in interstate or foreign commerce.

Interstate commerce can arise through the use of a computer or the Internet to view or distribute the image. It also applies to the use of mail or common carrier to transport the contraband across the state or into the country. It is important to note that an offender can be prosecuted under state child pornography laws in addition to, or instead of, federal law.

Continue Reading Read Less

Why Choose Flanary Law Firm, PLLC?

  • Constant Communication
    At our firm, we always want our clients to feel empowered when defending against criminal charges. We aim to constantly communicate with our clients, answering questions and taking feedback as we progress through the case. We are always here to answer your questions or adjust your legal strategy as needed.
  • A History of Results
    With multiple decades of experience between our attorneys, we have a history of proven results and happy clients. We always aim to get a criminal case dismissed or have the charges lowered to reduce any penalties our clients are facing. We are confident we can get you the results you deserve.
  • Experience You Can Count On
    At our firm, we pride ourselves on the diverse range of criminal cases we have worked on. From federal felony charges to state misdemeanors, we know exactly how to build a defense strategy that's right for you. Our team can handle even the most complex cases and are willing to be flexible with our strategies.
  • Advice on Your Timeline
    We understand that all criminal cases work at different paces. Whether you are just looking around for a lawyer because you're under investigation or you need immediate representation, our team can help. We will work with you no matter where you are in the process to protect your rights.
  • Free Initial Consultations
    We understand that hiring a criminal defense attorney is a big decision that many people need time to make. That's why we offer all our potential clients a free consultation to see if we're the right legal team for them. We will review your case and begin building a legal strategy to defend your rights.
  • Personalized Legal Defense Strategies
    All criminal cases are different, so our dense strategies are too. We would never re-use a legal strategy from one client to the next because your case is too unique. We will always build a defense strategy that's personalized and effective for you to get the outcome you deserve.

Other Federal Crimes Involving Child Pornography

In addition to the possession of child pornography, federal law prohibits the reception, distribution or production of an image using or affecting any means or facility of interstate or foreign commerce. (See 18 U.S.C. § 2251; 18 U.S.C. § 2252; 18 U.S.C. § 2252A).

Section 2251 makes it illegal to coerce, entice, induce, or persuade a minor child to engage in sexually explicit conduct for purposes of producing visual depictions of that conduct. Even a first-time offender convicted of producing child pornography under 18 U.S.C. § 2251, face fines and a statutory minimum of 15 years to 30 years maximum in prison.

Section 2260 of Title 18, United States Code, prohibits any persons outside of the United States to knowingly produce, receive, transport, ship, or distribute child pornography with intent to import or transmit the visual depiction into the United States.

Section 2251A of Title 18, United States Code, prohibits any parent, legal guardian or other person in custody or control of a minor under the age of 18, to buy, sell, or transfer custody of that minor for purposes of producing child pornography.

Section 18 U.S.C. § 2252, prohibitions transporting child pornography in interstate or foreign commerce. A first-time offender convicted of this offense faces fines and a statutory minimum of 5 years to 20 years maximum in prison.

Additionally, any individual who attempts or conspires to commit a child pornography offense is also subject to prosecution under federal law.


Continue Reading Read Less


A member of our team will be in touch shortly to confirm your contact details or address questions you may have.

  • Please enter your first name.
  • Please enter your last name.
  • Please enter your phone number.
    This isn't a valid phone number.
  • Please enter your email address.
    This isn't a valid email address.
  • Please make a selection.
  • Please enter a message.
  • By submitting, you agree to be contacted about your request & other information using automated technology. Message frequency varies. Msg & data rates may apply. Text STOP to cancel. Acceptable Use Policy