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Online solicitation of a minor is a relatively new sex crime that covers a variety of related situations. Under Texas law, online solicitation of a minor may involve the intentional electronic distribution or communication of sexually explicit material to a minor with the aim of arousing the sexual desire of the recipient or enticing the recipient to engage in further sexual contact or communication. The pertinent material may include sexually explicit images, text or audio communications. The means of distribution may include e-mail, text messages, online instant messages and other forms of electronic communication.
Online solicitation of a minor also covers situations in which an individual uses these means of electronic communication to entice a minor to engage in sexual contact or intercourse. A person who is accused of committing this offense should contact an experienced criminal defense attorney to fully explore his or her legal options.
Call Shahin Zamir at 713-223-8900
Most online solicitation cases are charged as second-degree felonies. People who are convicted of second-degree felonies may face hefty fines of up to $10,000 and/or between two and 20 years in prison. In some cases, a savvy online solicitation of a minor attorney may be able to secure a reduction of these charges. For instance, an incident that involves a victim who is actually over 17 years of age may be charged as lewd conduct rather than online solicitation of a minor. Lewd conduct is a Class A misdemeanor that carries a potential prison term of up to one year and a maximum fine of $4,000.
The evidence against individuals who are charged with online solicitation of a minor has the potential to be ambiguous. Most defenses against these charges rest on the fact that online communication takes place in an anonymous environment. The accused party may be able to argue that he or she was unaware of the alleged victim’s age. If it can be shown that the victim deliberately misrepresented his or her age, this defense may gain some traction.
In addition, the perceived intent of some of the electronic messages that are used to build a solicitation case can be unclear. Upon closer examination, many allegedly explicit messages turn out to be wholly innocent in nature. An experienced online solicitation of a minor attorney in Houston can often create enough doubt about the intent of certain electronic messages to persuade a judge to reduce or dismiss these charges.
Shahin Zamir has fought for the rights of the accused for years. A lifelong Houstonian, Mr. Zamir is dedicated to defending individuals who are wrongfully accused of crimes that they do not commit.
If you or someone you know was recently arrested for the online solicitation of a minor, please reach out to Shahin Zamir and get a free legal consultation by calling 713-223-8900.