Probably the most surprising fact about being charged with online solicitation of a minor is that people can be charged with this offense even if they had never been in physical contact with the child. As a matter of fact, a lot of charges get racked up as a result of sting operations conducted by the police. The people that get arrested during these operations never come into contact with an actual child, since the police often use websites or mobile apps to lure suspects.
Be that as it may, getting charged with online solicitation of a minor is a serious problem that calls for immediate legal assistance. But how exactly can a lawyer help someone who was charged with this offense? What are the legal defenses that can possibly be used to help in this case?
Understanding the crime
The online solicitation of a minor is widely considered as a serious sex crime throughout the United States. As mentioned above, a person charged with this offense does not even have to have contact with a minor. The law basically states that for the crime to be committed, a person aged 17 years or older must have intentionally communicated with a minor in a sexually explicit manner, and/or has sent sexually explicit materials to a minor.
Now, that communication may occur via the internet, or through text messaging, phone calls, email, or any other similar electronic communication methods. This includes websites, of course. Another important point is that the person being accused of the crime must believe that the person they are communicating with is a minor under 17 years of age.
What to do if you’ve been accused
Not all persons accused of this crime are guilty in any way whatsoever. As a matter of fact, hundreds of people get falsely accused of this offense every year (perhaps more). Oftentimes, this happens during highly aggressive sting operations that were conducted by federal or state authorities. Moreover, there is always the chance that the operations conducted by the police could consist of entrapment.
Similarly, it should be noted that there are also those who have been falsely accused of such crimes as “aggravated sexual assault of a child” or “super-aggravated sexual assault of a child”. In situations like these, there is always the possibility of it being a case of mistaken identity, the accuser not telling the whole truth, etc.
Regardless of whether or not a person is guilty or not, his first step should be seeking the help of an experienced criminal defense lawyer. We’re not going to lie to you – this crime is pretty serious and will be difficult to defend against. However, hope is not lost for the accused, since a skilled and knowledgeable lawyer with a solid team behind him will be able to provide a legal defense that can produce the best and most viable results.
Remember: you are innocent until proven guilty
Look for a defense attorney that will follow the concept of “innocent until proven guilty” and who never judges the client based on whatever crime was charged against him. Sexual crimes like these, even those involving an “improper student/teacher relationship”, will naturally be a most trying time for the accused and his loved ones. A lawyer worth his salt will know to treat his clients with respect and dignity all throughout.
Experience, knowledge, and skill is always the best combination that any attorney needs to mount a successful defense for his client. If ever you’re in need of legal assistance, look for Paul Schiffer at https://paulschifferlaw.com/what-is-online-solicitation/. Set up a meeting with him and see how he can help you.