Man in prison

What Qualifies as Solicitation of a Minor?

Zachary McCready Jan. 14, 2022

A charge of solicitation of a minor is taken very seriously in the state of California, as are other sex-related crimes. In 2020 alone, over 4,000 people were arrested for a sexual offense. However, like any charge, there are many factors to take into consideration. I know from experience that not all those charged with this crime had the intent to do harm, and in many cases, they could have been rightfully confused about the event.

If you’re facing charges of underage solicitation and are in the Long Beach, California area, call me today to discuss your best course of action. I’ve committed my practice at the ​​McCready Law Group to providing honest and comprehensive legal advice for all my clients, regardless of the crimes they’re accused of.

Solicitation of a Minor in California

Solicitation of a minor refers to communication that an adult has with a minor attempting to lure the minor into a sexual encounter or for “lewd purposes.” This unlawful contact with a minor can occur in person, over the phone, or online. And, you can still be charged even if you never met the minor in person, had a sexual encounter with them, or if they turned out to be over the age of 18. If you believed you were soliciting a minor at the time of the incident, then you can be charged with this crime. In our modern world, these charges are seen most often in online solicitation of a minor, which makes these cases much more complicated to prosecute or defend. This makes it all the more necessary to hire a criminal defense attorney for help.

Possible Defenses

Because many of these charges are brought about from internet correspondence, or instances in which the defendant has never met the alleged victim, it can often be hard to ascertain their true age. One defense strategy you may choose to employ is that you didn’t know the victim was a minor and were under the impression that they were of legal age to give their consent. Another defense is that although you did have contact with the victim, there was no solicitation involved and you never intended to engage in a sexual act with them. With this defense, you could claim you were falsely accused of the crime. Lastly, you may feel that you were entrapped by law enforcement and that without their interference, you would have never committed the crime. This is perhaps the most complicated defense to mount, but if done by an experienced attorney, can be effective and may result in an acquittal.

Possible Penalties

If you’re found guilty of soliciting a minor, the penalties can be harsh and far-reaching. In California, this crime can be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony and this depends on the specifics of your case. If you have prior sexual convictions or if you actually followed through and met with the minor, you could face a more serious felony charge. A felony conviction could bring with it a hefty fine, state prison time, and felony probation. If you’re convicted of a misdemeanor, you’ll face potential fines, county jail time, and misdemeanor probation. In both instances, you will have to register as a sex offender. Misdemeanor convictions require registration of 10 years, while felony convictions require lifetime registration.

At McCready Law Group, I’m On Your Side

If you’ve been arrested for soliciting a minor, it’s essential that you contact an experienced attorney right away to start working on your defense. The implications of a conviction can be severely damaging not only in fines and jail time but for the lasting effects of being a registered sex offender. Call me at McCready Law Group today to set up a consultation if you’re in the Long Beach, California area including Cypress Hill and Lakewood.

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