Our firm recently handled a relatively complex case in which our client was facing three different cases of child pornography as well as a charge of sexual performance by a child. Originally, our client could have been facing extensive time in prison and harsh fines. However, we were able to have all three child pornography charges dismissed and the remaining sexual performance charged reduced to attempted sexual performance. Our client was sentenced to just two years deferred adjudication probation.
According to Texas Penal Code § 46.21, sexual performance by a child is any offense where by a person knowingly hires or consents to a child younger than 18 years of age engaging in sexual conduct or sexual performance. This crime is a second degree felony unless the child is under 14 years of age, in which case the crime would be considered a 1st degree penalty. The term "performance" refers to a performance or part in a visual representation or performance shown before an audience where the child under 18 years of age was authorized to perform sexual conduct as a part of the exhibit. Such an offense, if convicted, can mean serious penalties for the adult who employed or consented to the child's participation in such acts and can include a maximum jail sentence of 20 years.
Fortunately, our firm was able to show that the prosecution's case against our client on the charges stated above was not strong enough to warrant such a serious conviction. In the end, evidence of the possession of child pornography was insufficient as was the actual employment of a child to perform sexual acts. We were able to reach a plea deal which gave our client a sentence of probation in a time period of two years deferred adjudication. This means that the client pled guilty to the charges of attempted sexual performance by a child and was ordered by the court to meet a requirement of two years probation. Deferred adjudication allows for the possible avoidance of a formal conviction on our client's criminal record or all together dismissal if they complete their sentence fully.
This case result is yet another testimony of our firm's dedication to defending the rights and interests of those being charged with crimes in Texas. If you are facing criminal charges of any kind, please do not hesitate to contact a Dallas criminal defense attorney at D'Amore Law Firm to discuss your case.