If you have been accused of possessing child pornography, it’s important that you obtain strong legal counsel to defend you against the charges you are facing. At Luftman, Heck & Associates, our Columbus sex crimes attorneys understand what is at stake for you and can provide you with the legal advice and intelligent defense you need at this time to ensure your rights are protected under the law.
How Do Defendants Get Caught With Child Pornography?
Many dangers exist online for the individual downloading pornographic content. It is possible to unknowingly download illegal child pornography due to deceptive file names and the rapid-fire downloading technology employed by many peer-to-peer file sharing websites. With pornography involving children in your possession, you may unexpectedly find yourself facing charges that carry mandatory jail time.
Several techniques are used by law enforcement officials to catch individuals allegedly engaged in the possession of or some other activity involving child pornography. Some of these tactics include:
- Law enforcement conducts searches of peer-to-peer file sharing websites using common keyword terms used in the world of child pornography. Once law enforcement identifies these files, many times the IP address of the originating computer can be detected.
- Law enforcement officers sometimes disguise themselves as persons interested in purchasing or exchanging child pornography – or they may pose as young children online. When others engage with these law enforcement officers in the purchasing of pornographic material, or the soliciting of sexual acts with those they believe to be minors, these individuals may be arrested.
- Prosecutors may also offer plea bargains to those caught possessing child pornography in order to discover other individuals who are selling or trading in such materials.
The above-mentioned tactics represent several methods used by law enforcement to catch people in possession of child pornography. If you fall under suspicion of having these materials in your possession, you may become subject to law enforcement performing a search of your home and computer(s). The FBI has the ability to discover files that have been deleted as well. Therefore, the attempt to delete files containing this material may not eliminate them permanently or prevent their detection.
Recent FBI Enforcement Operation
In early 2015, the FBI conducted an operation that dealt with one of the largest child pornography websites on the Internet at that time – Playpen. This site made it possible for users to download thousands of illegal images and videos. In order to carry out this operation, the government, in fact, took over control of the website, but left it active in order to catch individuals obtaining pornographic material involving children.
The agency justified its actions by claiming that if such enforcement operations were not conducted these individuals would otherwise remain hidden and unexposed, continuing to obtain and use child pornography. The FBI placed software on the site that enabled it to bypass its security features and identify hundreds of users engaging with the site and downloading material.
The U.S. Justice Department revealed through court filings that the FBI had control of this website from February 20 to March 4, 2015. During this time period, the site, which had over 215,000 registered users, contained links to more than 23,000 images and videos of children of a sexually explicit nature. The FBI, through its takeover of the site, made over 9,000 files available to users that were downloadable directly from the FBI. The court filings provided by the Justice Department described images of very young children, even those at the earliest ages for kindergarten.
Contact an Experienced Columbus Child Pornography Attorney
If the severe, long-term consequences involving the charge of possessing child pornography are on your doorstep, it is vital to have an experienced defense attorney fighting on your behalf. Our team at Luftman, Heck & Associates is able to defend you against any federal or state charges associated with this crime and work toward achieving the mitigation, or if possible, the elimination of the penalties you are facing.
Contact us at (614) 500-3836 as soon as possible to schedule a free consultation about your case.