Online Solicitation of a Minor

If you are facing charges for online solicitation of a minor, it is important for you to understand that Penal Code Section 33.012(b) has been ruled to be unconstitutional. That portion of the Online Solicitation of a Minor statute in Texas can no longer be used to prosecute an individual.

The other sections of this statute are still valid.

What is Online Solicitation of a Minor in Texas?

Online solicitation of a minor is essentially using the internet to set up a meeting with a minor with the intent that the minor will engage in sexual conduct.

What legal defenses apply to Online Solicitation of a Minor in Texas?

It is not a defense that:

1. the meeting did not occur;
2. the accused did not mean for a meeting to occur;
3. the actor was only fantasizing about the meeting occurring.

It is a legal defense if the accused was married to the minor, or if the accused was not more than three years older than the minor and the minor consented to the conduct.

Online Solicitation of a Minor is a second degree felony, carrying a punishment range of two to twenty years and a fine of up to 10,000. Additionally, any plea to the alleged offense requires the defendant to register as a sex offender. This includes a plea that results in deferred adjudication.

Specifically, Texas Code of Criminal Procedure 62.001(5) requires anyone with a “reportable conviction or adjudication,” as defined in Tex. Crim. Pro. art. 62.001(5) to register as a sex offender. Tex. Crim. Pro. Code art. 62.001(5) provides as follows: Reportable conviction or adjudication” means a conviction or adjudication, including an adjudication of delinquent conduct or a deferred adjudication, that, regardless of the pendency of an appeal, is a conviction for or an adjudication for or based on:

(J) a violation of Section 33.021 (Online solicitation of a minor), Penal Code.

What is the Punishment for Online Solicitation of a Minor in Texas?

Online Solicitation of a Minor is a second degree felony, carrying a punishment range of two to twenty years and a fine of up to 10,000. Additionally, any plea to the alleged offense requires the defendant to register as a sex offender. This includes a plea that results in deferred adjudication.

Specifically, Texas Code of Criminal Procedure 62.001(5) requires anyone with a “reportable conviction or adjudication,” as defined in Tex. Crim. Pro. art. 62.001(5) to register as a sex offender. Tex. Crim. Pro. Code art. 62.001(5) provides as follows: Reportable conviction or adjudication” means a conviction or adjudication, including an adjudication of delinquent conduct or a deferred adjudication, that, regardless of the pendency of an appeal, is a conviction for or an adjudication for or based on:

(J) a violation of Section 33.021 (Online solicitation of a minor), Penal Code.

Contact us

Call us at (817) 203-2220 for a complimentary strategy session. Our team of former prosecutors and Board Certified Criminal Lawyers are here to help. During this call we will:

  • Discuss the facts of your case;
  • Discuss the legal issues involved, including the direct and collateral consequences of the allegation; and
  • Discuss the defenses that apply to your plan and in general terms discuss our approach to your case.

You can also contact us online:

 

Penal Code Section 33.021

(a)  In this section:

(1)  “Minor” means

(A)  an individual who represents himself or herself to be younger than 17 years of age; or

(B)  an individual whom the actor believes to be younger than 17 years of age.

(2)  “Sexual contact,” “sexual intercourse,” and “deviate sexual intercourse” have the meanings assigned by Section 21.01.

(3)  “Sexually explicit” means any communication, language, or material, including a photographic or video image, that relates to or describes sexual conduct, as defined by Section 43.25.

(b) Removed.

(c)  A person commits an offense if the person, over the Internet, by electronic mail or text message or other electronic message service or system, or through a commercial online service, knowingly solicits a minor to meet another person, including the actor, with the intent that the minor will engage in sexual contact, sexual intercourse, or deviate sexual intercourse with the actor or another person.

(d)  It is not a defense to prosecution under Subsection (c) that:

(1)  the meeting did not occur;

(2)  the actor did not intend for the meeting to occur; or

(3)  the actor was engaged in a fantasy at the time of commission of the offense.

(e)  It is a defense to prosecution under this section that at the time conduct described by Subsection (b) or (c) was committed:

(1)  the actor was married to the minor; or

(2)  the actor was not more than three years older than the minor and the minor consented to the conduct.

(f)  An offense under Subsection (b) is a felony of the third degree, except that the offense is a felony of the second degree if the minor is younger than 14 years of age or is an individual whom the actor believes to be younger than 14 years of age at the time of the commission of the offense.  An offense under Subsection (c) is a felony of the second degree.

(g)  If conduct that constitutes an offense under this section also constitutes an offense under any other law, the actor may be prosecuted under this section, the other law, or both.

What our clients say:

Varghese Summersett Sexual Assault Defense Review

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