Solicitation of a Minor on the Internet
Solicitation of minors for sexual purposes on the Internet is an issue that has grown immensely in the past decade. It is a crime that has garnered a great deal of attention; newsmagazine shows highlight “stings” of alleged sexual predators, and the government and advocacy groups widely distribute information to help parents protect their kids. The consequences of a conviction for soliciting a minor on the Internet can be very serious. If you have been involved in or are accused of soliciting a minor, contact an attorney from Blanch Law Firm P.C. in New York, New york, who will explain your rights.
What Is Solicitation of a Minor?
Solicitation of a minor for sexual purposes occurs when an adult contacts a victim, who is under the age of 18, with the intent of engaging in sexual activity with the victim. If the adult does engage in a sexual act with a minor, that is a separate offense.
The details of the law vary by state, and federal law often applies. An attorney can advise you of your state’s specific law.
How Parents Can Help Protect Their Children
Even though plenty of laws and initiatives are aimed at protecting children while they are online, parents play a major role, too. Children can access instant messaging, chat rooms, bulletin boards and email from home, the library and their friends’ homes. While it helps to install protective software on the home computer, parents should also speak with their children about online safety.
It is important to explain to children that online strangers are just like real-life strangers; it is not appropriate to give them personal information. Parents should ask their kids to show them which websites they visit. Finally, children must understand that they should never arrange a meeting with someone they met online.
If You Have Been Charged with Solicitation of a Minor
When a law enforcement official poses as a minor on the Internet and the person who communicated with the official is subsequently charged with solicitation of a minor for sexual purposes, it is not a defense that the official was not actually a minor. If the defendant reasonably believed that the official was a minor, that is enough.
Which defenses you and your attorney ultimately choose to use will depend on the facts of the case and the state in which the events allegedly took place. It is essential to take a proactive stance to assert your best defense as soon as possible.
Contact an Attorney
A conviction for solicitation of a minor for sexual purposes can have severe consequences. In addition to the legal consequences, the social effect can be devastating. Speaking with an experienced lawyer who can help you sort out your rights and options could make all the difference. Contact an attorney from Blanch Law Firm P.C. in New York, New york, for legal advice.
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