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Sexual Talks With a Child Online Can Result in Solicitation Charges

Posted on in Criminal Defense

Fort Worth solicitation of a child defense attorney

The Internet has revolutionized the way that we communicate with each other. However, there are several ways that online discussions or digital communication can be a criminal offense. An individual can be charged with online solicitation of a minor if he or she uses the Internet to send sexually explicit messages or media to a child under 17 years old or to a person who the actor believes to be under 17 years old. A conviction for online solicitation has the potential to impact the rest of your life. If you or someone you know has been charged with solicitation of a child or any crime against children, you need to speak with a criminal defense attorney right away.

What Constitutes Solicitation of a Child in Texas?

According to the Texas Penal Code, a person over the age of 17 commits online solicitation of a child if he or she communicates with a child under 17 years old via email, the Internet, or text messages with the intention of committing one of the following crimes: trafficking of persons, indecency with a child, continuous sexual abuse of a child, sexual assault, prohibited sexual conduct, compelling prostitution, aggravated promotion of prostitution, possession or promotion of child pornography, or sexual performance by a child. An adult can also be charged with online solicitation of a child if he or she uses email, text messages, or a commercial service to intentionally solicit a minor to meet another individual, including himself or herself, for the purposes of sexual contact.

There is one important exception to this law. If the actor is less than four years older than the minor, and the minor consents to the conduct, the sexually explicit discussions or sexual contact may not be considered a criminal offense.

Criminal Penalties for Online Solicitation of a Child

Online solicitation of a child is typically a third-degree felony offense in Texas. It is punishable by 2 to 10 years’ incarceration and a fine of up to $10,000. If the child is under 14 years old, or if the actor intends to meet with the child for sexual contact, the offense is a second-degree felony. If you are convicted of second-degree felony solicitation of a child in Texas, you could face a prison sentence of up to 20 years and a fine of up to $10,000. You will also be required to register as a sex offender.

Contact a Collin County Criminal Defense Lawyer

Inappropriate communication with a minor over the Internet can lead to criminal charges in Texas. If you or someone you know has been charged with online solicitation of a child or any crime against a child, contact an experienced Plano, Texas solicitation of a minor attorney immediately. Attorney Darlina Crowder has obtained over 200 acquittals and not guilty verdicts during her tenure as a criminal defense lawyer. At The Crowder Law Firm, P.C., we will carefully review the details of your case and build a strong defense to avoid a criminal record and clear your name. Schedule a free, confidential consultation by calling us today at 214-303-9600.

Sources:
https://statutes.capitol.texas.gov/Docs/PE/htm/PE.33.htm
https://statutes.capitol.texas.gov/Docs/CR/htm/CR.62.htm#62.001

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