To Fight For Your Rights
Sexual Exploitation of a Minor Defense Attorney
If you’ve been asked to “come into the office to answer some questions,” you may be a suspect in an ongoing criminal investigation.
“Exploitation” charges in North Carolina may involve accusations of possessing, downloading, and duplicating certain types of prohibited, obscene, and pornographic materials.
When such visual representations depict minor children engaged in sexual activity, those are very serious criminal charges if proven true.
We strongly suggest, before doing anything or saying anything, you immediately contact a defense lawyer with substantial experience specifically handling exploitation of a minor charges.
You have legal rights, including the right to consult with a defense attorney.
Politely end the conversation, advising the person asking questions you wish to first speak with a lawyer. Do not give a voluntarily statement to police or anyone else.
Do not discuss the allegations with anyone, including well-meaning friends and family.
The Attorney-Client privilege keeps communications as part of legal consultations, and possible later eventual legal representation, confidential and secret.What to Do if Police or DSS Call
It’s important to understand, in the context of sexual abuse, indecent liberties, and exploitation charges in NC, it is not unusual for an investigation to take place before bringing criminal charges or placing someone under arrest.
You don’t have to be formally charged or indicted by a Grand Jury for police or the Department of Social Services / Child Protective Services to begin an investigation and ask to speak with you.
Indeed, sometimes detectives and investigators prefer to wait to charge in order to obtain additional information and evidence.
In certain circumstances that may include a confession, admission of wrongdoing, or voluntary statement made without an attorney present or Miranda Warnings.
It’s generally easier to obtain evidence by consent, and gain access to cell phones, computers, laptops, browser history, hard drives, etc., with the cooperation of the person accused of wrongdoing.
To be clear, that is not required. You need not consent to a search.
Voluntary cooperation with an investigation may in fact limit the ability to effectively defend against subsequent criminal charges.
If consent to search is given freely and voluntarily, a Warrant to Search may not be required under the criminal laws in NC.
If police or Child Protective Services (CPS) ask to see or take your electronic devices or have questions about images or materials you may have downloaded, politely end the conversation and immediately contact a criminal defense lawyer.
Do not attempt to explain yourself or provide information.
We believe you are at a tremendous disadvantage when speaking to detectives, law enforcement, and DSS investigators without the benefit of legal counsel.
You are NOT required to give law enforcement access to your electronic equipment or devices such as your cell phone, laptop, or desktop computers unless they have a Search Warrant that specifically sets forth what they can seize and search.
You are also not required to answer questions, provide an explanation, or give reasons why you have asked for legal counsel.
You are not required to cooperate with an investigation.
The fact you ask to speak with a lawyer or decline to answer questions cannot be used as evidence against you at trial.
The Judge will not “be mad at you” if you exercise your legal rights under the North Carolina Constitution and the Bill of Rights.
Those are your Constitutional Rights.
There are very good reasons for the 4th Amendment, the 5th Amendment and the 6th Amendment to the US Constitution.
They protect you from unreasonable searches and seizures.
They protect you, your legal rights, and your privacy.
They protect all of us from overly intrusive, inappropriate behavior by law enforcement.
Effectively exercising your right to attorney and right against compulsory self-incrimination can make all the difference to whether you are even charged or ultimately prosecuted for criminal wrongdoing.Do I Have to Show Police My Phone?
Police cannot search your phone without a Search Warrant unless you consent to them doing so.
It’s important to note, voluntary, non-custodial communications with law enforcement are generally not subject to Miranda Warnings.
Police can ask if you consent to search or ask whether you agree to let them look at your electronic devices.
You are not required to consent. You don’t have to let them look at your phone, even if it’s not seized or taken into evidence.Why Would Someone Make a False Accusation?
People occasionally attempt to manipulate the system, maligning someone with false allegations of criminal wrongdoing.
Unfortunately, there are instances in a Domestic Law setting where one party may engage in Parental Alienation Syndrome or “PAS.”
The purpose is to turn a child or children away from parents.
As hard it may be to imagine, sometimes parents make false accusations against one-another because they believe it will give them a competitive advantage in custody or divorce proceedings.
That may include things like allegations of inappropriate behavior of a sexual nature and/or accusing someone of possessing certain types of pornographic materials or sexual addictions.
Of course, a certain percentage of the population do break the law and do so intentionally.
Other people accused of felony and misdemeanor charges sometimes don’t fully know what they’re doing is illegal or understand the full impact of what they’ve done.
For example, mistake of age is not a valid defense to Sexual Exploitation of Minor charges in North Carolina. Thinking someone looks a certain age may not serve as a defense.
As such, some criminal allegations are both true and accurate, even if unintentional in certain circumstances.
Whether true or false, we think retaining a criminal defense lawyer early on in the process is smart.
Defense lawyers help explain legal options and the best-case / worst-case scenarios.
We review discovery, speak with investigators and prosecutors, and help explain the legal system and process to clients.
Make no mistake. Getting arrested for Sexual Exploitation of a Minor in North Carolina can have long term, serious consequences.
Such cases tend to gather media attention.
Even if the charges are ultimately dismissed, you may be forever branded in the community as someone not to be trusted.Powers Law Firm PA – NC Criminal Defense Lawyers
We regularly help people with serious criminal charges throughout North Carolina.
If you’ve been accused of exploitation of a minor, we may be available for consultation and possibly legal representation.
Given the nature and severity of such charges, we limit how many and type of matters we undertake for legal representation.
Call NOW 704-342-4357 to determine availability for representation and to schedule an initial consultation.