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Pleas in Maryland Federal Child Pornography Cases
Due to the severe nature of federal child pornography charges, if accused it is important you take into account all the various factors of your case before making a decision. Below, a Maryland federal child pornography lawyer discusses the factors that go into plea deals and how an attorney can make a difference.
For more information regarding a plea deal in your case, call and schedule a consultation with an attorney today.
Different Types of Pleas
There are always pleas of guilty and pleas of not guilty in these kinds of cases. The important thing to remember is that entering a plea of not guilty is how you should always approach a case like this in the early stages because it is very involved to go through all of the evidence, the paperwork, authentication documentation, warrants, and everything that goes with a case of this level.
When an attorney is reviewing these things, an attorney has the ability to know where the problems are with the government’s investigation. An attorney knows how that might assist you in being acquitted of the charges altogether, being found not guilty in accordance with your not guilty plea, or if the government’s case is strong and some kind of a guilty plea should be considered, or at the very least explored, with the prosecuting attorney on the case.
Now just about every single criminal case will get a plea offer of some kind but it’s a conversation between you and your attorney that will help you determine whether that plea offer is an appropriate plea offer given the facts and circumstances of the case against you.
The Value of an Attorney
Constitutionally, people in the United States are permitted to represent themselves in a criminal proceeding. However, having an attorney who has experience helps not only with the criminal statutes but also with the court system and the prosecution which is invaluable in these kinds of cases.
When somebody is charged with a crime as serious as a violation of the child pornography statute, one of the things that you have to remember is that there is a great deal at stake when dealing with this kind of charge. There is often going to be a great deal of jail time that’s associated with these charges.
Also there will certainly be a possibility of what are called mandatory minimum sentences, which means that a person could face extensive periods of time in jail that the judge has no discretion to lower or release somebody early on if she is convicted under the mandatory minimum statutes.
Attorney’s Role With Evidence
Additionally, the kind of discovery, or evidence, that’s involved in these cases can be very complex. Somebody who is not familiar with how to read documents from Internet companies or somebody that’s not familiar with how to subpoena documents from companies that might be consistent with their client’s innocence would not be able to properly represent an individual who’s charged with a crime as complex as this.
When you’re charged with an offense like this, somebody who knows how to read and interpret these documents and has a relationship with not only the judges but also the prosecutors and special agents that are responsible for moving a case like this through the criminal court system is valuable to you in making sure that your rights are protected. An attorney is also valuable in making sure that nothing is missed in terms of problems with the government’s case that might assist you in getting a more favorable result than one you might be able to negotiate yourself.
Common Pleas and Plea Bargains in these Cases
Plea bargains can be anything in these kinds of situations, depending on the strength or weakness of the government’s case. There are situations where clients have horrible records and a good plea bargain might be several years of jail time for that individual, so that they might be able to avoid facing mandatory minimum sentence that are being sought against them. Other resolutions have been for complete dismissals of criminal cases, because the government doesn’t have the necessary ability to either get in certain authenticated documents or to prove criminal charges in some other aspect.
There really isn’t a typical plea offer in any kind of a child pornography case because every single case and every single plea offer has to do with the strength or weakness of the government’s evidence against a particular individual.