Arraignments in DC Federal Child Pornography Cases

When a person is accused of being in possession of child pornography, a judge might be inclined to conclude that the person is dangerous. A lawyer can try to demonstrate that the instinct is unfounded by showing that the individual would be considered the lower end of the spectrum during arraignments in DC federal child pornography cases.

For example, the images show people who are just under the age of 18 or there are relatively few images. Sometimes the images do not meet the definition of child pornography. An experienced pornography lawyer can look at the forensic evidence and may find that there is only one download of images.

Perhaps the images were found in unallocated space, which means they were deleted by somebody. When there is no explicit chat between an individual and law enforcement, all of these factors can be brought to bear to show a judge that the individual is not dangerous.

Likelihood of Release on Bond

Whether a person is released on bond at arraignment in a DC federal child pornography case depends on the timing of the initial appearance in court. If the arraignment occurs months after the search and the person was involved in treatment and evaluation during that time, their lawyer can make the representation that the person is involved in treatment. Often, the request for detention is never even made by the government.

When a person is arrested immediately, a judge is more likely to hold them without bond. It is important to prepare for the detention hearing to provide evidence that demonstrates a person’s strong ties to the community or give alternatives to show how a person can be limited from Internet access if they are released. That is usually the main concern of a judge in those situations. An attorney may want to show that there was no actual physical contact with a child.

Important Factors in Release Considerations

Two of the important factors a judge considers when deciding whether to release a person are indications of being a danger to the community and the risk of flight. For risk of flight, the judge establishes whether the person has strong ties to the community or has children in the area. The judge verifies that the person is a U.S citizen and determines whether they own property, have a job, or was previously convicted of a crime.

What are the Specifics of an Arraignment Assessment?

With respect to being a danger, the judge also looks at the person’s prior convictions. They identify the reason for the arrest.  During arraignments in DC federal child pornography cases, judges look for:

  • If there a chat about actual physical contact with an undercover agent
  • Whether there a discovery of metadata
  • How many images are alleged to be involved
  • What are the types and nature of the images
  • Is there some sort of sadomasochistic conduct being depicted

Help of an Attorney

A lawyer is instrumental at every stage of the process, so it is important to get a lawyer involved early. At the arrest stage of the process, a lawyer gathers evidence to show that the person they represent is not dangerous and is not a flight risk. The lawyer shows that the person has strong ties to the community and has the ability to pay a substantial money bond or to put up property.

A lawyer can gather affidavits and identify people who can testify to the individual’s good nature and their peacefulness. When possible, the lawyer can help the individual into treatment. They can try finding witnesses that would supervise the individual if they are released to the community. These are just some of the things that a lawyer does in preparation for arraignments in DC federal child pornography cases.