Evidence in Mecklenburg County Child Pornography Cases

Most child pornography is communicated and disseminated through electronic means. State and federal investigators have become increasingly adept at investigating online searches and activity on suspects’ various electronic devices, including computers and smartphones. An offender’s online activity, even when they think they have sufficiently cleared their browsing history, very often still has a data trail that investigators are able to examine. As a result, most evidence in Mecklenburg County child pornography cases comes from online data. For more information about collecting and challenging evidence, contact an experienced child pornography lawyer.

Collecting Evidence of Child Pornography

Often, an investigation begins when a parent or another family member finds evidence that a minor may be in a sexual relationship with someone or could be sending or receiving nude images. Early indicators from friends or family often form the basis for a more substantial law enforcement investigation. Other people may then report suspicions of that behavior, which can lead to investigations and statements that imply communication of lewd images.

The images themselves will be the most crucial piece of evidence in Mecklenburg County child pornography cases. Depending on the nature of the possession or production of child pornography, witness testimony could also be crucial, including the testimony of the alleged minor who is the subject of the pornography. Most cases will include the testimony of law enforcement and the nature and methods of their investigation, as well as the testimony of other people familiar with the minor in question.

Undercover Agents in Child Pornography Cases

Very often, law enforcement finds it particularly useful to have an undercover agent pose as a member of an online community so that they can gain the trust of other members and begin to learn about the process by which child pornography is disseminated online. Through the course of those undercover investigations, law enforcement can identify people who are producing, selling, or even just possessing pornographic images of children, leading to charges and arrests.

Constitutional Concerns

Defendants in child pornography cases hold certain constitutional protections. These protections may lead to disagreement or conflict between prosecutors and defense attorneys in court.

Fourth Amendment issues—related to how law enforcement obtained evidence, whether through a search warrant or other means—often come up during trial. Also, Miranda rights and the right not to incriminate oneself can be issues that arise in cases when a defendant is questioned by prosecutors.

Burden of Proof in Mecklenburg County Child Pornography Cases

The prosecution in child pornography cases must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the accused had in their possession an image of somebody who was less than 18 years of age. They must also know that image is obscene in nature, meaning that it has sexual content or nude images of the child under 18 and that they knew or should have known of the nature of that image.

An experienced criminal defense lawyer could work to question the prosecution’s evidence in Mecklenburg County child pornography cases through cross-examination, contradictory witnesses, and other tactics. If you are facing charges, it may be beneficial to speak with an attorney.

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