I'm suspected of having downloaded child porn on my computer. What's going to happen to me?
Asked 4 months ago - Bangor, ME
An officier came to my door wanting to speak to me. After some small talk, he asked if I downloaded anything illegal. I downloaded a bunch of movies, music and games already and confessed to that. He then asked if I downloaded anything like child porn. He told me that it's going to go one of two ways, me in cuffs today or not. What happened was that I had downloaded some video files that I didn't know was child porn and once I opened them, I seen what they were and deleted them. I confessed to having done this. He then asked if he could have the computers. Again, he told me that if I stop cooperating this can only go one way. In the end, I signed the computers over to him.
Attorney answers (3)
Licensed in METhis question raises a bunch of important issues. It sounds like the police conduct may have been improper in they made threats or promised leniency in exchange for your statement or consent to search.
The action you describe in downloading, recognizing and deleting the files might not be a crime at all. The law requiers that the government prove that you accessed the file with the intent to view it. Accessing it with the belief that it was something else is not a crime. Still, these are very serious felony charges and can be prosecuted as Federal Crimes. You need a lawyer immediately. The police will likely try to contact you to discuss the case further and you should understand that you have the right to talk if you want, to remain silent or to tell them that you want a lawyer. Asking for a lawyer or refusing to talk is not an admission of guilt at all, it is simply you exercising caution and your constitutional rights.
Licensed in MEWhatever you do, do not speak to the police or Federal agents without an attorney again. They will try to make you feel like you don't need an attorney and that you should talk with them. Don't!
They will use everything you have said against you. These cases are very serious and the federal authorities are interested. It is a violation of Federal law even to download movies, music or games. Don't give them anymore evidence with which to prosecute you. Get in touch with an attorney today.