What Are My Options If I Unknowingly Solicited a Minor for Sex in Texas?
Any kind of sexual activity with minors is treated harshly by Texas law. Even when alleged perpetrators of sex crimes with minors never actually met a minor for sexual activity, if they are charged with soliciting a minor they can face serious consequences. Soliciting a minor often comes with additional charges; in Texas, soliciting prostitution with a consenting adult is a felony, even for the first offense. If you have been charged with soliciting a minor, get help from a Texas criminal defense lawyer right away.
Charges for soliciting a minor often result from internet “sting” operations in which a law enforcement professional pretends to be a minor. When someone above the legal age of consent in Texas (17 years old) tries to use the internet simply to communicate in a sexually explicit way with a minor, it is a third-degree felony. This includes sending photos, emails, and even text messages. When the minor involved is under 14 years old, the charges can be upgraded to a second-degree felony.
When someone above the age of consent tries to use the internet, or any other form of electronic communication, to induce a minor to meet for sexual activity, it is a second-degree felony. Police officers pretending to be minors often take time to allow an online “relationship” to develop, keeping and using communication between themselves and the target as evidence later on. When the alleged perpetrator tries to schedule a meeting with the minor, the police arrive and make an arrest.
Defending Against Charges of Soliciting a Minor
Claiming that you did not know the child was a minor, that you never actually met them or engaged in sexual contact, or that you had no intention of following through and were only engaging in online fantasies are typically not successful defenses for soliciting a minor. However, if there are less than three years of age between you and the minor, you may be able to avoid charges. An experienced sex crimes attorney can help you try to avoid prison time and registration on the sex offenders list.
Call a Collin County Solicitation of a Minor Defense Lawyer
Charges of soliciting a minor carry serious consequences in Texas. If you are faced with prosecution for sex crimes involving a minor, you need the help of a skilled Plano criminal defense attorney with specific experience with these types of charges. At the offices of The Crowder Law Firm, P.C., we work with our clients to build aggressive defense cases and we will do whatever we can to protect your constitutional rights. You can contact us anytime to schedule a free consultation at 214-303-9600.