Denton law enforcement recently revealed that a former sergeant with the Denton County Sheriff’s Office was arrested due to violation of child sex law. The man’s arrest occurred due to a joint investigation between the Texas Department of Public Safety and the Tarrant County Sheriff’s Office. The man was promptly terminated from his position at the Sheriff’s office. Charged with online solicitation of a minor, the man was detained in the Tarrant county jail. Online solicitation of a minor is a serious charge in the state of Texas that involves a person who commits sexual abuse against minors originating with activity on the internet. Being convicted of these charges can result in serious penalties, including lengthy prison sentences, which is why it is important that people in this situation obtain the assistance of strong legal representation.
Texas Laws Concerning Online Solicitation of a Minor
Law in the state of Texas (Texas Penal Code Section 33.021) classifies online solicitation of a minor as a felony, which means that being convicted of the offense can result in a person facing up to 20 years in prison and a fine of $10,000. It is important to emphasize that the state of Texas views any type of communication (including images and videos) as sexually explicit if they describe or relate to sexual activity. As a result, online solicitation can involve cell phones, chat rooms, email, instant messaging internet phones, texts, and many other types of digital communication.
Potential Defense to a Charge of Online Solicitation
There are often few defenses that a person can raise in responses to a charge of online solicitation of a minor other than establishing that someone else is responsible for the activity in question.
A person, however, can not use lack of an actual meeting between the adult and a minor as a defense. A person is also able to create a defense by arguing that he or she did not have the intention to follow through with engaging in sexual activity with the minor.
Instead, many legal strategies in response to online solicitation charges involve establishing one of several mitigating factors, which if successfully argued, will result in a person facing much less severe penalties. One potential mitigating factor is if the defendant was married to the minor. Another potential defense is if the defendant was less than three years older than the minor and the minor consented to the activity.
Obtain the Assistance of a Skilled Criminal Defense Attorney
Online solicitation of a minor is a serious charge in the state of Texas that can result in a variety complications which forever change a person’s life. If you find yourself facing this or any other type of criminal charge in Denton or the surrounding area, consider contacting the seasoned legal representation at Wheeler Law Office. Our law firm has successfully helped people charged with a number of serious criminal offenses. Speak with our legal counsel today for a free evaluation of your case. We understand how overwhelming criminal cases can be and will remain committed to fighting for the best possible results.
(image courtesy of Glenn Carstens Peters)