Dallas Solicitation of a Minor Attorney
Online solicitation of a minor with intent to commit a sexual act with that minor is among the most targeted and investigated criminal activities by state and federal law enforcement. Online solicitation is usually in the form of contact by email, instant messaging, social media, or other use of the Internet. The contact with a minor becomes a crime when the conversation is of a sexual nature to where it appears the contacting person is communicating in a sexually explicit manner to the minor.
In Texas, an individual can be charged with online solicitation of a minor if:
- The accused individual is age 17 or older
- The accused acted with the intent to arouse sexual desire
- The communications happened online
- The accused intentionally communicated in a sexually explicit manner with a minor or provided sexually explicit material
The law regarding these serious crimes is complicated, and the punishments can be severe. If you have been charged with soliciting a minor online in the greater Dallas area, the best thing you can do is to hire a skilled and experienced criminal defense lawyer.
At Law Offices of Mark T. Lassiter, Dallas sex crimes lawyer Mark T. Lassiter has successfully helped clients facing these charges get favorable results for over 20 years. We can investigate your case, gather evidence, and build a defense strategy for you. Call Law Offices of Mark T. Lassiter today at (214) 845-7007 to schedule a confidential consultation.
Do I Need a Solicitation of a Minor Lawyer?
When enforcement agencies investigate the online solicitation of minors, they typically do so with undercover sting operations. This often happens in online chat rooms or social media sites where law enforcement officers pose as minors. These operations may take several months or longer, so that police can collect evidence to build a case against someone. Having an experienced Dallas criminal defense lawyer involved early on in the process may help stop charges from being filed in the first place.
If you have reason to believe that you are under investigation, or you have been arrested for online solicitation of a minor, contact Law Offices of Mark T. Lassiter as soon as you can. Dallas criminal defense lawyer Mark T. Lassiter will aggressively defend your rights. You need a knowledgeable and highly skilled sex crime attorney to provide defenses against your charges. Mr. Lassiter has over two decades of experience representing Texans accused of online solicitation of a minor. As a former state prosecutor, Mr. Lassiter is well-equipped to anticipate the prosecutor’s actions and successfully negotiate on your behalf.
At Law Offices of Mark T. Lassiter, we fight tirelessly to protect the legal rights of our clients accused of online solicitation of a minor, often by getting charges reduced or even them dismissed altogether. We also have won acquittals for clients.
Defenses against a solicitation of a minor charge can include:
- The defendant was no more than three years older than the minor, and the minor consented to the behavior; or
- The defendant was married to the minor at the time of the offense
Therefore, sexually explicit messages, or “sexts,” between a 19-year-old and their 16-year-old significant other would not necessarily be grounds for a conviction, as long as the 16-year-old consented to the conduct.
An experienced lawyer may be able to prove entrapment. An attorney could show that the defendant was illegally entrapped by police officers who were posing as children online. With these sting operations, law enforcement officers often walk a fine line between attracting criminal activity and actually encouraging it.
It’s worth noting that Texas law does not require that the prosecution prove a defendant actually had the intent to engage in the sex act itself. The law also does not require an actual meeting to take place.
Why Choose Law Offices of Mark T. Lassiter to Handle My Case?
Dallas criminal defense attorney Mark T. Lassiter, the founder of Law Offices of Mark T. Lassiter, has been defending those accused of sex crimes for more than two decades. A former prosecutor for the Dallas County District Attorney’s office, Mr. Lassiter has experience handling a wide variety of sex crimes cases, including online solicitation of a minor. Mr. Lassiter treats every criminal case he takes with the same level of dedication – from petty crimes to the most serious felonies. He knows what it takes to win a trial, and he is committed to fighting for the results you want.
A highly esteemed and respected attorney in his field, Mr. Lassiter brings a wide range of qualifications to your criminal case, including:
- Former Dallas County Prosecutor
- Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association
- Dallas Bar Association
- Dallas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association
- Dallas Association for Young Lawyers – Criminal Law Committee
- Board Member under Dallas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association
- Elected as a Texas SuperLawyer
- Recognized as one of the Top 100 Trial Lawyers
Mr. Lassiter graduated with honors from Texas A&M University, earning his degree in Business Management. After that, he attended the South Texas College of Law, where he was an important member of their successful Mock Trial program. Through this program, Mark honed the skills needed to become a successful trial lawyer.
Mr. Lassiter is proud to represent his clients with the same passion and care as if they are family. While he is dedicated to getting the best possible results for his clients, he is always straightforward and realistic with his clients when discussing their legal options. Mr. Lassiter believes that because he treats clients with compassion and respect, and due to the and the favorable results he obtains, when a client hires him, they are clients for life. No matter the criminal case, clients know they can call on Law Offices of Mark T. Lassiter any time, and we are there for them to do what it takes to make sure they are taken care of.
If you or a loved one has been charged with online solicitation of a minor, allow Law Offices of Mark T. Lassiter to take the burden off your shoulders so you can carry on with your life. We know you are going through a very difficult and stressful time, so please allow us to handle everything involved with your case. With Law Offices of Mark T. Lassiter, you can rest assured you are in qualified hands, and all your concerns will be handled fully and properly.
Types of Cases We Handle
At Law Offices of Mark T. Lassiter, we handle all cases involving sex crimes against minors. In addition to online solicitation of a minor, our experienced criminal defense attorneys represent clients facing charges for:
- Sale, distribution, or display of harmful material to a minor
- Indecency with a child (by contact)
- Indecency with a child (by exposure)
- Sexual performance by a child
- Sexual abuse of a child
- Possession or distribution of child pornography
- Sexual assault on a child
- Improper photography offense
- Child molestation
Texas Penal Code Section 33.01 and U.S. federal code prohibit the online solicitation of minors to engage in sexual activity. This includes any type of electronic means of communication with an individual who is under the age of 17.
Under Texas law, online solicitation of a minor is a third-degree felony with possible punishments including:
- A fine of up to $10,000
- A prison sentence of 2 to 10 years
If the minor was under the age of 14, the charge becomes a second-degree felony, and the penalties are more severe. Those punishments include:
- A fine of up to $10,000
- 2 to 20 years in prison
Individuals convicted of online solicitation of a minor in Texas are required to register as a sex offender, which can have a negative impact on career prospects. Such a conviction would go on a permanent criminal record, which will be seen by any potential employer when running a background check. Persons convicted of online solicitation of a minor may also not qualify for student loans, and they could lose their right to own a firearm.
Contact a Dallas Solicitation of a Minor Lawyer
Online solicitation of a minor is a serious crime that carries severe penalties. In order to avoid the steep penalties for these sex crimes, it takes a highly skilled and experienced Dallas sex crimes defense lawyer to analyze the facts and circumstances of the case and pinpoint inconsistencies in the prosecution’s case. A qualified Dallas sex crimes defense attorney who is able to build a solid defense can significantly impact the outcome of your case.
Attorney Mark T. Lassiter has a deep knowledge of state and federal statutes regarding sex crimes, and he will scrutinize all the facts of your case. If he finds that a sting operation was conducted unlawfully, evidence was hidden, or police officers infringed upon your rights, he will fight diligently to have your charges dismissed.
If you have been accused of solicitation of a minor in the greater Dallas area, contact Law Offices of Mark T. Lassiter today to ensure that you have a knowledgeable and seasoned criminal defense lawyer on your side. Call (214) 845-7007 today to schedule a confidential consultation.