Online Solicitation of a Minor in Texas
The general Online Solicitation of a Minor Law and full text can be found in section 33.021 of the Texas Penal Code.
You can be charged with Online Solicitation of a Minor in Texas if you are 17 years old or older with the intent to commit a child sex crime in person, over the internet, by email, text message, or any other electronic message system or service intentionally:
- Communicates in a sexually explicit manner with a minor, OR
- Distributes sexually explicit material to a minor
A charge of Online Solicitation of a Minor is a 3rd Degree Felony (see below). However, it is a 2nd Degree Felony if the minor was under 14 years old or is an individual who you believe to be under 14.
You can also be charged with Online Solicitation of a Minor in Texas if you over the internet, by email, or text message, or any type of electronic message or service, knowingly solicit a minor to meet you or someone else, with the intent that the minor will engage in sexual contact, sexual intercourse, or deviate sexual intercourse with you or another person.
A charge of Online Solicitation of a Minor under this section is a 2nd Degree Felony (see below).
Defenses for Online Solicitation of a Minor
- You were married to the minor
- You were not more than 3 years older than the minor and the minor consented to the conduct.
It is NOT a defense that the meeting never occurred
What do I do if I am charged with Online Solicitation of a Minor in Texas?
An Online Solicitation of a Minor case has the potential to change your life forever. It is crucial to have someone representing YOU. There will be law enforcement and District Attorneys ready to send you to prison, you need someone to protect you.
More often than not, when you are charged with online solicitation of a minor, you were never talking to a child in the first place. That does not matter. Even if you were talking to a 45 year old male officer, if you thought you were talking to a minor, then that is all that matters.
Because most of these cases are sting operations there will be a ton of evidence that we will need to go through. We often also employ computer experts to review the evidence to make sure that they can prove that it was you behind the computer.
I have seen cases before where innocent people were charged because others were using their phone/computer, and they just so happened to be in the car when the “meet-up” happened. Or other cases where no meet up ever happened, and a warrant was placed for the arrest of the “owner” of the phone.