Plea Bargains in DC Federal Child Pornography Cases
Plea bargains in DC federal child pornography cases are important to understand. When a person is charged with possession of child pornography, at the initial hearing or arraignment, the lawyer always enters a plea of not guilty on behalf of the individual. It is too early to know whether to advise a person to enter a guilty plea or not. There are a variety of factors that go into that decision and it is a complicated decision.
There are other factors involved when determining the plea. What is the plea offer? What is the strength of the evidence against the person? What is that person’s background including prior convictions? What is that person’s psychological state? When a person was evaluated, were they deemed to be a low risk in the community? All of these factors come into play when an experienced DC attorney considers the recommendation to make to a client about whether they should plead guilty.
When a person is indicted on a charge, they can enter a plea of guilty or not guilty at their arraignment. Most of the time, a person enters a plea of not guilty at an arraignment and the lawyer enters that plea on their behalf. That means the person denies the charge and maintains that they are not guilty of the charge.
When a recommendation is made by the lawyer that the individual should plead guilty and the person accepts that recommendation, they might enter a guilty plea admitting that they committed the offense. This is pursuant to an agreement with the government.
There are some common plea bargains in DC federal child pornography cases. The offer made by the government typically involves an agreement by which a person admits guilt to one or more charges and in exchange, and the government dismisses a charge or charges. The government might agree to ask for a certain sentence or might agree that a person should not be incarcerated before they are sentenced if they were not incarcerated. The government could agree that a person should be released pending sentencing because they were incarcerated. All sorts of concessions can be made on both sides during the negotiation phase on a guilty plea.
Mitigating Factors in DC Child Pornography Cases
Some of the mitigating factors in DC federal child pornography cases involve the number of images such as a small number of images, whether there was distribution, the number of downloads, and whether the images were already deleted when the search warrant was executed.
Mitigating factors can include issues related to the individual, any prior criminal record, and their mental state. Sometimes people that plead guilty to possession of child pornography are dealing with various mental health issues or substance abuse issues and those can play a mitigating role in sentencing. The amount, quality, and quantity of support for a person exhibited in letters or testimony at sentencing can be helpful. In addition, prior military service can result in the judge recognizing a mitigating factor and cooperation with the government.
Importance of Attorney Counsel
It is of supreme importance to have an experienced lawyer who knows about child pornography charges because there are many factors involved in dealing with each specific case. Opportunities to lessen someone’s exposure can be explored. Information can be brought to bear when negotiating with the government about a potential guilty plea. It is most important that an attorney is involved as early as possible and in every stage of the process. The best person to negotiate plea bargains in DC federal child pornography cases is a lawyer.