Online Solicitation of A Minor

Facing allegations of online solicitation of a minor can be a life-altering experience. Your professional career and relationships with friends and family can be negatively affected. Do not talk to anyone about your situation, especially the police, as they are not your friend in these circumstances. Confidentiality is of the utmost importance. Now is the time to hire an experienced lawyer to fight for you during this trying time.

When you hire The Wilder Law Firm, you will be putting more than 25 years of experience to work for you during this critical time. Regardless of the allegations you face, we will stand by your side, fight for you, and do everything possible to successfully guide you through this most difficult process. Together, we will formulate the most effective defense for your case to protect you and your future. Call us at 214-741-4000 for the help you need.

What is Online Solicitation of a Minor?

Online solicitation of a minor is defined in Texas Penal Code 33.021. There are two major ways in which a person can commit online solicitation of a minor. 

First, a person who is 17 or older commits this crime if they intentionally and over the internet or by other electronic means:

  1. Communicate in a sexually explicit way with a minor; or
  2. Distributes sexually explicit material to a minor (33.021).

Secondly, a person commits this offense if the person, over the internet or by other electronic means, knowingly solicits a minor to meet another person, including the actor, with the intent that the minor will engage in sexual contact, sexual intercourse, or deviate sexual intercourse with the actor or another person (33.021). 

The actor must have the intent to commit an offense listed in Article 62.001(5)(A), (B), or (K), Code of Criminal Procedure.

Your Defense Strategy 

In defending those accused of online solicitation of a minor, attention to detail to all facts and circumstances is imperative. There are many defenses our firm will investigate in order to effectively tell your side of the story, and we never prepare a plain, cookie cutter defense. The following are some of defenses that will be investigated, two of which are known as affirmative defenses:

  • Age of the Parties
  • Identity
  • Intent
  • Legally Married

Age of the Parties

It is an affirmative defense if the minor consented to the solicitation and you were within three years of age of the minor.

Identity

Since this was done online, can the State prove it was actually you doing the solicitation? At times people will use a pre-recorded looping feed to show someone acting like they are the one doing the communication.

Intent

If the State can prove it was you doing the communication, they then have to prove what your actual intent was. Some communications are very clear while others make you wonder if someone is actually intending to solicit versus just acting inappropriately on the internet.

Legally Married

It is an affirmative defense if you were married to the accuser when the offense took place.

Penalties For Online Solicitation of a Minor

If you are charged with this crime, it is important to know what you are up against, as the penalties can be severe. If charged with the first scenario outlined above for online solicitation of a minor, you face the following penalties:

  • 2-10 year prison sentence.
  • Maximum fine of $10,000.

If you face the first scenario of online solicitation of the minor and the minor is under 14 years old, you face the following penalties:

  • 2-20 year prison sentence.
  • Maximum fine of $10,000.

If charged with the second scenario outlined above for online solicitation of a minor, you face the following penalties:

  • 2-20 year prison sentence.
  • Maximum fine of $10,000.

Conviction also results in other issues such as:

  • Lifetime registry on the sex offender list.
  • Limited residence options.
  • Limited employment options.
  • Permanent criminal record.
  • Loss of your right to possess firearms.
  • Ineligibility for some student loans.
Our Focus is Your Freedom

The first step after an accusation or charge of online solicitation of a minor should be hiring The Wilder Law Firm. We are a dedicated team who will guide and support you through this process. As trying a time as this might be, we will make sure everything is done to develop the most effective defense for you. Call us immediately at 214-741-4000 for the help you need.

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We are passionate and determined about what we do, and we fight for our clients. If you’ve found yourself or a loved one in trouble, don’t give up hope. We have a criminal defense attorney who can help.

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