Legal Question in Criminal Law in Virginia

A lawyer is handling this case now but I would like some answers if I could. This person is in jail right now for being accused of the federal law of receiving and transporting child pornography over state lines.

On a friday morning FBI came to his door with a warrant that was issued to pick up all cameras, video, computers, hardrives, etc. The warrant was issued over 8 months after the occurrence was cited. They did not even know the name of who this family was in the house. He was told he was not being arrested but would like for him to go to the FBI building for a lie detector test and if he did not they would take his wife in also who was in the house with their 2 year old daughter. When at the building he told them he wanted a lawyer as he was able to call one as he was following them in his truck and he told him to say nothing and request a lawyer. The detective got very angry at that point and told him he was arrested and was charged with 15 counts. The arraignment was the following Tuesday. The charges was read by the prosecutor. His lawyer asked for a bail and the prosecutor then said " no judge we do not want this , the detective said this person has a young child at home and he had over 400 videos and photos and one was of a 18 month old girl with a male penis next to her vagina". The judge convicted him right then by going on about 5 minutes about how much trouble he was in and thus could be decades in prison, this person could only shake his head no on the video conference as he could only see the judge but we could see him. His family left the courtroom in shock and crying from the episode. The lawyer that is handling this said do not talk about the case at all to him as everything is recorded. He could not defend himself to anyone but the lawyer and at first he must have felt he was guilty of having these videos and photos. The court date was in county court over 40 days later. The county prosecutor said 13 of the 15 charges was dropped, the only renaming was 2 of downloading over state lines and 1 sending over state lines and they were handing the case back over to the federal court. They did not find any pornographic videos or photos on the seized equipment. The next day he was transported to a federal holding jail now awaiting a bail hearing as soon as one can be set but he is still in prison. The whole family stands behind this person. His 2 children, 2 and 7 years old have done nothing but cry and ask for there daddy to come home. Does this family have any rights or do anything as to the lie that was said at the first hearing?

Asked on 10/11/13, 11:36 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

Michael E. Hendrickson Attorney & Counsellor at Law
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No, the family's "rights" are not the major issue here but rather the rights of the accused who has all the rights afforded to him as a U.S. citizen under the Constitution and the criminal justice system of the United States, and if he has been improperly or unjustly accused of these crimes, it will presumably come to light as the matter is appropriately adjudicated in the federal court which apparently now has jurisdiction over the case.

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10/12/13, 9:17 am

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