Online Solicitation of a Minor
Committing certain acts online or on the computer can result in criminal charges in Texas. You might feel invulnerable online due to its façade of anonymity, but that doesn’t mean you’re immune to prosecution. One crime frequently committed online is soliciting a minor over the internet for sexual activity.
If you or someone you know has been charged with online solicitation of a minor, it’s highly advised you seek experienced legal representation. If you’re convicted, you could face the harsh statutory penalties associated with the charge including steep fines and possible time in jail or even prison. To defend your rights and freedom, consult with an attorney immediately.
Austin Attorney for Online Solicitation of a Minor in Texas
Soliciting a minor for a sexual act online is a serious crime under Texas law. In some cases, the charges may arise from a simple miscommunication of the alleged victim’s age. No matter the circumstances, it’s imperative you secure legal counsel that you can trust.
Attorney Kevin Bennett is a practiced attorney with extensive experience with online sex crimes. He is knowledgeable and aggressive in the courtroom and compassionate with clients. Call The Law Office of Kevin Bennett now at (512) 476-4626 to set up your first consultation free. The Law Office of Kevin Bennett accepts clients throughout the greater Travis County area including Austin, West Lake Hills, Rollingwood, Lago Vista and Del Valle.
Overview of Online Solicitation of a Minor in TX
- How Does Texas Define Online Solicitation of a Minor?
- Penalties for Online Solicitation of a Minor
- Possible Defenses for Online Solicitation of a Minor
- Additional Resources
How Does Texas Define Online Solicitation of a Minor?
It’s illegal in Texas to solicit a minor online, but what exactly does that mean? According to the Texas Penal Code § 33.021, a person is guilty of online solicitation of a minor if they electronically message a minor and do one of the following actions:
- Communicates with a minor in a sexually explicit manner;
- Exchange or give sexually explicit material to a minor; or
- Solicit a minor to meet another person, which can include you, for a sexual reason
Minors are any person under the age of 18 years old. Texas law defines “sexually explicit” as any type of communication, language, material that is related to sexual acts or conduct. Some instances of online solicitation of a minor can include:
- Sending nude photos;
- Exchanging porn;
- Communicating sexually or “sexting;” and
- Ask to meet up for a sexual purpose
Texas Penalties for Online Solicitation of a Minor
The consequences associated with online sex crimes are nothing to take lightly. If you’re convicted, you could face a third-degree felony which can result in:
- A fine of up to $10,000; and
- A maximum prison sentence of up to 10 years
If the alleged victim was younger than 14 years old, then the crime will be enhanced to a second-degree felony. The penalties for a second-degree felony include:
- A fine of up to $10,000; and
- A maximum prison sentence of up to 20 years
Possible Defenses for Online Solicitation of a Minor in Texas
Accusations of soliciting a minor online can lead to life-altering consequences. It’s important you’re prepared with a strong legal defense before moving forward. Hiring an attorney who is skilled in online sex crimes will give you an advantage in your case. A skillful attorney can file motions, call expert witnesses and do whatever’s possible to help your case.
The following are some defenses that your attorney may utilize for your charges.
- You were married to the minor during the crime;
- You and the manor had no more than a three year age difference and the act was consensual;
- You never intended the meeting to occur and speaking about it was fantasy; or
- The minor’s identity was mistaken for another person
TexProtects – Visit the official website for TexProtects a non-profit organization that is committed to preventing child abuse and neglect through research, advocacy and education. Access the site to learn more about child abuse statistics and how to get involved.
Texas Online Crime Laws – Visit the official website for the Texas Penal Code to learn more about internet and computer sex crimes. Access the site to learn the penalties for online crimes such as breach of computer security, online solicitation of a minor and more.
Defense Lawyer for Online Solicitation of a Minor in Travis County, TX
If you or someone you know has been charged with online solicitation of a minor in the Texas area, it’s crucial you have legal counsel on your side. For a knowledgeable and compassionate attorney call The Law Office of Kevin Bennett. Kevin Bennett is an experienced attorney with years of practice in court.
Call us now at (512) 476-4626 to set up your first consultation free. During this appointment, attorney Bennett can discuss your charges and learn more. The Law Office of Kevin Bennett accepts clients throughout the greater Austin area including West Lake Hills, Lago Vista and Pflugerville.
This article was last updated on September 27, 2019.