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The MacNeil Firm Ltd.

What Types of Child Pornography Cases Does Your Firm Typically See?


We’ve handled all kinds of child pornography cases on both the state and federal levels. I’ve handled possession, simple possession, and distribution from small quantities to huge quantities. Our firm has also represented individuals charged with manufacturing child pornography.

What Mistakes Do People Make In A Child Pornography Case That Hurts The Outcome Of Their Case?

Mistakes that I see people make are allowing themselves to be interviewed by police, allowing police into their home, or voluntarily giving up their phone or computer to be searched. When you consent to a search, you cut off one of our most effective tools in child pornography cases: fourth amendment search and seizure issues. If you voluntarily give law enforcement your computer to examine, you’ve totally eliminated our opportunity to challenge that search. Without you giving them that information, they’d have to go get a search warrant. By giving them that, you are cutting out the possibility of a motion to suppress evidence based on an illegal search or seizure.

They often will entice you to talk to them by telling you that you don’t have to cooperate but if you don’t, it’s going to look really bad. They’ll claim that if you do cooperate, they’ll make sure to put in a good word for you and tell the prosecutor to be lenient. The reality is that law enforcement doesn’t have a lot of power when it comes to influencing prosecutors and judges. The biggest mistake is doing their job for them and just handing the evidence over to them or making an admission.

Is The Law Pertaining To Child Pornography A Federal Matter Or A State Matter?

There are child pornography laws on both the state and federal levels. Each one has different types of activities that would call for an enhancement. These can include the age of an individuals who are depicted in the images or videos.

What Makes The Difference Between A Federal And State Case Of Child Pornography?

A lot of times, the difference between a federal and a state child pornography case begins with the investigation. If you are being investigated by a federal agency, such as the FBI, that case will usually, but not always, be prosecuted on a federal level. If it’s a local law enforcement investigation, most of the time, those will go to the state for prosecution. There are exceptions. I’ve handled many cases that started federal investigations but were ultimately prosecuted at the state level and vice versa. Basically, if federal agents are investigating a case and it turns out to be a smaller case than they originally thought, that prosecution might go to the state. If it’s a local law enforcement investigation that turns out to be a huge ring of child pornography, it may go to federal court.

What Evidence Does Law Enforcement Need In Order To Make An Arrest In a Child Pornography Case?

Child pornography has changed quite a bit since the invention of the internet. Almost all the child pornography evidence we see now is electronic. There are files on a computer, a cellphone, a tablet, a hard drive, in the cloud, or a server. Before the internet, they had hard photos or videotapes. That is no longer the case.

For more information on Child Pornography Cases In Illinois, 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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