Client was charged with child pornography distribution and possession. However, upon further investigation, the client was found to had sexually explicit chats with a number of underage victims. Thus, this case went from bad to worse and the State was ready to back to the grand jury to seek a much broader indictment. Luckily, we were able to intervene to work our a plea deal that could result in the client being incarcerated for only 4 months and the State would not pursue any other charges against him.
With this case, the client was facing a Federal investigation for child pornography possession. After several months of working the file, the Federal investigation was dismissed but the client was still facing State charges. He was eventually arrested for those charges. Luckily, Jef Henninger, Esq. Was able to get all charges against the client dismissed.
The H Family
This was a very fun case. The client was actually a family, both parents and a child. The family computer was brought to Best Buy where child pornography was found. The police began investigating and the computer was seized. Since all three family members used the computer, all three were suspects. Jef Henninger, Esq. filed a motion to return property even though no one was arrested. The Court told Jef that he couldn’t file the motion. Jef fought hard for months to even get the motion heard. When the Court came up with an objection, Jef shot it down. They came up with another and Jef shot it down again. Eventually the Court was forced to hear the motion. The motion was denied without prejudice (which was fine) but the State indicated that since we had fought so hard before anyone was arrested, they would agree to drop the case if we forfeited the computer. My clients were more than happy to give up an old computer to avoid arrest.
As an aside, the law clerk for the judge met Jef a few years later in an elevator. She became a prosecutor and was actually on Jef’s case that morning. When she realized Jef was on the case, she remembered this case and said that she didn’t want to go through all that with him. Thus, before the two lawyers got out of the elevator, she agreed to dismiss the case against Jef’s client.
Middlesex County Child Pornography Attorney helps client avoid prison for child pornography distribution
This was one of the first child pornography distribution cases via cell phone. The procedural history of the case is rather interesting. The client first had a child pornography possession case. After that case was resolved, he picked up a child pornography distribution case. This firm did not represent the client for either of these first two cases. The client entered into a guilty plea for the distribution charge and was sent to prison for three years. However, the police found his cell phone weeks before he was to be sentenced to prison. They waited for him to get out of prison, years later, to arrest him for this case. We worked out a deal with the State for a plea to child pornography possession with the distribution charge being dismissed. This alone was a huge victory and most may think it would be crazy to ask for no prison time since this was the client’s third case. Of course, we stop at nothing. We filed a hard hitting sentencing brief and to the shock and amazement of the State, we got the Court to give him probation! Not a day in jail.
This case went on for years due to a number of factors including extensive pre-trial litigation. When the day for trial finally came, we were ready. The State was convinced that the client was going to be convicted of both counts of distribution of child pornography. We were fully prepared to concede to the one count of possession of child pornography as part of the trial strategy since that would not result in prison time. After Jef Henninger delivered a powerful summation, the jury was out for days. After four days of deliberations, the jury acquitted the client of both counts of distribution of child pornography. Even though we pretty much conceded the child pornography possession count, the jury came back hung on this count. Thus, it was a total victory for the client and one of the only times the State has lost a child pornography distribution case in New Jersey