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The Arrest in Child Pornography Crimes

Being charged with Child Pornography is one of the most devastating events in a person's life. It not only affects them, it affects the individual's family, the stigma to a neighborhood, employment loss, and often a future that involves loss of family and friends; incarceration; permanent registry as a sexual offender; poverty; rejection; and menial employment. Not all people arrested are convicted, but a high percentage are. The reason for this is in part the actions prior to the arrest, but oftentimes, events DURING the arrest will often determine the outcome of a criminal charge. The progression of an arrest for child pornography is as follows:

1. The time of the arrest. Normally, federal and\or state agents like to arrive very early in the morning. The reason for this is to catch the person off guard, when they are most vulnerable (i.e., they have just woken up and are not fully aware, the individual is less likely to ask for an attorney, the family members can easily be separated and questioned, et cetera). The suspect is less likely to be uncooperative in this enviornment.

2. Most confessions and arrests are made at the person's home. Even if the suspected computer used is at a place of employment, the arrest will often be at the suspect's home. This then allows the authorities to search the computers in the home as well as a place of employment.

3. Arrests are often made by a number of agents (some will be in plain clothes while others will be in uniform).

4. Sometimes the authorities will arrive in a hostile manner (guns, dogs, et cetera) but that is the exception and not the rule. Most offen, the agents will arrive and indicate that they just want to "come in and ask a few questions...clear up a few issues." This is not true. Their goal is to get a confession, and most often, it is done without having to give a Miranda warning. If the police (or Federal agents) show up at an individual's doorstep, the best approach is to SAY NOTHING to them, make no tacit admissions (i.e., "you got me"), and to make it clear that the individual wants a lawyer.