Most offenders who are accused of online solicitation of a minor were caught during a sting operation. During these operations, a law enforcement officer will pose as a minor and target individuals online. These officers will entice individuals to get them to suggest meeting up with the minor to engage in sexual behavior.
Just being accused of online solicitation of a minor is enough to damage your reputation. You could be shunned from your community, and they will assume you are guilty until proven innocent. If you are being investigated for soliciting a minor online, you should contact legal representation immediately.
When you are accused of online solicitation of a minor, you feel like no one is on your side or is willing to listen to your story. You are not online. The Gonzalez Law Group will be with you every step of the way.
We understand the charges against you may be a case of miscommunication. That is why we want to defend you in court. We will listen to your story and do everything in our power to achieve the best possible outcome for your situation. Don’t delay. The sooner you contact us, the better your chances of a more favorable outcome in court.
To schedule a free case consultation, call (832) 530-4070 or submit your information in the online contact form. We represent those accused of online solicitation of a minor in all of Harris County. Some of these areas include Houston, Pearland, Pasadena, and Harrisburg.
- What is Online Solicitation of a Minor?
- Penalties for Online Solicitation of a Minor
- Texas Sex Offender Registry
- Additional Resources
Online solicitation of a minor is a crime that involves an adult contacting a minor on the Internet with the intent of engaging in sex. Even if you never meet with the minor or engaged in sexual activity, you could still be charged with the crime.
A person who is older than 17 can commit the offense if they use the Internet, e-mail, text messaging or any other electronic message service or system to intentionally:
- Communicate in a sexually explicit manner with the minor
- Give the minor sexually explicit material
- Have the minor engage in sexual contact, intercourse, or deviate sexual intercourse with you or another person.
Sexually explicit is considered communication, language, or material that relates to or describes sexual conduct. This can include text messages, photos, and videos.
If you have been accused of soliciting a minor online, you should contact legal representation right away. If you are convicted of the crime, you will be charged with a felony and be required to register as a sex offender.
Online solicitation of a minor is a second-degree felony if the minor was younger than 14, or was believed to be 14 at the time of the offense. A third-degree felony carries a punishment of:
- No less than two years but up to 20 in prison
- A fine of up to $10,000
When the minor is older than 14, the crime is a third-degree felony that is punishable by no less than two years but up to 10 in prison. You will also be required to pay a fine that can cost up to $10,000.
When you are convicted of online solicitation of a minor, you will be required to register as a sex offender. As a registered sex offender, you will be required to submit information such as your name, date of birth, and address to the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS). This information, along with a current photo will be made available to the public.
If you are convicted of soliciting a minor who was older than 14, you will be required to register as a sex offender for 10 years in Texas. You will also be considered a tier I sex offender by the federal government for 15 years.
If the victim is younger than 14, you will be required to register as a sex offender for 10 years in Texas. You will also be required to register with a federal government for 25 years as a tier II sex offender.
As a registered sex offender you will face some restrictions. One of the most significant restrictions you could face is where you may live. Texas law prohibits registered sex offenders from visiting or living near a place that is within 500 feet of a child safety zone. A child safety zone can include:
- Daycare facilities
- Athletic fields
- Youth centers
Other restrictions that you could face as a registered sex offender include employment opportunities, loss of voting privileges, limited Internet access, regular drug and alcohol screenings, and restricted contact with minors.
Online Solicitation of a Minor | Texas Penal Code – Visit the Texas Constitution and Statutes website to read the complete text of the statute that governs online solicitation of the minor. You can read the precise legal definition of the crime and learn about defenses that are inadmissible in court.
Sex Offender Registry FAQ – Follow this link to view frequently asked questions about the state sex offender registry. You can find answers to questions like which offenders need to register with, how long you have to register and how the public is notified. The Texas Department of Public Safety provides the forum.
Contact a Houston Criminal Defense Lawyer for Online Solicitation of a Minor
Online solicitation of a minor is a felony offense that requires you to register as a sex offender. Being convicted of the crime impact your life long after your time has been served and the fines have been paid. To ensure this doesn’t happen to you, contact The Gonzalez Law Group.
We have over 70 years of collective experience defending clients of sex crimes in Harris County. We vow to aggressively fight for you to try to achieve an outcome that is in your favor. We defend clients in all areas of Harris County such as Friendswood, Webster, Deer Park, League City, and many more.
Schedule a time to speak with us more about your case. Call (832) 530 4070 or submit your information in the online contact form.