We all have conflicting opinions when it comes to criminal defense lawyers.
Many hope to never have to use them. But a recent case shows just how valuable criminal defense attorneys can be in safeguarding our constitutional rights as citizens.
The case involved a man facing federal charges relating to possession of child pornography.
The basics of the case
In early 2015, the FBI took control of a well-known child pornography website called Playpen. They installed malware that revealed the specific location of any user that logged in.
And, after getting a warrant and running the operation for two weeks, the Bureau collected information on more than 100,000 accounts.
One of the individuals was targeted, facing charges relating to various counts of child pornography after the FBI found incriminating evidence on his computer and smartphone.
But, thanks to zealous advocacy by his lawyer, a federal judge through out the evidence obtained from the man’s devices. Here’s why.
A win for the defense
In basic terms, the prosecutors wouldn’t disclose how they officially obtained the information, refusing to reveal the “code” used to hack the computer of the defendant and others involved in the sting.
Since the search warrant was based on the NIT, or network investigative technique, the judge declared it and the “fruits,” or evidence obtained from the sting, illegally obtained.
The future of the case
The judge, however, didn’t dismiss the case. It remains to be seen whether prosecutors still have a case against the man, or any of those involved, since the evidence they plan to use against them at trial is inadmissible.
One thing is certain-the case provides a clear-cut example of just how much a skilled lawyer can truly make a difference when it comes to advocating for the constitutional rights of clients.