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Dwayne B.
Dwayne B., Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 33753
Experience:  Numerous criminal trials ranging from traffic to murder, practicing Criminal Law for 20+ years.
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During the course of a child pornography ring investigation,

Customer Question

During the course of a child pornography ring investigation, federal law enforcement obtained a search warrant and lawfully seized four laptops and six external hard drives belonging to Arthur Mitchell. The warrant specifically allowed the seizure of all digital media, along with any encryption devices and codes required to access the content.

Forensic examiners did not find evidence of child pornography on any of the media, however through their examination they believed additional files existed that were hidden using an encryption program. A grand jury subpoena was issued to compel Mitchell to produce the passwords and codes necessary to access the digital media.

Mitchell refused on the grounds that providing the encryption passwords would violate his Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination.

Should the court charge Mitchell with contempt or should it allow Mitchell's objection based on Fifth Amendment privilege?
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 5 years ago.
The objection appears to be valid. It should not result in a contempt charge.

Thank you for allowing me to assist you. As you know, we work on the honor system here and cannot always provide you answers that you like. I believe I have answered all of the questions you asked so I would request that you please click the ACCEPT button so I receive credit for my work and leave feedback if you have a chance. Please consider clicking "BONUS" as a nice way of saying "thanks" for a job well done, although this is neither required nor expected. I believe in giving information that is to the point, but please remember that I can only base our answers on the information you provide and sometimes a misunderstanding as to what you are looking for or already know occurs so feel free to ask additional questions or for clarifications. Be very careful about looking at other internet sites that just post generic information without any inquiry into your facts because often those answers are dated, wrong, or wrong as applied to your facts. Please be aware that my answer is not legal advice, it is merely information. You should always contact a local attorney for legal advice.

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Customer: replied 5 years ago.
need little more details
Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 5 years ago.
Can you be more specific? I'm not sure what you are looking for.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Just on your response.
Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 5 years ago.
Your question was "Should the court charge Mitchell with contempt or should it allow Mitchell's objection based on Fifth Amendment privilege?" which I answered. I'm not sure what kind of details you need.

If you can explain I'd be glad to answer further.