Being accused of any offence relating to children is serious and, on conviction, may attract a custodial sentence.
The law protects children from being exploited in several ways, and if a person is suspected of being in possession of indecent images of children, it is a serious matter and will be treated as such by the courts.
But what happens if you are facing false accusations of indecent image possession?
We take a look at the process police will follow and what steps you should take.
Possession Of Indecent Images: Police Protocol
Section 8 Warrant
Often these offences will come to light due to police operations in which the police or other agencies are alerted that an internet user from a particular IP (internet protocol) address has downloaded illegal content containing indecent images of children.
This will usually prompt the police to conduct a search of the suspect’s property without prior notice under what is known as a Section 8 Warrant.
This is a search warrant which has been applied for by the police and granted by the Magistrates Court if they have reasonable grounds for believing that an Indictable offence has been committed and that there is material on the premises the police wish to search which is likely to be of substantial value to the police investigation and that the material is likely to be relevant evidence.
The knock on the front door from the police attending to conduct that search will be completely out of the blue and will be shocking not just for you, but for all members of your household.
The police will be seeking to seize all electronic devices capable of connecting to the internet. This will include items such as laptops, iPad’s, mobile phones, computer towers, USB sticks. They will then send those items to a forensic expert for full examination.
The expert will then produce what is known as a forensic report often known as a streamlined forensic report. This will be provided to the police and will tell them if any indecent images of children have been found, on which devices they were found, what happened to the images after they were downloaded onto the device, for example whether they were saved, moved, opened, re-opened and if so, how many times.
Most significantly the report will tell the police how many indecent images were found on the device/s and what category they place them in. Indecent images are categorised into three categories A, being the most serious of images, B and C being the least serious.
Defending False Accusations Of Indecent Images Possession
Waiting for the police to call and provide any update can be extremely upsetting and lead to heightened anxiety.
Our expert team can take immediate action and take control by contacting the officers and requesting that any contact in relation to the investigation be made via our team to prevent any contact with you directly.
We can then arrange the interview at your convenience and utilise the time to prepare a dossier of evidence to produce at the interview and possibly instruct an expert to assist meaning you will be fully prepared for the attendance at the police station.
Find out more about our indecent images legal defence services.
What If You Have Never Seen Any Indecent Images On Your Electronic Devices?
It might be that you can rely on the defence known as ‘Lack of Awareness’ if you have not seen any indecent images on your devices and did not know or have any cause to suspect any of the images on your device/s to be indecent.
Our expert team of false allegation experts work with leading forensic experts who can explore and explain any forensic reasons for indecent images being found on electronic devices.
Their findings and reports can be presented to the Police/Crown Prosecution Service with our expert representations, raising your defence at the earliest opportunity and with the most impact.
Contact Monan Gozzett
If you need assistance in relation to this type of allegation, please do not hesitate to contact our expert team of false allegations lawyers.
Our contact details can be found below.
You can find out more about our sexual offence defence team here and read more about potential defences for false allegations of sexual offences.