Child pornography investigations often involve federal and state agencies
Whenever an individual or individuals are arrested for child pornography offenses, there will often be a lot of concern in the community about the facts of the crime. People will want to know how the individual obtained the images or videos, especially if the person worked in a position of trust with children.
In many cases, these arrests receive a significant amount of attention in the media. This can have a negative influence on potential jurors, and make it difficult for individuals to present a strong defense against child pornography charges. Because these cases are so complex, it is very important to understand how these cases proceed, and realize how serious the penalties will be if convicted.
Child pornography investigations may proceed at the federal or state level, or these agencies may work together to find the evidence necessary to make an arrest. In many cases, the law enforcement agency will search file-sharing services to track known images of child pornography. They will see which users downloaded the image or video, and then will obtain warrants to search that individual’s computers for more evidence.
Often, the investigators will pose as other users on these file-sharing sites, and ask individuals to provide them with images or videos of child pornography. If a person complies with these requests, he or she could be facing federal or state child pornography charges.
In Louisiana, the Louisiana Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force is one law enforcement agency that investigates child pornography matters. The agency was created in 2001, and is focused on computer crimes that look to exploit children and juveniles. According to the Louisiana Attorney General’s office, the ICAC has arrested nearly 500 individuals for these offenses.
The penalties for a conviction of these crimes will often include extensive jail or prison time, as well as high fines. If a person is convicted of possessing, manufacturing or distributing images of child pornography, the individual will also be required to register as a sex offender in Louisiana. These requirements will last long after the offender has been released from prison, and will have a substantial impact on a person’s life for many years after the conviction.
If you have been charged with a child pornography offense, or any other sex crime, you need to speak to an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. Do not speak to law enforcement officers without having an attorney present to help you protect your rights. Anything that you say can be used against you, even if it seems like the information you are volunteering is not at all connected to the offenses.
This may be the first time you have ever been in any legal trouble, but you need to take this very seriously. Remember that you have rights, and you can present a strong defense to these charges. You should discuss all of the options that are available to you with your attorney.