Damico & Stockstill, Attorneys at Law

Improper police procedure can affect integrity of criminal case

A 26-year-old Baton Rouge man was recently arrested on accusations that he owned videos containing child pornography. The State Attorney General's Office said on Friday that the man had been arrested on counts of pornography involving juveniles and unauthorized use of wireless technology to download pornography involving juveniles.

Sources say that Investigators from the attorney general's High Technology Crime Unit searched the man's home on Friday and found around 50 files involving child pornography. The content of the videos-acts of rape upon young children-is disturbing, making the case a difficult one from the defendant's perspective.

According to investigators, the man admitted to downloading the child pornography while at work. This is an interesting point, and touches on a topic which might be worth looking at in general.

Admissions of guilt are important to look at when handling a criminal defense case. Without commenting on this case at all, it does happen that admissions of guilt are not properly received by police. When this happens, it can affect the integrity of the prosecution's case.

Admissions of guilt made outside court to a police officer may be introduced as evidence in a criminal case, provided the defendant was given the proper warnings as to his or her rights. These are known as the Miranda warnings. Sometimes police get caught up in an investigation and forget to follow proper procedure, and start taking admissions of guilt without following the proper procedure. It is important to look carefully at this issue when building a criminal defense case.

Even in disturbing criminal cases, it is important that defendants have their rights protected and their case tried properly.

Source: The Advocate, "Police and fire briefs for April 7, 2013," April 8, 2013

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