New Jersey Cybercrime Investigations and the Intertwining of Endangering Welfare of Children

If you, or someone you know, is facing charges or has been arrested on possessing or distributing child pornography or endangering welfare of children in New Jersey, it is extremely serious, and you need to immediately contact a skilled criminal defense attorney in your area. The potential consequences are severe, ranging from lengthy prison sentences and probation to Megan’s Law, parole supervision for life, and a significant impact on one’s community reputation and employment. Our team of seasoned criminal defense attorneys located in Cherry Hill, with a collective experience of over twenty years as former prosecutors, are well-prepared to vigorously defend our clients against these charges.

Generally, child pornography investigations follow the same pattern, often initiated by a referral from the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC). These investigations almost always culminate in a search warrant on a residence and seizure of electronic devices. Let’s delve deeper into the investigation and charging process.

NCMEC, a non-profit organization, acts as an intermediary between private companies and federal law enforcement. It collaborates with families, victims, and the public to help prevent child abductions, recover missing children, and combat child sexual exploitation, including child pornography. Since 2008, NCMEC has served as the “clearing house” for all child pornography and sexual exploitation content reported or referred from electronic communication services (Google, Apple, Microsoft, Meta, etc.) in the United States. The Child Victim Identification Program, managed by NCMEC, reviews images and video files suspected of containing child exploitive material.

Law enforcement relies on the information provided by NCMEC to establish probable cause for a search or arrest warrant. Typically, law enforcement will attempt to build as strong a case as possible by utilizing additional information gathered through subpoenas served upon electronic communication services (usernames, IP Address, emails, etc.). Eventually, once the investigation is near completion, they will execute the search warrant on the suspected residence, seizing all electronic devices such as laptops, computers, tablets, and cellphones. Subsequently, these devices will be forensically examined, extracting all information, including deleted items, to further strengthen the State’s case. Generally, as a result of the investigation and depending on what the State ultimately finds on any electronic devices or from communication services, they will charge a person under N.J.S.A. 2C:24-4 – Endangering Welfare of Children, which includes possession and distribution of child pornography. The degrees vary depending on how many items are located, as does the potential exposure to a sentence of incarceration and other parole stipulations.

If you find yourself facing child pornography or endangering welfare of children charges in New Jersey, our experienced criminal defense attorneys are here to provide strategic legal representation and aggressive advocacy on your behalf. With a proven track record and a commitment to protecting your rights, contact us now for a confidential consultation. Trust in our expertise to navigate the complexities of your case and work towards the best possible outcome. Don’t delay – secure the defense you deserve today by calling Lackey & Miller, LLC, located in Cherry Hill and servicing Camden, Burlington, Gloucester, Atlantic, Cumberland, and Salem Counties.