Fort Bend Online Solicitation of a Minor Defense Lawyer

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In our digital world, there are many ways to contact people on the Internet. It is easier than ever before for people to mask their identity and hide their age, so you might find yourself talking to someone who is younger than you think. If you find yourself charged with the online solicitation of a minor in Fort Bend, Texas, you should be prepared to face felony charges. For the greatest possible case outcome, consider retaining a Fort Bend online solicitation of a minor defense attorney.

This kind of charge means that you might have to spend years in prison, register as a sex offender, and pay large sums of money in fines. If you want to avoid this fate, you will need to get in touch with a seasoned criminal defense attorney, like those of Segura & Kiatta, LLP, to fight for you.

What Is Online Solicitation of a Minor in Fort Bend?

When you are accused of trying to solicit something from someone, you are accused of trying to convince them to do something. The crime of soliciting a minor refers to trying to convince them to engage in sexual communication or actions.

In Texas court, there are two types of charges you might encounter for online solicitation of a minor. The state considers a minor any person the accused believed to be under the age of 17, as it considers anyone under seventeen to be incapable of consenting to sexual activity.

  • Section 33.021(b): If you are accused of intentionally communicating in a sexual manner with a minor or distributing sexually explicit content like photos or videos to a minor, this is a crime regardless of the form that you used to communicate.
  • Section 33.021(c): If you are accused of attempting to solicit a minor to meet for sexual purposes, you can be charged with this even if this meeting did not happen and was only proposed and even if the minor turned out to be an undercover police officer who impersonated a child.

You might be shocked to learn that the person you were talking to was not of consensual age. However, even if the minor lied to you about how old they were or if you thought that you were in no way soliciting them, you can still be accused of this crime.

It is important to understand the penalties that you can face for these actions and your possible routes for a strong defense or getting charges dismissed. Time is not your friend in this situation, so you should get in contact with a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible to consult about what happened and what legal steps you should take to proceed.

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

The Texas legal system takes all charges surrounding child abuse, family violence, and any sort of sexual or indecent contact with a child extremely seriously. If you are found guilty of online solicitation of a minor in Texas, the punishments you will face will depend on the exact circumstances involved in your case, but you can expect high fines and jail time. In some situations, the punishment could be up to life in prison.

You can also expect that your reputation will be forever bruised, and you will struggle to maintain social connections as a registered sex offender.

For example, the court typically considers the online solicitation of a minor to be a third-degree felony. This means that the punishment will involve spending somewhere between two and ten years in prison and a monetary fine of up to $10,000. However, if the minor was younger than fourteen, you can expect to be charged with a second-degree felony. This means that you will face a more intense penalty, such as a prison sentence that stretches between two and twenty years.

In addition to the fines and time you will have to spend living behind bars, you will have to deal with other consequences for this conviction. For example, no matter what level of felony you are convicted of, you will also have to register as a sex offender. This can have a permanent impact on your reputation that inhibits your ability to get a job, find a place to live, and maintain social relationships.

What Is the Statute of Limitations on Online Solicitation in Texas?

You will find that there are a lot of crimes that have a statute of limitations in Texas. If a crime has a statute of limitations, it means that a person only has a limited amount of time to report it. In Texas, a person has three years to file a complaint about the online solicitation of a minor. This means that a brief communication from the past can come back to haunt you a few years down the line.

Why Is a Criminal Defense Attorney Important?

If you are found guilty of soliciting a minor online, your life will never be the same. Your optimal approach for fighting the charges is to get in touch with a criminal defense attorney who works in child sex crimes. They will be familiar with how to navigate such intense cases and how to craft a strong defense for you when it might seem as if the legal system is working against you. Potential strategies that your criminal defense lawyer may use to stand up for you include:

  • Proving Lack of Intent: It is possible that the accuser misinterpreted your interactions or took your messages out of context. If this is the case, then your lawyer can carefully select and present the evidence to the court to show that you are being wrongly accused.
  • Proving That the Minor Hid Their Age: In some cases, your lawyer will be able to prove that the person you communicated with went to great lengths to lie about their age and conceal their real one.
  • Showing That It’s a Situation of Entrapment: Sometimes, police officers try to trap people. Although this is a complicated defense, your lawyer might be able to use this in your favor, depending on the circumstances.
  • You Are Less Than Three Years Older: In the event that you are less than three years older than the minor and the communication you exchanged was consensual, your lawyer can use this as a legitimate defense. Texas law recognizes this as a legitimate age difference for such communication.

In addition to crafting a defense strategy that can help prove you are not guilty, there is so much more that a criminal defense attorney can do for you when facing felony charges. For instance, your lawyer can help you with all of the following:

  • Navigating the Legal System: The Texas legal system is complicated. Your lawyer can help you understand what to expect as you go through the various stages of the legal process for your case, which will be unique depending on how you choose to plead.
  • Answer Your Questions: You are sure to have a lot of specific inquiries related to your circumstances. Your lawyer can take the time to listen to all of your concerns and ensure you understand everything you need to know about the situation you are in.

You might also, understandably, be concerned about how this might impact people around you, such as your friends, family, and business partners. Your attorney can help you understand how the impact of these charges might trickle into other areas of your life and what steps you can take to prevent these aftershocks.

  • Gather Relevant Evidence: After you consult with your lawyer about the circumstances of your case, they will be able to get a sense of what evidence will make for a strong defense.

For instance, your lawyer might reach out to witnesses, secure records of your online communication, and conduct research on the minor to see if their claims are credible. They will make sure to search for as much evidence as they possibly can to create a compelling defense.

  • Be a Fierce Negotiator: The right criminal defense lawyer will be an effective negotiator who can strategically advocate for your rights. They will conduct thorough research on your case and use specific evidence that aims to help you secure the optimal outcome.
  • Fight for You in Court: Not all cases of online solicitation will go to trial. In fact, it is likely that your case can be worked out through negotiation. However, in the event that you do have to go to the courtroom, your lawyer can fight their hardest to deliver a convincing argument.

An Experienced Fort Bend Criminal Defense Attorney in Your Corner

Facing charges for the online solicitation of a minor can be frightening. Your mind might be swirling with a million thoughts, from worries about legal fees to fears about how you can defend yourself when it comes to online actions. You do not have to go through any of this alone. Segura & Kiatta, LLP, is here to give you peace of mind and address any questions and concerns you have about your situation and how it might have an impact on your future.

Segura and Kiatta are experienced, dependable criminal defense lawyers who have a top track record when it comes to standing up for clients accused of sex crimes. While you might be facing a social stigma for charges surrounding the solicitation of a minor, Segura & Kiatta, LLP, can approach your case with zero judgment and complete respect as they plan out your defense. Contact our firm today.

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