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Charlotte Law Blog

Digital Evidence in Child Porn Cases

On behalf of Randall & Stump, PLLC in Charlotte, Child Sex Crimes, Criminal Defense, Sex Crimes on Monday, November 18, 2019

 

Few criminal charges are more serious than those related to child pornography. If you’ve been charged in a child porn case, it likely hinges on digital evidence collected from computers, smartphones, or external storage drives.

Because digital evidence is so important to child porn case convictions, if you are facing these serious allegations, you need experienced criminal defense attorneys like those at Randall & Stump, PLLC. We understand how to interpret and use computer data to help with your defense and when to call in additional experts in the technology field to assist. It’s vital that you don’t try to go it alone when the target of a child porn case.

Call our Charlotte child porn defense attorneys today at (980) 237-4579 or our online contact form for a free, confidential case consultation.

Child Porn Cases in North Carolina

Child porn cases can be brought under state or federal laws. In North Carolina, child porn cases are pursued via the sexual exploitation of children statute, all of which are felonies. Federal law prosecutions come from receiving, possessing, or distributing child pornography.
Penalties for conviction under state charges depend on which felony charge has been levied, but all carry periods of incarceration, some as high as more than 16 years behind bars. A conviction likely will mean registration for decades as a sex offender, a label that could affect your employment, housing, and professional licensures. If convicted of federal child porn charges, you could face 10 to 50 years in prison depending on the charge.

Discovery of Digital Evidence

In child porn cases, digital evidence may be discovered from several sources. Likely a warrant to gather your computer hard drive, smartphone, camera memory card, CDs or thumb drives will be executed. Not only will police take your personal computing devices, from a desktop to a tablet, but your workplace electronic devices may also be confiscated as evidence.

Prosecutors will be looking for the digital footprints left behind by visits to child porn websites, downloading of pictures, or communications and transactions concerning child porn. Because sometimes things can download and be stored accidentally, and without your knowledge, there could be child porn found even though you had no intent or desire to view it.

Even if you were solely interested in adult porn and were sharing or downloading it, if there was child porn in the file without your knowledge, it is then on your computer. Discovery of it and deletion won’t erase the evidence that it had been there. That’s why you need our criminal defense attorneys who understand how to defend you from such charges.

In addition, even just visiting websites can leave a temporary file that contains the information and pictures of the website in the “cache” of your devices. You could accidentally visit a place on the web that you had zero interest in, and there will be a record of it in a temporary file. One wrong stroke of the keyboard could land you in hot water because law enforcement is monitoring such sites and can capture your digital address.

Computer Forensic Experts

Because digital evidence is complex and it’s compelling to jurors who can “see” the evidence from YOUR devices, you may need an expert in computer forensics for your defense. A computer forensics expert can analyze search histories, metadata, and other data that could show you are being wrongly accused.

While the services of such experts can be costly, a conviction in a child porn case is life-altering. If we believe your defense is strengthened by the addition of a computer forensic expert, we will recommend one.

Child Porn Allegations are Urgent Matters

Due to the seriousness of child porn cases, you don’t want to delay if finding experienced criminal defense attorneys to defend you. Whether you’ve already been arrested and charged, or evidence has been seized and an indictment may be coming, now is the time to speak to our Charlotte child porn defense attorneys. The consequences of a conviction are long-lasting and life-shattering.

Call Randall & Stump, PLLC today at (980) 237-4579 or our online contact form for a free, confidential consultation regarding your case.