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What Potential Defenses May Be Used In Child Pornography Cases?


The defense I most commonly use in child pornography cases are fourth amendment issues pertaining to the right to be free from illegal searches and seizures. Any time law enforcement seizes your computer, your phone, your hard drive, or your server without a warrant, it brings up that issue. This is why it is so important not to voluntarily give that evidence up; it cuts off that avenue of defense, which is one of the most effective ones we have. Some other defenses I’ve used effectively include retaining a computer expert to examine electronic evidence. If you have an image on your computer and you look at that image and then you click out of your browser without saving it anywhere, that image is still stored on your hard drive in what is called unallocated space.

Law enforcement has highly specialized and powerful software, and once they get their hands on your computer, they can see every image you’ve ever looked at in the life of that computer. Even if you deleted it or it just flashed on your screen for a second, it’s there. This creates a dilemma and a possible defense. If you possessed an image of child pornography and you decided that it was a bad idea and deleted it, but it’s still lingering in the ether of your computer, is that really possession? You didn’t intend to possess it and, unless you are a computer expert, you really don’t know how to access it.

What Are The Outcomes Of Clients That Plead To Some Level Of Guilt In A Child Pornography Case?

If we just don’t think that we can overcome whatever evidence there is and litigating it is not the right way to go, we need to do some damage control. That is when we would do some negotiating. Before engaging in any negotiation, I understand what my client’s goals are because we‘ve talked about it. In the negotiations, we do everything we can to accomplish those goals. I’ve successfully negotiated cases that were mandatory prison time down to probation cases. I have also negotiated very short prison sentences in cases where a person was facing decades in prison. Every case and situation is different. My client and I have a thorough discussion of the case and exhaust all other options before negotiating.

Would Pre-Trial Counseling Or Other Treatment Help Me In A Child Pornography Case?

A lot of people ask if they should get some sort of counseling or treatment to help their case. The answer is that sometimes it helps and sometimes it doesn’t. I’ve seen situations where it was really important for us to have my client evaluated because the prosecutors had an image of that individual as a predator and the professional evaluation had a much different opinion. That’s not going to be the situation in every case and not every evaluation is going to come out positive. After we look at everything in the case, if we decide that it’s the right thing to do, then that’s what we will do.

For more information on Potential Defenses In Child Pornography Cases, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (815) 290-9170 today.

Donald N. Macneil, Esq.

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