Many of my clients get that dreaded, aggressive knock on the door. It’s the FBI and they have a search warrant to take all your forensic devices in the house. So what do you do now?
Well first, if they have a valid search warrant, you need to let them in. And yes, the FBI and other federal investigative agencies like DHS, ICE and USPS have a bad reputation for doing things like bringing an army of agents with them, in uniform with guns, and demanding that everyone exit the house while the execute the warrant.
Second, remain calm and do not make any statements about your forensic devices without a lawyer present. Usually, an agent will try to ask you questions about who has access to which computers in the house and will then try to get as much information from you as possible about your internet usage. You simply do not have to talk to the FBI or any other law enforcement agency. You can firmly but politely inform them that you would like to be cooperative but you have been advised by an attorney that you must not speak with them without an attorney present in these situations.
Third, make sure you receive a detailed property receipt for all the devices they take before they leave. This will be important once the investigation and case has ended so you can potentially retrieve some or all of the seized devices.
If the FBI, or any other federal agency has issued a search warrant, it means that some kind of federal or state investigation has already occurred—usually an undercover agent online checking out different peer-to-peer (P2P) software, such as Emule, or Gnutella, or BitTorrent, skulking around and searching for what users appear to be downloading or sharing inappropriate content such as child pornography. Most people who have their account in default settings have the ability for other users to see an index of what images they have and to download them. Sometimes, it could be the result of a large take-down of an entire website that was posting or permitting images of child pornography to be shared or viewed, and the Feds have obtained the IP addressed for all the user who went to that website.
No matter how the FBI ended up at your door, you need to not give them any additional statements of evidence that can be used against you. And yes, it’s time to call an experienced criminal defense attorney who knows how to fight against federal and state child pornography charges to handle your case.
Call (888) 445-6313, and speak with Ms. Goldstein today, if a federal search warrant has been issued at your house, or you are currently facing allegations of child pornography in state or federal court.