Solicitation of a minor is a serious federal crime. There are more ways to be charged with solicitation of a minor than you might think.
Now that more and more sex trafficking takes place online, there are stricter punishments for online solicitation and other related crimes.
If you are charged with solicitation of a minor, online or otherwise, it is important that you understand the laws around this charge.
Keep reading, and we’ll give you a quick guide to the penalties for solicitation of a minor.
What Is Solicitation of a Minor?
Solicitation of a minor is the crime of conspiring to get a minor to prostitute themselves. The penalties are harsh whether you are directly involved in any sexual activity or not.
Minor solicitation can be more than just trading sex for money; if anything at all is exchanged for sexual activity (including food or housing, for example), you can be in violation of the law.
You can also violate solicitation law if you do not engage in any sexual activity, but you facilitate sex between a minor and an adult.
Penalties for Criminal Solicitation of a Minor
The punishments for criminal solicitation of a minor depend on the minor’s age and the presence of force, fraud, or coercion. If a minor was under the age of 14 when the crime took place, you can face a minimum of 15 years in prison.
Force, fraud, and/or coercion are not necessary for a conviction when the victim is a minor.
However, if they are present, your sentence can be between 15 years and life in prison.
Online Solicitation of a Minor
Now that online communication is easier than ever, it is also easier to be convicted of online solicitation of a minor. Even if all your interactions with a minor take place online, you can violate federal child sex trafficking laws.
Communicating with a minor online with the intent to solicit them for prostitution violates the law.
Exchanging money or other goods for virtual sexual favors also violates the law.
Penalties for Online Solicitation
Online solicitation is defined under the same law that handles other minor solicitation issues. The penalty for online solicitation of a minor is a minimum of ten years in prison.
Like any other solicitation charge, online minor solicitation with someone who is under the age of 14 will result in a harsher penalty.
If you use force, fraud, or coercion while communicating with a minor online, your punishment will also be harsher.
Stay Safe and Know the Law
If you’re charged with solicitation of a minor, the best thing you can do is contact a lawyer as soon as possible. These charges are serious, but with the right help, there’s hope.
The best way to keep yourself safe from solicitation charges is to understand and follow the law.
For more legal tips, check out the rest of our blog.