Child pornagraphy cases have become a major priority of the U.S. Department of Justice in recent years. These cases are almost always based upon images contained on a computer hard drive, downloaded from a peer-to-peer network and uncovered as a result of an intercepted, known image of child pornagraphy having been detected over the internet by the aggressive police agencies or the Center for Missing and Exploited Children. These cases often start in State court and are moved to Federal court after the target computer/hard drive is examined, imaged and catalogued. They move to Federal Court because the United States Sentencing Guidelines are so harsh in these cases!
Are you facing a Federal criminal investigation, have you received a “target letter” from an Assistant United States Attorney or a Federal Grand Jury Subpoena, had a Federal Search Warrant executed at your work or home, or actually been arrested by Federal authorities? Conspiracy is commonly charged in Federal Court to accuse all participants in a crime or criminal enterprise who the Government believes participated in the offense or enterprise.
At Houlon Berman, we have over 50 years of experience representing clients in criminal matters in Maryland and the District of Columbia. We take pride in the results we get for our clients.
Our Managing Partner, Richard A. Finci, has many years of experience defending Federal criminal cases and is well-known for defending clients before the United States District Court in Greenbelt, Baltimore and the District of Columbia.
Every criminal charge has elements which the Government must prove to the jury beyond a reasonable doubt. The jury must reach a unanimous decision, and the jurors must presume that you are innocent unless proven guilty.
While we handle all types of Federal child sex offense, the most common we see are those charged with Possession of Child Pornography, the elements of the offense, each of which must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt, are:
1) that [defendant] knowingly possessed [e.g., book; videotape or computer disk];
2) Second, that the [book; videotape or computer disk] contained at least one image of child pornography;
3) Third, that [defendant] knew that [book; videotape; or computer disk] contained an image of child pornography; and
4) Fourth, that the image of child pornography had [been mailed; moved in interstate or foreign commerce].
At Houlon Berman, we focus on establishing your defense by attacking each element of the offense, by investigating and attacking the credibility of the witness and the evidence against you and by investigating and proving any affirmative defenses that may be available to you.
Of course, it is well known that many cases end in plea agreements. If your cases is one in which a plea agreement is desirable or otherwise offers you real options that cannot be ignored, at Houlon Berman, we will fight to obtain the best possible plea agreement for you, explain everything that goes into obtaining such an agreement, and make sure that you are fully comfortable with the decisions you will need to make.
Expertise in and understanding of the United States Sentencing Guidelines is critically important in the defense of any Federal Criminal charge. Richard Finci has been a member of the Maryland Commission on Criminal Sentencing Policy appointed by the Governor of Maryland since 2004 (which focuses on State Law), has attended many seminars on the Federal Sentencing Guidelines and is an expert in the analysis and application of those Sentencing Guidelines as well as in the tactics and strategy to reduce the sentencing guidelines which you face in your case.