The Internet has opened up a whole new world for issues dealing with criminal defense. Obviously, child pornography and sex crimes are a big sector of internet crimes. Also, identity theft and stealing information via computer by getting into firewalls, etc. has made a name for itself in the world of criminal law. We have dealt with all of these cases and the State of Alabama has to have good cause to come into your home and take your computer. Once you have given an officer permission to come into your home and given him or her access to your computer, it is considered consent and no search warrant is required. If anyone with law enforcement wants to enter your home or search your computer or your child’s computer, consult an attorney first because you never know what they may be looking for and when you give them access, they can make an entire copy of your computer’s hard drive.
The hottest topic dealing with new technology is called “Sexting.” There have been many articles put out by the Birmingham News and People Magazine just recently regarding this issue. This issue started because the new generation of teenagers with cell phone technology has developed the habit of electronically distributing self-portraits and images without clothing on in the pictures. Some prosecutors have started charging teens and adults who send and receive such images with child pornography and other serious felonies. For example, if a male sends a picture of his body he is looking at types of obscenity charges or when a female sends a picture of herself and she is underage, the male is in Possession of Child Pornography. If the male forwards this text of the nude or partially nude underage female to any friends, he can be charged with Distribution of Child Pornography and his friends that received the text can be charged with Possession of Child Pornography. We look for this to be the wave of the future with technology and internet emails and texts. If in fact, you or your child is asked to give any state agent your phone or access to your phone, you should seek legal counsel immediately. Most adults and teenagers think they have deleted racy or pornographic materials off of their computers but actually, the government has very advanced software and it is almost impossible to get rid of any document from a computer or cell phone of any kind.