This is the next post in a series of articles about defending against child pornography charges in Peoria, Illinois. My previous post discussed how violations of the Fourth Amendment by law enforcement may provide a possible defense against such charges. Evidence identified by police during an illegal search can potentially be excluded from the case. Depending on the other evidence available, the exclusion may lead to dismissal of the charges completely. In this post, I will explain what a defendant should expect at a child pornography trial. Understanding the trial process can help prepare the accused for what can seem like a daunting ordeal. If you have been arrested on such charges then contact my office today to speak with a lawyer.
Defendants in Illinois child pornography cases are entitled to a trial by jury. The first step in the process is to select the jurors who will hear the case. Attorneys for the defense and prosecution are given the opportunity to question, challenge, and remove potential jurors from the jury pool whom they feel may be biased. Such removals cannot be based on race, ethnicity, gender, or other discriminatory reasons. Once the final jury is selected, the trial begins with the lawyers for each side making opening statements, which provide an overview of the key elements of the prosecution and defense. The prosecution will then present its case, submitting evidence and witness testimony, after which the defense will do the same. Each side may cross-examine the other’s witnesses during this process. The prosecution will have an additional chance to present evidence or rebut evidence presented by the defense. Both parties will present their closing statements to the jury before they begin deliberations and render a verdict.
Child pornography trials can involve complicated facts and evidence. Like other criminal trials, the attorneys’ abilities to clearly and effectively communicate this information to the jurors is essential. For instance, evidence about forensic computer searches, electronic communications, or internet usage may be difficult to understand for the average juror. If a person’s defense is based upon such complex information, it is necessary to present the information understandably during the trial. Similarly, possible defenses such as the defendant’s lack of knowledge that the person was a minor or that the defendant did not actually own the device in question may require significant fact-specific evidence. An experienced criminal defense attorney will understand the rules of evidence and be skilled in communicating information clearly to build a successful defense.
I am a former prosecutor with over twenty years of experience representing Peoria residents. If you have been arrested for child pornography charges, contact my office to speak with a criminal defense lawyer. In addition to Peoria, I serve clients in the cities of Bloomington, Eureka, Galesburg, Morton, Normal, Pekin, Springfield, and Washington. I also serve the counties of Fulton, Knox, LaSalle, Marshall, Mason, McLean, Putnam, Rock Island, Schuyler, Stark, Tazewell, and Woodford.