Internet Solicitation to Minors
Legal Defense for Internet Solicitation to Minors Charges Serving Los Lunas, Santa Fe and all of New Mexico
The virtual nature and anonymity of the internet creates much confusion when it comes to the charge of online solicitation to minors. It is not uncommon for people to be wrongly accused and falsely charged of internet solicitation to minors, and we are here to help. Don’t lose your civil rights and freedoms for something you never did. Instead, choose to fight wrongful accusations with an experienced defense attorney.
What is Internet Solicitation to Minors?
In the internet age, online solicitation of minors for sexual purposes is one of the most heavily investigated and highly targeted activities by both federal and state law enforcement agencies. Online solicitation is usually conducted through e-mail, instant messaging, social media, chat rooms, webcams, and other digital channels of communication. While it is not illegal to merely contact an underage person on the internet, it becomes a violation of federal and state law when the nature of the conversation turns sexually explicit.
The Severity of Internet Solicitation to Minors Charges
If you have been accused of internet solicitation to minors, it is important to understand the severity of these charges. If convicted, you could face serious jail time, as well as the loss of your civil rights and freedoms. Internet solicitation of a minor is considered a sexually related offense, meaning a defendant is required to register as a sex offender. This means consequences can extend well beyond the actual jail time served. Sex offenders often find it difficult to find employment opportunities, rent houses, and enjoy the many freedoms afforded to non-offenders.
If you have been falsely accused of internet solicitation to minors in Albuquerque, New Mexico, don’t settle for anything but justice. Sadly enough, you usually need more than just the truth when defending yourself against these serious charges. While you may be innocent, the court almost always errs on the side of a minor when dealing with sexually related accusations. You will need a lawyer that understands the intricacies of the legal system and can fight for your rights.
What to Do
In defending yourself, the most important thing you can do is act quickly and appropriately. While you may be tempted to defend yourself, remember what is at stake. Contact a qualified defense attorney to help you navigate the complicated legal system. A skilled lawyer will be able to place the burden of proof on the accuser and show your innocence in the midst of faulty accusations.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
How does a law enforcement “sting” operation work?
A law enforcement officer will pose as a minor online to bait you into soliciting him. This tactic might allow for an entrapment defense, which, if successful, would result in an acquittal. The entrapment defense is difficult to establish, however, so don’t count on it.
If I am guilty, should I just “plead guilty and get it over with”?
Don’t ever do this. Going to prison is an ordeal, especially for convicted sex offenders, and consequences will follow you even after you are released. The U.S. criminal justice system is adversarial, and you win by fighting back. Contact a lawyer.
Should I talk to the police after my arrest?
No. You should exercise your constitutional right to remain silent, even if you are innocent of the charge. If the police attempt to question you, telling them that you will not answer any further questions without your lawyer present will compel them to stop questioning you. Any voluntary statement you make, however, can be used against you in court.
Can I win an acquittal if the police failed to “read me my rights”?
It depends on the nature of the evidence against you. Since the justice system cannot use your own statements against you until the police read you your rights, whether you are convicted will depend on whether the prosecutor has enough evidence to convict you without relying on these statements.
I was charged with solicitation of a minor in a police “sting operation.” Can I defend myself by proving that the person who I was communicating with was an adult only posing as a minor?
No, it is no defense that the person you communicated with was not actually a minor, as long as you believed that this person was a minor.
What are some defenses against Internet solicitation of a minor?
Possible defenses include:
- You were entrapped (see next question).
- The evidence against you was improperly obtained (the police illegally eavesdropped on a private conversation, for example).
- You reasonably believed that the person you solicited was not a minor.
What is the entrapment defense?
The entrapment defense applies when a police officer or other representative of the government persuades you to commit a crime that you were not otherwise inclined to commit, and then arrests you for it. To mount a successful entrapment defense, you must show that you were not originally inclined to commit the crime. Simply being caught in a “sting” operation is not enough by itself to constitute an entrapment defense.
What are the conditions for registration as a sex offender if I am convicted of Internet solicitation of a minor?
You only have to register if you are over 18. New Mexico’s sex offender registration law requires you to register:
- within 10 days of your release from prison; and
- within 10 days after changing your residence at any time during the registration period.
The registration period is 10 years and applies if you live, work or study in the state. If you fail to register or provide false information, you can be charged with a fourth-degree felony.
If you have been accused of internet solicitation to minors in Albuquerque, New Mexico or the surrounding areas, don’t hesitate to contact us today. The New Mexico Criminal Law Offices have been serving clients for more than 15 years. We use bold and aggressive strategies to prove our clients’ innocence and work hard to make sure faultless people are not convicted for crimes they did not commit. Clearing your name is our number one priority, and we won’t stop until all resources have been exhausted. Our firm consists of two attorneys committed to a single goal. With years of courtroom experience, a distinguished team, and attention to detail, you won’t find a better defense attorney anywhere else in the state. Just ask the prosecutors and judges we interact with on a daily basis.
Whether it is one of our highly publicized cases featured on ABC News, CBS News, and BBC World News, or any of the hundreds of other cases we represent, we promise to work hard for you. Reach out to us today and we would be happy to set up a free initial consultation to answer any questions or concerns you may have.