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Solicitation of A Minor Defense Attorney

Allegations surrounding sexual offenses are seldom as clear-cut as they appear. This is particularly true when it comes to cases involving solicitation of a minor. Soliciting a minor can be charged as a felony sex crime in Texas, and prosecutors often shame suspects even before the requisite evidence has been gathered. Many arrests stem from state and federal sting operations, in which law enforcement troll chat rooms and forums, posing as minors.

 

Dallas criminal defense attorney Jeff King represents people facing sex crime charges like solicitation of a minor. He believes that every person has the right to an expert defense, and that every story has two sides. If you or a family member is being questioned or accused of soliciting sexual contact with someone under the age of 17, Jeff King knows exactly what’s at stake and provides the strategic solicitation of a minor defense you need.

Is there jail time for solicitation of a minor?

Yes, the crime of soliciting sex from a minor in Texas carries a sentence of up to two decades behind bars. In an effort to protect children, the state of Texas has adopted strict laws that criminalize the act of enticing minors to engage in sexual acts. Solicitation of a minor jail time can be 2-10 years in cases where the perpetrator used the Internet to solicit a minor under the age of 17 with the purpose of engaging in sexual activity.

 

Jail time for online solicitation of a minor can be increased to 20 years in a Texas state prison in cases where the minor in question was under the age of 14. Sentences will hinge on the nature of the online communication with the minor, and the age of the minor or law enforcement decoy posing as a child.

What kind of punishment is there for solicitation of a minor?

Texas Penal Code Section 33.01 and U.S. federal code prohibit the online solicitation of minors to engage in sexual activity. This includes using email, text messaging, the Internet or any type of electronic means of communication with an individual who is under the age of 17. Those who are convicted face state and federal charges, harsh penalties, incarceration and lasting damage to their personal relationships, career and reputation.

 

The online solicitation of a minor (a person who is under the age of 17) is a third degree felony, which incurs a fine of up to $10,000, and 2 to 10 years in prison, or both. If the minor is under the age of 14 at the time of the alleged solicitation, the offense is charged as a second degree felony, punishable by fines up to $10,000, and up to 20 years in state jail.

 

Under U.S. Code 18 Sections 2422 and 2423, punishment for solicitation of a minor using online communication can result in:

  • Fines of up to $250,000
  • 10 years in jail (misdemeanor charge)
  • Maximum sentence: life in prison (felony charge)

 

Both state and federal laws surrounding Internet sex crimes are very complex, and convictions come with life-altering repercussions. Texas residents who are convicted of soliciting a minor may be required to register as a sex offender for the rest of their lives, and consent to supervised monitoring upon release from jail.

Changes to solicitation of Minor Statutes in Texas

In 2015, a district court judge declared portions of the Texas statute on solicitation of a minor as unconstitutional, finding that the language violated protected speech. The original penal code stated that engaging in a fantasy, such as two adults exchanging texts in which one of them pretends to be an underage teen, was not a valid legal defense to prosecution.

 

The statute was subsequently amended, and passed on September 1, 2015. The amended Texas penal code contains several changes:

  • Fantasy is now a legal defense
  • The person who was being solicited for sexual activity must be under the age of 17, not just claiming to be underage
  • Language concerning arousing the sexual desire of another person has been omitted

 

Though amendments to Texas Penal Code Section 33.021 may help prevent future prosecutions based on an unconstitutional law, there remain many hazards still facing those who are accused of soliciting a minor.

 

Attorney Jeff King has a deep understanding of state and federal statutes involving sex crimes, and will meticulously scrutinize all facets of your case. If investigations reveal that a sting operation was conducted improperly, evidence was concealed, or law enforcement infringed upon your rights, he will fight to have your case dismissed.

Solicitation of a minor defense attorney Dallas, Texas

Jeff King has extensive experience representing defendants accused of sex crimes in Texas, including solicitation of a minor. If you are under investigation or have been arrested for soliciting a minor, whether in person or online, it’s in your best interest to seek legal counsel immediately. To arrange a free and confidential consultation, contact Dallas criminal defense lawyer Jeff King today.

Additional Solicitation of Minor Resources:

  1. Justia, Criminal Law Solicitation of a Minor, https://www.justia.com/criminal/docs/calcrim/400/442.html
  2. Texas Penal Code, PREPARATORY OFFENSES, http://www.statutes.legis.state.tx.us/Docs/PE/htm/PE.15.htm
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JEFFERY KING, PLLC.
2626 Cole Ave.
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Dallas, Texas 75204
T: 469-399-7001
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