This week, charges against a Texas woman resulted in national media coverage. The woman in Texas was charged in Federal Court with possession, receipt, and distribution of child pornography. Women have been charged with Federal child pornography offenses much less frequently than men, meaning this story was already likely to receive some media attention. What drove this story towards increased media coverage was the status of the woman’s husband.
The woman’s husband is a prominent attorney in Dallas. His name is still all over the news, because of the actions of his wife. Fortunately, the husband has not been charged with a crime, but his name will still be dragged through the mud throughout this proceeding. He’s already been found guilty by association in the Court of public opinion.
Meanwhile, his wife has an uphill battle to fight the child pornography charges. Federal child pornography charges carry penalties that some Federal judges have referred to as “draconian.” If the woman is convicted of distribution of child pornography, she faces a 10 year mandatory minimum and a likely guidelines sentence in excess of 15 years. Her guidelines sentence may even exceed 20 years, depending on the amount of images and videos in her possession, how she shared the child pornography materials, the ages of the children depicted in the materials, and the activities of the children in the materials. And even if she is found not guilty of the charges, the social stigma associated with the charges will follow her forever.
Like anyone charged with Federal child pornography offenses, this woman needs a very skilled attorney defending her. Ideally, she would have an attorney who can provide effective pre-charge representation. Pre-charge representation can help with ensuring that a person is not arrested on a warrant and, ideally, that they are not charged with the most serious offense possible. Effective pre-charge representation for Federal child pornography offenses can include an agreement from the U.S. Attorney’s office to only charge a person with possession of child pornography, thus avoiding any mandatory minimum penalties.
Post-charging, having an effective Federal child pornography defense attorney will help with challenging the Government’s evidence. An effective attorney can argue issues such as: (1) the search of your computer violated your constitutional rights, (2) the search warrant should not have been issued, (3) you did not know the materials were in your possession, (4) you did not know the materials contained child pornography (5) constitutional issues related to the statute you are charged under, or (6) any other issues that may have arose during your case.
If you do plead guilty, your Federal child pornography attorney can argue issues related to sentencing, such as (1) the enhancements to raise your base level offense under the Federal guidelines are unconstitutional (2) the enhancements were incorrectly applied to your case (3) you should received a reduction in your base level offense for various reasons and (4) any other issues that may arise specific to your sentence.
Child pornography charges carry serious penalties. This is particularly true in Federal Court. If you’re under investigation for a child pornography offense, or have already been charged with an offense, your best course of action is to contact an experienced child pornography defense attorney. Max Keller has defended child pornography charges in Federal court, State court, and on appeal. He knows the tricks prosecutor s will try to use in order to convict you and give you the harshest penalty possible. If you’re facing Federal or State child pornography charges in Minnesota, and would like to speak with an experienced child pornography defense attorney, contact Max Keller today.