DC Child Pornography Investigations

Child pornography cases are handled very differently from other types of sex crimes. Under both DC and federal law, possession of child pornography does not require the government to prove that a person has ever committed an unlawful sexual act against a minor. Instead, possession alone has been criminalized. For this reason, successfully prosecuting a case often depends on the outcome of DC child pornography investigations.

If you face charges or believe you are a suspect in an investigation, reach out to a qualified defense lawyer as soon as possible. With the help of an experienced attorney, you could build a credible defense and fight for a positive resolution to your case.

Digital Evidence in Child Pornography Investigations

Investigators and prosecutors often use evidence from computers to prosecute child pornography cases. This is because it is uncommon for child pornography to be transmitted in paper form, magazines, or other kinds of tangible evidence. Much more often, this material is shared and stored on computers.

When the government wants to admit this evidence into court, the first thing they need to show is what lawful authority they had to seize an individual’s personal effects. Personal effects can include computers, emails, other electronic communications, cellphones, or anything that a person is deemed to have a privacy interest in. Constitutionally, the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution protects every person’s privacy. If the government intrudes on that privacy, for example by seizing a person’s effects, then they need to have a lawful basis to do so. Typically, this requires a search warrant.

Proving Possession

If law enforcement can admit images or videos into evidence, they also need to be able to prove that the defendant was in possession of the child pornography. Prosecutors can sometimes do that by admitting bank records showing a person purchased electronic images or videos. In some cases, authorities may obtain a person’s text messages or conversations in which they discussed obtaining child pornography.

Prosecutors could also use server records that they obtain through subpoenas or warrants to show the downloading of child pornography from a server to a person’s computer. In general, online records can be obtained by the government to show receipts of child pornography and to prove that a person knew what images they had on their computer.

Undercover Agents in DC

Sometimes, prosecutors use undercover law enforcement investigations to engage in conversations with potential suspects about obtaining child pornography. Some common tactics include reaching out to others online, posing as distributors, and getting people to purchase or receive images. These undercover agents can sometimes be very pushy and convincing and can use any evidence they obtain to prosecute their targets.

Law enforcement can also use undercover officers to target people who they believe are already in possession of child pornography to get those suspects to make incriminating statements. They can then prove that a person was aware that they were in possession of child pornography and knew what the images contained.

Contact a DC Child Pornography Attorney for Help During an Investigation

If you are a suspect in a DC child pornography investigation, you should contact an aggressive defense attorney as soon as possible. If convicted, you could face heavy fines, jail time, and long-term damage to your reputation. For help minimizing the impact of your charges and raising a strong defense, reach out to a skilled criminal lawyer today to schedule a consultation.

DC Criminal Lawyer

DC Criminal Lawyer
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Shawn Sukumar Attorney at Law
1826 Jefferson Pl NW
#205

Washington DC 20036