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What Are the Penalties for Online Solicitation of a Minor in Texas?

Posted on in Criminal Defense

Plano, Texas criminal defense attorney online solicitation of a minor

When it comes to criminal offenses, few are judged as harshly as crimes against children. Being accused of a crime against a child–especially a sex crime against a child–can have life-altering consequences. Many crimes against children do not require the alleged offender to actually make physical contact with the child. Depending on what was said, a conversation alone may be enough to bring about criminal charges. Communicating online with a person under age 17 about sexual conduct can lead to felony charges for online solicitation of a minor and potentially years behind bars. If you or someone you know has been charged with online solicitation of a minor, speak with a skilled criminal defense lawyer right away to learn about your defense options.

Defining Online Solicitation of a Child

According to the Texas Penal Code, an adult commits solicitation of a child if he or she intentionally uses email, text messaging, or any other electronic device or service to do either of the following:

  • Communicate with a minor in a sexually explicit way 

  • Send the minor sexually explicit images, video, or other material

Criminal Charges 

If a criminal charge for online solicitation of a child is based on explicit conversations such as these, it is typically classified as a third-degree felony, which is punishable by 2-10 years of incarceration. However, if the child is under 14 years of age, the crime is a second-degree felony, punishable by up to 20 years in prison.

A person may also be charged with online solicitation of a child if he or she arranges or attempts to arrange an in-person meeting with a minor for the purpose of sexual contact. If the intention of the conversation is to solicit the minor for sexual contact with anyone, the offense is automatically elevated to a second-degree felony. Individuals who are found guilty of online solicitation of a minor are required to register as a sex offender for 10 years.

Contact a Fort Worth Criminal Defense Lawyer

If you have been charged with soliciting a child online, you may be shocked and unsure of what to do next. Your first step should be to speak with a lawyer experienced in defending against child-related offenses. A qualified lawyer can help you understand the charges against you and work with you to develop a strong defense strategy. Tarrant County online solicitation attorney Darlina Crowder has extensive experience handling criminal cases involving crimes against children. She has secured more than 250 not guilty verdicts in the past and continues to fight for her clients’ freedom on a daily basis. Schedule a free, confidential consultation to discuss your case by calling The Crowder Law Firm, P.C. at 214-303-9600 today.

 

Source:
https://texas.public.law/statutes/tex._penal_code_section_33.021

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