Where Files Go on Your Hard Drive
When a file is written to your hard drive, it takes up space (allocated space), and is indexed by your operating system. When you delete a file, it doesn't just go away. Instead, it is moved to “unallocated” space and is “de-indexed” by the operating system. You won't be able to find a date on the file, but it will be stored on your hard drive until it is overwritten. Usually, files are overwritten as you use your computer and create new downloads. But, you aren't in control of what is overwritten, or when. Now, we'll discuss why this is important and how dangerous deleted files can be:
Sexual Exploitation of a Child: Images Stored on Computers
Sexual Exploitation of a Child is a sex offense which is charged whenever someone is found to be in possession of (or creating) child pornography. When sexually exploitative material (images or video of children under the age of 18 years of age engaged in sexual activity or “erotic nudity”) is found on a computer, the person who owns the computer will face serious charges. Sexual Exploitation of a Child is a sex offense which carries a sentence of up to 16 years in prison, and registration and treatment as a sex offender.
How Do Police Find Sexually Exploitative Material?
The police and sheriffs in Arapahoe, Douglas, and Larimer County get leads that someone has download child pornography. They contact the Internet Service Provider (ISP) and obtain an address and a search warrant. They will confiscate computers and give them to forensics labs such as the Rocky Mountain Regional Computer Forensics Laboratory (RMRCFL), who are allowed to search hard drives for child pornography. RMRCFL uses software tools such as EnCase and Forensic Took Kit (FTK) to view hidden files (files treated as deleted by the operating system) on a hard drive platter. Once any sexually exploitative photos or videos are found, charges are filed.
What To Do If You Have Been Charged with a Sex Offense after a Computer Forensics Search
The criminal defense attorneys at our office know the importance of working with a private computer forensic examiner in Sexual Exploitation of a Child cases. The best thing you can do if you have been contacted by the police is to remain silent – it is much easier for us to defend someone who hasn't given the police any information.Request a Free Consultation