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Mandatory Minimum Sentence Given for Federal Child Pornography Charges

Attorney: Dylan W. Greenwood

Charge: Sexual Exploitation of a Minor

Case Result: Plead Guilty; Sentenced to Minimum of Five (5) Years

Law enforcement officers from the State Bureau of Investigation and Homeland Security followed activity from our client that they had downloaded marked files. Based on this information they obtained a search warrant. While serving the warrant, law enforcement officers seized multiple computers and hard drives.

Federal sentencing guidelines for sexual exploitation of a minor (a.k.a child pornography) are very steep. The base offense level is 22 and additional points are added for certain individual characteristics of the criminal offense. Furthermore, defendants charged with certain sexual exploitation of minor charges in Federal court are faced with steep mandatory minimum sentences, starting at (5) years in federal prison. However, the additional points added on typically propel an accused defendant’s recommended sentence to be well beyond the mandatory minimum. That is why it is important for an attorney to be involved with your case as early as possible. Sometimes an attorney can work with authorities to help steer a case away from Federal Court and these mandatory minimums. In this case, however, it was unavoidable. Federal authorities were involved and keeping it that way from the start.

At the Sentencing Hearing, we were able to successfully argue for a downward departure to the mandatory minimum of five (5) years. In preparation, we wrote a robust sentencing memorandum to the Court and argued the §3553(a) factors. §3553(a) factors are the things a federal sentencing court considers about the accused defendant in determining a final sentence. It is important to have an attorney, who not only understands these facts, but knows how to apply them to your case for presentation to a court.

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