13053301336
Miami Cyber Crimes Defense Lawyer
Attorney Profiles
Cyber Crimes
Sex Crimes
Testimonials
Case Results
Phone:
--
Criminal Defense
Arson
DUI
Deportation Defense
Copyright Litigation
Criminal Mischief
Disorderly Conduct
Driving Without a License
Drug Charges
False Report About a Bomb
FAQ
Federal Crimes
Fleeing and Eluding
Fraud Crimes
Juvenile Crimes
Obstruction of Justice
Permitting Unauthorized Driver
Probation Violations
Stalking
Sealing and Expungements
Theft Crimes
Trespassing
Unlawful Use of a Driver's License
Violent Crimes
Weapons and Firearm Charges
Sex Crimes
Act of Streaking
Possession of Child Pornography
Federal Sex Crimes
Human Trafficking
Indecent Exposure
Prostitution
Public Urination
Rape
Sex Offender Registration
Sexual Assault
Sexual Battery
Statutory Rape
Cyber Crimes
Computer Pornography
Hacking
Internet Crimes
Money Laundering Using Bitcoins
Solicitation of a Minor
Transmission of Material Harmful to a Minor
Help Center Click to Chat Video Vault Visit our Blog Visit our Blog
Fighting for your freedom in Florida and throughout the United States. Case Results In the News

Lowe v. State Court of Appeals Judgment Reversed by Supreme Court in Computer Pornography Case

On December 12, 2013, the Supreme Court of Mississippi reversed a conviction in the case of Lowe v. State. The criminal defendant allegedly had downloaded pornographic pictures of children under the age of 18 onto his laptop computer.

Lowe, who worked at a Masonite Corporation plant, argued multiple times that he could not afford to adequately fund his defense against charges that, “on June 6, 2009 [he] downloaded sexually explicit images or videos of children under the age of 18 via the internet to his laptop computer.” The court designated Lowe “indigent” and appointed defense counsel.

No witnesses saw Lowe download illicit material. A woman named Marie Taylor, who had lived with Lowe, testified that Lowe allowed her and daughters to access his computer. According to her, he had never downloaded pornography.

The State only had an expert computer forensic witness -- Tom Thomas -- who testified that the “digital fingerprint” of the pornography indicted Lowe. For instance, pornographic files had been saved under Lowe’s username and password.

Lowe repeatedly asked the court for funds to hire an independent computer expert to challenge the State expert’s case. The trial court – and then later the Court of Appeals – rejected Lowe’s defense, claiming that his counsel should have been able to question the State’s expert witness. This line of thinking – as the Supreme Court later pointed out – didn't make much sense. How can you question a technical expert witness, if you don’t have a technical expert on your side to help you understand the process or ask the right questions? Was Lowe’s attorney simply supposed to ask Mr. Thomas: “What technical questions should I ask you to demonstrate that you don’t know what you’re talking about and that you’re wrong?”

In overturning the conviction and remanding case back for another trial, the Supreme Court cited case of Ake v. Oklahoma, saying that “The determination of whether an indigent defendant must be provided expert funding is made on a case-by-case basis, and defendant must demonstrate a substantial need in order to justify the trial court expending public funds for an expert to assist the defense.”

The Supreme Court said that Lowe did, indeed, have a substantial need for an outside independent computer expert. Such a witness would constitute “a basic tool of an adequate defense” in this case. As the Supreme Court put it: the “probable value of an independent defense expert must weigh heavily in favor of a substantial need for a state-funded independent expert. And, as in Ake, both the State and the defendant have interest in an accurate resolution … the State’s interest in avoiding the cost for providing an independent expert cannot overcome [the need for an accurate resolution of the case].”

The court also ordered that the trial judge give the defendant “funds to obtain an expert in computer forensics.”

Are you facing cybercrime charges in Florida or elsewhere? Protect yourself and your future by connecting with the experienced legal team at David Seltzer, PA, online, or connect with us today at 1-888-THE-DEFENSE (1-888-843-3333).

Categories: Criminal Defense
Hablamos EspaƱol
13053301336

Attorney Web Design The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship.
Seltzer Mayberg, LLC - Miami Criminal Defense Lawyer
Located at 1200 Brickell Avenue, Suite 680 Miami, FL 33131. View Map
Phone: (305) 330-1336 | Local Phone: (305) 444-1565.
Website: