WHAT QUALIFIES AS SOLICITATION OF A MINOR?
Sex crimes against children are some of the most serious charges you can face in Texas. Accusations of sex crimes involving minors are treated very seriously by law enforcement and criminal courts in Texas. One of these kinds of sex crimes is a solicitation of a minor.
If you or someone you care about has been charged with solicitation of a minor, reach out to an experienced criminal defense attorney to discuss possible defense options. The Dallas, Texas, attorney at the Law Office of Thomas R Cox understands the serious nature of the charges and is prepared to come to your assistance to help you fight for your freedom.
The law firm of Tom Cox, which represents people facing sex crime and other types of charges across Dallas County, is one of few law firms in Texas that bonds people out of jail and provides legal representation.
SOLICITATION OF A MINOR IN TEXAS
Under Texas law, intentionally or knowingly communicating with minors in a “sexually explicit manner” or sharing/displaying sexually explicit content to a minor is charged as a criminal offense of “online solicitation of a minor.” The statute also applies to situations in which a person solicits a minor to meet in person with the intent to engage in sexual contact.
Anyone aged 17 or older can face charges for solicitation of a minor in Texas as long as the person is acting intentionally or knowingly.
The negative consequences of a conviction for online solicitation of a minor in Texas can persist for the rest of the defendant’s life. Under Texas law, you can face charges for solicitation of a minor even if you do not make physical contact with the minor. A conversation on the Internet may be enough to warrant criminal charges and potentially years in prison.
POSSIBLE DEFENSES TO ONLINE SOLICITATION OF A MINOR
In many cases, defendants face criminal charges for online solicitation of a minor after an elaborate sting operation conducted by law enforcement. In online sting operations, an officer may pretend to be an underage person to catch people attempting to have sexual contact with minors.
There are many possible defenses that may be available to defendants facing criminal charges for solicitation of a minor in Texas:
The minor, who consented to the conduct, was not three years younger than the defendant
The minor was the defendant’s spouse at the time of the conduct
The defendant never intended to meet with the minor in person to engage in sexual contact
The defendant was engaged in fantasy or role-play
The defendant is wrongfully accused of solicitation of a minor
The defendant was a victim of entrapment where law enforcement induced him/her to solicit a minor
There may also be other defenses available to defendants facing criminal charges for online solicitation of a minor. If you have been accused of soliciting a minor in Texas, contact a knowledgeable criminal defense lawyer to discuss all potential defense strategies in your specific case.
POSSIBLE PENALTIES FOR SOLICITATION OF A MINOR
In Texas, the offense of online solicitation of a minor is usually a third-degree felony. The only exception is if the minor was under the age of 14 at the time of the conduct. In this case, charges may be elevated to a second-degree felony, which carries more serious penalties.
Depending on the charges, a defendant may face up to 20 years behind bars in addition to hefty fines and mandatory registration as a sex offender. Penalties can have far-reaching consequences, which is why you’ll need to work with an attorney to develop a strong defense strategy.
Facing criminal charges for online solicitation of a minor may leave you in a state of shock and unsure of your next steps. If this sounds like your situation, talk to an experienced criminal defense lawyer to help you understand the charges against you and discuss your defense options.
CRIMINAL DEFENSE EXPERIENCE YOU CAN TRUST
Tom Cox, a results-driven criminal defense attorney serving clients in Dallas, Texas, is prepared to provide you with compassionate and personalized representation, as well as a bail bonds service. Get a case review with the Law Office of Thomas R Cox to discuss your situation today.