An accusation of a crime involving child pornography has jurisdiction in both State and Federal Court. Often because of the more punitive nature of the United States Sentencing Guidelines, the United States Attorney’s Office will select larger child pornography cases to prosecute with the notion that they can enforce a stricter sentence. Though this crime has been around in some fashion since the days of ancient Rome, the Internet has increased the prevalence of these acts and allegations exponentially. With this comes the possibility of an individual owning a computer used jointly with others that contains criminal images of children without them knowing.
As it stands today, Statute 18 USC 2256 describes this crime to be visual depictions, including photos, film, videos, pictures, or computer images or computer generated images of sexual conduct involving:
- A minor engaging in sexually explicit conduct; or
- A depiction of a digital image, computer image, or computer generated image that is not distinguishable from a minor engaging in sexually explicit conduct; or
- The visual depiction has been modified to look like a minor engaging in sexually explicit conduct.
Should you become the focus of an investigation, the investigators used by the United States government will use the most advanced technology available to track all individuals believed to be part of a file sharing process, sometimes resulting in an additional conspiracy charge. With this technology they will identify those through IP addresses and in turn use those IP addresses to determine a physical location of those involved. Once a location has been identified, as with any other Federal case, authorities will get a search warrant to search those computers involved. When your computer is seized it will be scrubbed for any images left on the hard drive space in addition to anything previously deleted.
If you become the focus of this kind of investigation, the most important thing you can do is engage the services of an experienced lawyer. Each criminal attorney at our firm is experienced in the Federal criminal system and has a full understanding of the best methods available to properly defend a child pornography allegation. As a rule of thumb, when the Feds execute the search warrant on your computer they will inevitably attempt to interview all those involved with the computer and residence or work area. Any statements made will be noted and you can rest assured any incriminating statements will be used against the accused. Our attorneys can help to ensure you make no incriminating statements and have the experience necessary to properly represent you against these charges.
Child pornography crimes can range from a minimum mandatory prison term of 30 years for one who buys children for sexual exploitation to a minimum mandatory of 15 years for production of child pornography to a 5 year minimum mandatory for possession of or distribution of child pornography. Regardless of the prison term, any allegation of the like is not to be taken lightly. Don’t take this allegation lightly. Call us at w-444-7435 and let us help.