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Online Solicitation of a Minor

Houston Online Solicitation of a Minor Attorney

Being accused of the online solicitation of a minor is a serious offense that requires a serious response. The laws are complicated, and an individual needs help from a veteran criminal defense lawyer to make sure that he or she is represented fairly.

What Does It Mean to Solicit a Minor Online?

Online solicitation occurs when an adult sends sexually-oriented material via electronic media or uses sexually-explicit communication to entice or arouse a minor who is younger than 17 years of age. An individual may be charged with the online solicitation of a minor if he has the intent to commit such a crime. A person who engages in sexual intercourse or sexual interaction with a child may also be charged.

In many cases, an arrest of an individual is usually by an undercover operation with an investigator who portrays an underage person. Some evidence is obtained, and a case is established against the defendant.

Punishments for the Online Solicitation of a Minor

An accusation of soliciting a minor online is very severe. This crime is charged as a felony in the third-degree unless the defendant is a minor who is younger than 14 years of age. Charges for the solicitation of a minor can include the following potential punishments:

  • Prison sentence of two to 10 years
  • Up to $10,000 in criminal fines
  • Mandatory registration as a sex offender
  • No admittance to some educational programs
  • Rejected from certain careers
  • Inability to vote, own a firearm or hold public office
  • Negative effects on one’s reputation

The Burden of Proof

The prosecution has to prove every element against a defendant beyond a reasonable doubt. The prosecution must prove the case thoroughly because uncertainty by the judge or jury may result in a case dismissal or reduction in charges. The prosecution has the burden to prove that the defendant:

  • Knowingly solicited an underage individual
  • Intended to arouse or sexually gratify a minor via electronic communication
  • Initiated the contact with the minor and made an effort to have physical contact with a minor

The prosecution also has the obligation to prove that the committed crime was completed by the defendant. If a defendant was coerced or falsely accused, the charges may be dropped, or the defendant may have an affirmative defense.

Speak to an Online Solicitation of a Minor Lawyer

Due to the severity of the punishments for this crime, hiring a wise criminal defense lawyer is crucial. An experienced online solicitation of a minor lawyer will provide a defendant with competent legal counsel. Houston criminal attorney Rand Mintzer has been successfully handling cases since 1984. To learn about the legal options for your sex crime charge, schedule a free consultation with Rand Mintzer, Attorney at Law at 713-862-8880.