Experienced Lawyer Defends Clients Charged with Solicitation of a Minor in Texas
Aggressive representation for individuals accused of contacting juveniles for illicit purposes
Texas has a well-founded interest in protecting minors from sexual predation and other criminal acts. There are strict laws in place against solicitation of a minor for sexual or illicit purposes, which include a broad range of conduct. If you have been accused of such a crime, you can expect no-holds-barred prosecution with potentially dire consequences. Your reputation, your liberty, your relationships and your ability to earn a living are all on the line. With stakes this high, you need capable defense representation from a proven, accomplished attorney. At Kevin L. Collins, P.C., you get a board-certified criminal defense lawyer, ready to provide the highest level of defense representation.
What constitutes solicitation of minors under Texas criminal law?
Solicitation of a minor is a felony that occurs when an individual 17 years of age or older intentionally requests, commands or attempts to induce a minor to engage in a sexual act. The offense also occurs when someone 17 or older knowingly solicits a minor to meet himself or another person to engage in sexual contact. Solicitation can also be charged if the individual intends for the youth to commit a crime such as robbery, murder or kidnapping.
Solicitation can be in person or online. The latter occurs when anyone 17 or older uses email or other another electronic medium to communicate in a sexually explicit manner with a minor or distributes sexually explicit material to a minor.
Solicitation does not require that any further sex crimes be committed or even attempted. The offense is generally a third-degree felony, with penalties ranging from two to 10 years in prison and a $10,000 fine. The charge can be raised to a second-degree felony if the minor was 14 years of age or younger. A conviction can then result in up to 20 years in prison and a $10,000 fine. Additionally, a person convicted must register as a sex offender.
Possible defenses for solicitation
Defendants may be able to avoid conviction by proving either or both of the following:
- Lack of actual solicitation
- Lack of criminal intent to solicit
For example, the defendant may have been under the reasonable impression that the minor was an adult, which means there was no intent to commit a crime. Also, no violation occurs if the minor consented and was less than three years younger than the defendant. In some cases, it is also possible to prove the police entrapped the defendant into committing the alleged offense.
Interstate solicitation of a minor
Charges can be brought for any of the following federal crimes:
- Attempting to induce the minor to cross state lines for an illicit purpose
- Using the mail or means of interstate commerce to solicit the minor
- Knowingly transporting a minor between states or internationally for unlawful sexual activity
- Traveling between states or internationally to engage in sexual contact with a minor
A conviction can result in decades in federal prison. With stakes that high, you need a skilled and accomplished defense attorney with a record of success in federal court.
Contact an effective criminal defense attorney in San Antonio for solicitation charges
Kevin L. Collins, P.C. provides aggressive defense to charges of solicitation of a minor in San Antonio, Texas and vicinity. To schedule a consultation, call 210-598-8629 or contact us online.