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What Qualifies as Solicitation of a Minor?

Chahine Legal LLC Jan. 29, 2024

Metal handcuffs near judge gavelFacing charges related to the solicitation of a minor can be incredibly stressful and confusing. The legal process can be overwhelming, and without proper guidance, it is easy to feel lost. We recognize that if you or a loved one is facing these charges, you may be going through an emotionally difficult period, fraught with fear and uncertainty. It's essential to remember that you're not alone in this, and it's okay to seek guidance and support.  

At Chahine Legal LLC, located in the heart of Lawrence, Kansas, I'm here to serve clients throughout Olathe, Overland Park, Lenexa, and various areas in Kansas and Missouri. I'm committed to providing you with the support and guidance you need during these difficult times. Reach out to me today, and let's start working towards a resolution together. 

Understanding Solicitation  

Solicitation typically refers to the act of enticing, encouraging, or persuading someone to commit an illegal act. When it comes to solicitation of a minor, this usually involves an adult attempting to engage a person under the age of consent in sexual activities. 

Key Elements of Solicitation of a Minor  

There are several key elements that must be proven by the prosecution in a case of solicitation of a minor. Firstly, there must be proof that the defendant intended to engage in sexual conduct with a minor. Secondly, the defendant must have taken some action to carry out this intent, such as contacting the minor or arranging a meeting. 

Kansas Age of Consent Laws 

In Kansas, the age of consent is 16 years old. This means that according to Kansas consent laws, any individual aged 16 or older has the legal capacity to participate in sexual activities willingly. However, anyone under the age of 16 is legally considered incapable of giving informed consent to engage in such activities.  

Solicitation of a minor is defined as enticing, commanding, inviting, persuading, or attempting to persuade a child to commit a sexual act or enter a place with the intent to commit a sexual act. The law differentiates between children of different ages. 

For instance, indecent solicitation of a child refers to situations where the child involved is either 14 or 15 years old. On the other hand, if the child is 13 years old or younger, the charges escalate to aggravated indecent solicitation of a child.  

These distinctions are vital to understand because they directly impact the severity of the charges and potential legal consequences.  

Difference Between Solicitation and Attempt  

While both terms, solicitation and attempt, involve the intention of committing a crime, they are differentiated by certain factors. Solicitation is primarily concerned with communicative actions used to persuade or encourage someone to participate in criminal activities. It may not necessarily involve tangible steps towards the actual execution of the crime. For instance, if an adult is caught persuading a minor to engage in illicit activities, it may be classified as solicitation even if no meeting took place or no explicit actions were undertaken to fulfill the illicit intent. 

On the contrary, an attempt is more action-oriented and is considered a more serious offense. It signifies that the person has gone beyond mere planning or solicitation and has taken definite steps towards committing the crime, even if the crime was not ultimately completed. Using the same example, if an adult arranges a meeting with the intention of engaging in sexual conduct with a minor, even if the meeting does not eventually happen, it could be classified as an attempt due to the concrete steps taken toward the fulfillment of the criminal intent. Therefore, the key distinction lies in the degree of action towards the crime's execution.  

Despite these differences, it's important to note that both charges, solicitation and attempt, carry serious penalties and require a thorough and well-prepared defense strategy. 

Online Solicitation of a Minor  

With the advent of the internet, online solicitation of a minor has become a growing concern. This involves using digital platforms to engage or attempt to engage a minor in sexual activities. It's important to note that even if no physical meeting occurred, charges can still be brought based on online communications alone. 

Legal Consequences  

The legal consequences of solicitation of a minor are severe. The exact penalties vary depending on the specific circumstances of the case and the jurisdiction in which it is being prosecuted, but some of these include: 

  • Imprisonment: A conviction for solicitation of a minor could result in a prison sentence ranging from a few years to life.  

  • Fines: The court may also impose significant fines, which can reach into the tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars. 

  • Registration as a Sex Offender: Convicted individuals are typically required to register as sex offenders, which involves providing their personal information to a public database. This can have long-lasting impacts on one's personal and professional life, such as difficulty finding employment or housing. 

  • Loss of Rights: In some jurisdictions, a conviction can lead to the loss of certain civil rights, such as the right to vote or bear arms.  

  • Damage to Reputation: Apart from the legal penalties, individuals may also face social consequences, including damage to their reputation and relationships, as well as potential barriers to employment or housing. 

It cannot be overstated the gravity of accusations related to the solicitation of a minor. If you are facing such charges, your life as you know it can change drastically in a very short span of time. The legal penalties are severe, and the social ramifications have the potential to significantly alter your relationships, career, and overall quality of life. This is why legal representation is paramount.

An experienced criminal defense attorney can help you fight these charges and work to build a strong defense on your behalf. They can guide you through the process, advise you on the best course of action, protect your rights, and work tirelessly to achieve the most favorable outcome possible in such difficult circumstances. 

Defenses to Solicitation of a Minor Charges  

There are various defenses that can be used in response to charges of solicitation of a minor: 

  • Mistaken Age: This defense can be used if the defendant believed the minor was of legal age based on reasonable indications such as appearance, statements made by the minor, or the context in which they met. 

  • No Intent to Commit a Crime: This defense is applicable when the defendant can demonstrate that their intent was not to engage in sexual conduct with the minor. 

  • Entrapment: If the defendant was induced by law enforcement to commit an offense they would not have otherwise committed, they might be able to use entrapment as a defense. 

  • Lack of Evidence: The defense may argue that the prosecution has insufficient evidence to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant intended to engage in sexual conduct with a minor. 

  • First Amendment Rights: In some cases, a defense attorney may argue that the defendant's actions were protected by the First Amendment, especially in cases involving online solicitation where no physical meeting took place. 

Facing charges of solicitation of a minor is undoubtedly a daunting experience. But remember, you don't have to face it alone.  

Take Control of Your Situation Today With Chahine Legal LLC 

A clear understanding of what qualifies as solicitation of a minor is crucial in building a strong defense. With my extensive knowledge and experience, I am here to help you navigate through this challenging time. I'm ready to fight for your rights and ensure you receive fair treatment under the law.  

Your future matters to me. Reach out to me at Chahine Legal LLC today, and let's start working towards a resolution together.