Imagine an illegal drug that is created for free, smuggled internationally without any interference, and has long-lasting, devastating effects on both users and suppliers. Now imagine that most people are immune to this new drug's effects, but that some small portion of the population uses it obsessively, and a much larger group is curious about it, trying it once or twice since it is free and easy to get. That's child pornography, which is quickly becoming the most commonly prosecuted sex crime in the United States.
Child pornography charges are leveled against doctors, lawyers, public officials, military officers and other productive members of society with mind-numbing frequency. Most cases are easy for the government to prove: illegal images are traced to a user via his or her IP address, police conduct a search, child pornography is found on the individual's computer and, all too often, the person confesses, sometimes trying to talk their way out of trouble by saying they did not intend to download the material or are not really interested in it.
Prosecutors in child pornography cases typically seeks high sentences—years and years in prison—for simple possession of illegal images. While many state cases end in probation or shorter jail terms, most federal child porn offenses carry mandatory minimum sentences. In order to avoid these terrible results, it is essential to do two things at the very beginning of a case: first, do not speak to the police, federal agents, or prosecutors; second, seek out a lawyer with experience handling child pornography cases, and follow the lawyer's advice. All is not lost when an individual is under investigation for child pornography, but the case must be handled very carefully to avoid soul-crushing probation restrictions, long prison terms, and a lifetime of sex offender registration.
While past results are no guarantee of future outcomes, our office has had success in helping people accused of possession of child pornography avoid being charged or avoid prison time. If you think you might be under investigation for child pornography, please contact us right away.