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The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) authorizes a secret set of judges to issue warrants pertaining to national security issues.
When Keith Gartenlaub, formerly a senior computer systems manager at Boeing, was issued such a warrant, it was under the suspicion that he was leaking information to the Chinese government about Boeing’s c-17 military transport plane.
No spying or hacking charges were ever brought against Gartenlaub.
But he still went to prison for 41 months after he was convicted of one count of possession of child pornography.
Gartenlaub’s attorneys argue that the material that landed their client in prison was turned up during an overly broad search. They say the child porn evidence was obtained in violation of the Fourth Amendment.
While this case plays out, it does highlight one thing we commonly see – people who would otherwise be treated fairly in the justice system are not because they are suspected of having willfully downloaded child pornography.
These kinds of cases turn the public against the person being charged well before they have ever been to trial. More than any other charge, a child pornography charge can completely alter someone’s life.
In this case, he was charged and convicted of a single possession of child pornography charge after a search of all of his electronic devices for an unrelated case.
It only takes about an hour for the local news to pick up a story related to child pornography charges. For them, it is sensational. They know people will watch.
For the person charged, a person who is supposed to be presumed innocent until proven otherwise, it is the beginning of a long and hard journey to get their lives put back together.
When it comes to crimes against minors, the public has no remorse. When they hear about them, they scream “Guilty!”
This is not fair to the person who has been charged and it makes it harder to mount a strong defense. Law enforcement and prosecutors tend to slam people with as many charges as possible just to see what sticks.
We want to note that child pornography charges can become federal crimes quickly, and that is a whole different set of laws and sentencing guidelines.
The only way to combat a child pornography charge is to secure a strong defense team immediately. Your name and photograph are out there. Law enforcement and prosecutors use the public to garner support for their case regardless of someone’s innocence or guilt. In the story above, we cannot help but wonder if they went through with the case just because they found no evidence of the bigger charges of espionage they were after.
If you have been charged with possession of child pornography, see legal assistance now. Okabe & Haushalter have a long history of successful defense of charges like this. Let them work to get you in the best possible position. You can contact us today by calling at 310-430-7799 for a free consultation.