Online Solicitation of A Minor – Texas Crime Blog
Online Solicitation of a Minor charges occur often in many Texas counties. State, regional and local Internet Crimes Against Children or ICAC affiliates have been established and funded through the federal government, including the Department of Justice.
Sex Crimes Lawyer – Practice Areas
- Indecent Exposure
- Online Harassment & Cyber Crimes
- Online Solicitation of a Minor / Child Pornography
- Prostitution Lawyer / Soliciting a Prostitute
- Sexual Assault / Rape
Contact a criminal defense attorney in Houston (281) 853-8537.
Online Solicitation of a Minor Statute
This offense falls under chapter 33 of the Texas Penal Code – Computer Crimes. The statute states that the prosecution must prove the elements of the crime beyond a reasonable doubt:
- The communication happened via the Internet, by text, by e-mail, or another type of electronic message system, or via a commercial Internet service; and
- The defendant knowingly committed the act of solicitation of a minor to meet, with intent that said minor would engage in contact of a sexual nature, such as sexual intercourse or deviate sexual intercourse
It is important to note that the statute prevents the defendant from using these defenses:
- The meeting never occurred
- The defendant did not really intend for the meeting to occur
- The defendant was fantasizing
However, the statute does allow for these defenses:
- The defendant and the minor were married
- The defendant and the minor were no more than three years apart, and the minor gave consent to the contact
How Many Online Solicitation of a Minor Arrests Occur
Many recent arrests under this statute are made under legally questionable ‘sting operations’ that use an undercover, online police officer pretending to be a minor. In these cases, no child is involved. No child is really solicited or harmed. Police officers are very savvy and experienced in these stings. They often create an elaborate online persona and may even put ads on adult dating websites.
In some cases, the defendant engaged in activity on an adult site such as Craigslist or a dating website, with the intent to find adult companionship. The defendant may engage in an online communication that results in responses of a sexual nature. Some defendants may think they are electronically communicating with an adult. The ‘minor’ at some point may state that they are under 17 and ask if the defendant is interested. The defendant may think that the ‘minor’ is really the original age represented, but nonetheless, the person may still be arrested and charged.
These cases are frustrating and complex, but a criminal defense attorney may be able to help. Note that a conviction for Online Solicitation of a Minor is a 2nd degree felony and can result in a two to 20 year prison sentence and a $10,000 fine. You also may have to register as a convicted sex offender. This carries potentially terrible personal and professional consequences for life.
If you have been charged with this very serious crime, the time to defend your legal rights is NOW.
Call (281) 853-8537
If you are charged with Online Solicitation of a Minor, you face a serious legal problem that can ruin your life if you are convicted. You require a defense attorney who can aggressively defend you and safeguard your rights. This is a serious charge that can take a year or more to resolve. Get started on your defense right away by contacting our criminal defense attorneys for a complimentary case review.