Although child pornography charges can be brought in state court, many times child pornography cases will take place in federal court. Even though there are similarities to handling a child pornography charge in state and federal court, there are many important differences as well.
The defense of the charge itself will remain the same, with the same defenses available in federal court. These defenses generally fall into three main categories: 1) challenging the search of a person’s home, computer, or cell phone on Fourth Amendment grounds; 2) challenging any statements that may have been made in violation of a person’s Fifth or Sixth Amendment rights; and 3) fighting the issue of who had access to the device where the child pornography was found and when that access was possible.
One main difference between state and federal court will occur with the structure of the sentencing. In state court sentencing dispositions are often worked out ahead of time with the prosecuting attorney. In federal court, even with a plea agreement in place, the judge will have to consider both the plea agreement and the federal sentencing guidelines when crafting an appropriate sentence.
The sentencing guidelines are harsh for child pornography cases, and there is a lot of material available to illustrate that the guidelines are too harsh in these cases. It is the job of an experienced federal child pornography defense lawyer to convince the judge the guidelines are antiquated and overly harsh in an effort to achieve a sentence below the guideline recommendation for the circumstances.
Although sentencing occurs at the end of the case, it is important to begin to work on factors that would help with sentencing from day one. One of the most helpful things a person facing child pornography charges can do from the beginning of the case is to see a psychologist who specializes in treatment for sex offenses. It is important to be proactive with the defense of a federal child pornography case, and that includes working to improve any possible sentence at the end of the case.
If you, or a family member faces federal child pornography charges, then contact The Law Office of Jason A. Korner to discuss the facts of your case, and what defenses may be available in your specific case. You can schedule a free consultation with Mr. Korner by calling 314-409-2659. You can also click here to fill out an information form and Mr. Korner will call you to discuss your case and your rights.