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Child pornography charges brought against Missouri man

Communication can be a tricky prospect when a person does not completely understand what is being discussed. Ordinarily, when St. Louis residents are not on the same page with each other, it can lead to simple misunderstandings that might need later clarification. In the criminal justice system, however, miscommunications and misunderstandings can be particularly harmful because a person's statements may be used against them later, even if the person might not have fully understood the situation at the time he or she made the statements.

Law enforcement officers often try to discuss issues with individuals who are the subjects of a state or federal investigation. For example, one man was recently arrested on serious charges involving the distribution, receipt and possession of child pornography after authorities executed a search warrant on the man's home and seized a computer and hard drives. The man reportedly admitted that he had collected child pornography for several years.

While the specific circumstances of the above case were not known, typically, individuals should be cautious when making any statements that could be seen as an admission to law enforcement. These statements can hinder the person's child pornography defense, because the admissions may be used against the person at trial, even if the person did not know what he or she may have been admitting at the time.

There are circumstances in which statements can be thrown out, such as when law enforcement interrogates a person without the proper Miranda rights being protected. However, individuals can also be determined to have waived their Miranda rights, as each case is analyzed differently to look at what the person knew and intended. Accordingly, when faced with serious charges, individuals should ordinarily refrain from making admissions or statements without first contacting counsel to determine the full extent of the situation.

Source: St. Louis Post-Dispatch, "Alhambra man faces child porn charges after more than 1,600 videos and images found on computer," Valerie Schremp, July 11, 2014

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