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Pennsylvania Solicitation Lawyer
Solicitation of prostitution is a specific-intent crime. In order to convict a suspect, the prosecution must prove the suspect made a serious attempt to engage in prostitution by either offering money for sexual acts or providing sex acts for compensation. It occurs whenever a person uses words, actions, or any type of conduct in a clear attempt to engage in prostitution. If you have been charged with this offense, it is important to speak with an experienced Pennsylvania solicitation lawyer as soon as possible.
Solicitation Charges in Pennsylvania
The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania does not require you to engage in the intended sex act. But your “solicitation” must go beyond simple displays, general statement of availability, or common communications. You must openly seek the services of a prostitute, or the prostitute must offer services, compensation must be directly offered – or asked for – to be charged with solicitation of prostitution. Solicitation can also include any overt attempt to entice or induce another person to commit prostitution.
Solicitation is typically a misdemeanor in Pennsylvania but it may be charged as a felony in some situations. In many cases, a person who stops to ask directions, or is circling the wrong block looking for a parking spot, can technically be stopped for soliciting prostitution. That is another reason why it is important to consult with a Pennsylvania solicitation lawyer to discuss your options.
Online Solicitation and Sexual Solicitation of a Minor
Online solicitation of a minor is a sex crime that law enforcement takes very seriously. Even a mere accusation could damage your reputation, harm you career and chances for employment and if convicted, rob you of your freedom. The crime will also be on your criminal record and you may be required to register as a convicted sex offender.
Solicitation of sex with a minor is a felony in Pennsylvania. The penalties are extremely harsh. The prosecution is much less likely to accept a plea bargain because in doing so, that lower plea may not require the guilty offender to register as a sex offender or the defendant may be removed from that database sooner than prosecution wants. Few judges offer leniency when sentencing convicted underage sex offenders of any type.
Depending on the circumstances, there are several avenues of prosecution for sexual solicitation of a minor. Most commonly in Pennsylvania, it is filed as a Corruption of Minors of a Sexual Nature charge which brings a prison sentence of no more than 10 years and a fine of $10,000 if found guilty. If one uses the Internet to solicit minors for sexual activity that is usually considered a federal crime which carries a minimum of 10 years in federal prison and conceivably, a life sentence – just for solicitation.
If the adult engages in a sexual act with the solicited minor, that is a separate and equally serious offense. Because online solicitation of a minor involves the Internet and computers, the forensic evidence used in criminal court is highly technical in nature. The prosecution builds its case through an exhaustive investigation of the defendant’s hard drive and online history.
A conviction for solicitation of a minor for sexual purposes can have severe consequences. In addition to the sentence (and possible fines), the social effect can be devastating. Speaking with an experienced Pennsylvania solicitation lawyer who can help you understand your legal rights and options can make a difference to your future.
Hiring a Pennsylvania Solicitation Lawyer
Which defenses you and your attorney ultimately select depend on the facts of the case. It is essential to take a proactive stance as soon as possible by contacting a reputable Pennsylvania solicitation lawyer.
It is important for your attorney to accurately investigate and aggressively challenge the highly-technical forensic evidence. Have you been accused of chat room solicitation, or trying to lure a minor in another way via the internet? Your attorney will investigate all physical evidence, how law officials’ searches and seizures were conducted, and other methods used to build the prosecutions’ case. This is important to evaluate whether your rights as a citizen were violated.
Establishing a solid foundation for the defense of solicitation charges can be difficult. But the prosecution has the burden of clearly proving your guilt beyond all reasonable doubt. Creating even the smallest doubt in the minds of the judge and jury can have a profound impact on the final decision.
Call a seasoned Pennsylvania solicitation lawyer today for a free consultation.