Attorney for Soliciting Minors Online
With the rise of the Internet, it is easier than ever to connect with people all over the world. While ease of communication can be a good thing, it is beginning to lead to complex crimes that are not very easy to understand, prosecute, and defend. Soliciting a person for any type of sexual activity is a crime, but federal law and Oklahoma state law set particular penalties for the solicitation of minors. Soliciting a minor online is an incredibly serious offense and prosecutors pursue these cases ferociously. If you are under investigation for or charged with solicitation of minors online, you need to immediately contact an experienced criminal defense attorney. We represent individuals charged with soliciting minors online, and we can protect your rights and pursue the best course of action for resolution.
Child Solicitation In Oklahoma
Under Oklahoma law, anyone that makes an “oral, written or electronically or computer-generated lewd or indecent proposal to any child under sixteen (16) years of age, or other individual the person believes to be a child under sixteen (16) years of age” has committed a felony. It is incredibly important to understand that the way the law is written prevents the accused from using the “legal impossibility” defense. When law enforcement engages in online sting operations, they pretend to be minors online. This means if they succeed in netting an adult trying to solicit a minor, the perpetrator hasn’t actually solicited a minor, only an adult posing as a minor. In other states, individuals charged as the result of sting operations often use this defense, stating no crime has occurred because they weren’t communicating with children. This defense will not work in Oklahoma. It does not matter whether or not the person was in fact a minor, just that the perpetrator believed the person to be a minor. Because this common defense is not applicable in Oklahoma, it will take an experienced child solicitation lawyer with a track record of success to resolve your case favorably.
Anytime a law enforcement agency sets up a sting operation with the intent to find and charge individuals for soliciting minors online, they must follow strict procedures. Unfortunately, law enforcement doesn’t always do so. When law enforcement fails to follow these procedures, it may give rise to an entrapment defense. Entrapment occurs when law enforcement induces a person to commit a crime they otherwise would not have committed. Law enforcement officials conducting sting operations often cross over the line into entrapment, and when they do an experienced criminal defense attorney can protect the accused’s rights.
Penalties for Soliciting Minors Online
The penalties for soliciting minors online are very severe. For example, if the minor was under the age of 12, there is a mandatory minimum sentence of 25 years in the state penitentiary. Because the Internet allows people around the world to communicate, it also opens the door for federal charges to be filed, thus giving rise to even more severe mandatory minimum sentences and fines.
In addition to serving lengthy prison sentences, individuals convicted of soliciting a minor online will have to register as a sex offender. This can make it extremely difficult for individuals to live a normal life after completing the sentence imposed. As a registered sex offender, individuals have an extremely difficult time finding jobs and places to live, among other opportunities.
What To Do If You’ve Been Charged With Soliciting A Minor Online
Many people charged with soliciting a minor online waive their rights and do things to hurt their cases. If you have been arrested for soliciting a minor online, do not speak with law enforcement without a lawyer present. You may feel the need to explain your side of the story, but you will likely end up just jeopardizing your case. The best thing you can do is to call an experienced Oklahoma online child solicitation lawyer.
Oklahoma City Online Child Solicitation Lawyers
Our entire legal team works to get you the best possible outcome for your case. We work closely with you to explain your options and the legal process. Contact us today to schedule an appointment with our dedicated criminal defense attorney.