The Feds Seized My Computer – What Do I Do Now?
The Problem: You are sitting at home expecting to get ready for the day. Instead, in walk a dozen FBI/ICE agents who show you a search warrant for the premises. What do you do now? Based on our vast experience handling Child Pornography investigations as private Federal Defense Attorneys, we lay out below the suggested steps to take when met with this situation.
What To Do When Faced With A Search Warrant For Your Home.
- Do Not Consent to Voluntary Interviews Without Your Lawyer: You have the right to remain silent whether or not you are read your rights. DO NOT SPEAK with law enforcement. That is the job for your attorney. No amount of immediate explanation by you is going to make law enforcement end their search. Your words only help them decide whether or not to arrest you at that time. However, do provide identifying information and say “I want my lawyer.”
- Review the Warrant: Politely ask to see the warrant and pay attention to the address to confirm it is indeed your address. Politely ask for a copy of the warrant. It is unlikely you will be given a copy but it never hurts to ask.
- Ask for Inventory: At the completion of the search ask for a copy of the inventory of the property seized. You do not necessarily have a tight to the inventory at that time so if denied do not become upset or aggressive with law enforcement.
- Ask for the name and contact information of the Agent in Charge: This will aid your attorney in knowing who to call to get answers for you.
- Call your Lawyer: Immediately seek representation to guide you in the process and to protect and serve as a buffer between you and law enforcement in obtaining answers to the questions you will undoubtedly have.
If you face Child Pornography charges, contact a firm with a longstanding reputation for legal excellence, aggressive representation, honesty, integrity and extraordinary client services. Contact The Criminal Defense Group.
Recent Child Pornography Case Results
August 2010 Facing: Mandatory Minimum 5 Years for Importation of Child Pornography
Result: NO JAIL TIME, Straight Probation!
June 2010 Facing: Mandatory Minimum 5 Years for Child Pornography Distribution
Result: Plea to Obscenity Charge with NO REGISTRATION & 6 Months Home Detention!
The two motions we put online for you to see (above) show some of what a good criminal defense attorney does for their clients. Through our experience, research and excellent writing skills, we showed how certain evidence that the police were going to use against our clients was not allowed, because the police had done something wrong, or because the evidence was otherwise "tainted", and could not be used in court. We were successful in both of those cases.
Child Pornography Defense Considerations
Increasingly, child pornography laws are being used to punish the use of computer technology and the Internet to obtain, share and distribute pornographic material involving minors under the age of 18, including films and images. Courts have held that such material my be banned even if it is not legally obscene and does not involve nudity.
Child pornography is a crime that one can commit or be charged with committing even without one's knowledge. The mere presence of pornographic images on a computer, even if it was downloaded without your knowledge, can implicate you in these crimes.
We have defended clients who have viewed images of people thought to be over 18. We have also seen instances when people have received pornographic emails and deleted them, but the images still remain in the computer's hard drive and implicate the individual.
An additional consideration is that pornography charges, particular when involving the Internet, are often prosecuted at the federal level. Federal criminal defense is significantly different from state defense and requires different strategies and considerations. It is important to understand whether potential charges are being filed by the state, the federal government or both.
The charge of child pornography carries considerable social stigma. Prosecutors are under considerable pressure from the public to pursue charges of crimes against children and are highly motivated to seek convictions for these charges. The social stigma associated with harming children can lower the threshold of proof in the minds of jurors.
The complexity of computer technology can affect child pornography cases and must be considered in their defense. It is important that, when computers are involved, your defense team possesses sufficient expertise in cybercrimes defense.
If you are facing potential child pornography charges, it is critical that you use a legal defense team with specific experience and expertise dealing with crimes against children. Call us at any time at (800) 459-2500 for a free, confidential initial consultation. Early intervention is critical to obtaining the best results.