Child Pornography Defense Attorney

Child Pornography Defense Attorney

As the internet developed over the past decade, access to child pornography (CP) increased as the number of websites that circulated the material increased. Google, Yahoo, Bing and other internet search engines target these images and will identify them with electronic coding, in order to assist law enforcement in reducing the number of overall images and preventing access. If a person accesses child pornography on the internet, by simply viewing, exchanging, or uploading/downloading, the internet provider, for example Google, in conjunction with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, will generate a CyberTip.

A CyberTip is a short synopsis of what was accessed, with a brief description, the date, time, and the IP address associated with the activity. That information is sent by email to the county detective bureau for the jurisdiction where the CP was accessed. From there, the county detectives will determine the specific township where the CP was accessed and the CyberTip will be forwarded to the detective of the local police department or appropriate state police barracks, for example, Lower Merion Township Police Department, PSP Media, West Chester Borough Police Department or Lancaster City Police Department.


Child Pornography Offenses and legal Defense Attorney Chester county, PA

At that point, the detective from the jurisdiction where the material is accessed will review the CyberTip and look first to the IP address. An IP address is a unique signature that will, simply put, attach itself to a period of internet activity, and it will allow a detective to figure out where the material was accessed on a specific date and time. IP addresses are public. In utilizing something called the American Registry for Internet Numbers (ARIN), the police can determine the internet provider for the generated IP address, for example, Comcast or Verizon. With that information, the detective can obtain subscriber information from Comcast or Verizon. Then the detective will draft a search warrant (SW) for the address associated with the IP address that accessed the CP on a certain date and time. Next, the detective knocks on the front door of that address.

Child Pornography Defense Attorney

When a CP search warrant is executed on a home there are two things to remember. First, the detectives are most likely going to try and get a statement on scene from someone who will admit that they were the individual that accessed the material. This could very well occur in the home at the kitchen table when that individual is feeling the pressure to confess because they don’t want another person in the house to be accused. Perfectly understandable, but remember, everyone has a right to remain silent and an experienced detective will not hold that against you. Just remember to be respectful during the execution of the SW and ask to speak to an attorney. The second thing to remember is that the detectives will most likely take every internet accessible device in the home, including but not limited to, phones, computers, and tablets. None of this can be stopped in the moment, so the most important thing to do is be respectful in the process and seek counsel immediately.

A significant amount of CP on the internet is found and exchanged on social media and networking sites, for example, a website called Kik. Kik is a constant source of CyberTips that lead to CP investigations and prosecution. Significantly, the exchange of CP is a more severe crime than the general viewing or possession of CP. When a crime is more serious, it is given a higher Offense Gravity Score (OGS), which, in conjunction with the individual’s Prior Record Score (PRS), leads to sentencing guidelines. Other factors that can lead to a higher OGS in a CP case are: the specific nature of the CP and what is depicted, the age of the child depicted and the volume of images and videos.


Child Pornography Offenses and legal Attorney Chester county, PA

CP case convictions carry Megan’s Law consequences. Megan’s Law requires a person convicted of possession of CP to register with the Pennsylvania State Police as a sex offender for at least 15 years. As such, it is tremendously important that you retain the right attorney to help you get through this process. There are specific strategies that must be employed and certain things that prosecutors and judges want to see if a case is going to be negotiated properly.

As the head of the sex crimes unit with the Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office, I reviewed hundreds of child pornography search warrants and assisted in the investigation and prosecution of these cases. Now, as a defense attorney, I apply the knowledge and skills I gained as a prosecutor to assist my clients. My expertise in this area allows me to answer all questions and ultimately leads to confident and strategic decision-making on behalf of my clients.



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    West Chester, PA