Answers To FAQs About Delaware Law On Online Solicitation Of A Child
You do not need a legal background to know that sex crimes carry harsh consequences in all US states, and the implications can be extreme when the misconduct involves a minor. What you may now realize is that some acts are prohibited even when you do not have any sexual or physical contact with the child. Delaware criminal laws prohibit sexual solicitation of a child, in which an adult uses a computer and telecommunications networks to engage a person under 18 years old to have sex. Age plays a critical role, so the government must simply show that you believed you were communicating with a minor.
Still, the prosecution needs to meet its burden of proof beyond a reasonable doubt. You will have opportunities to fight the allegations, so contact a Wilmington internet solicitation of a minor attorney. It may also be helpful to review some answers to common questions about these cases.
How does age impact a case for online solicitation of a child?
The statute defines a “child” as someone under age 18, as well as individuals who:
- Represent themselves as being under 18 years old; AND
- Are believed to be under age 18 by the person engaging in solicitation.
Police use these definitions to their advantage, employing officers to impersonate a minor in online chats, email conversations, messaging, and other conversations.
What if I do not live in Delaware?
By law, you do not need to be present in the state to be arrested for internet solicitation of a child. Conduct that originates OR is received in Delaware constitutes a violation of the statute, such as using a telecommunications network to solicit a minor and traveling to Delaware to meet with a child for purposes of sex. In addition, you should note that illegal activities and conduct crossing state lines could also be a federal crime.
How can I fight charges for online solicitation of a minor?
Age is not a defense to the allegations. You cannot rely on representations, photos, video, and other content the person on the other end may have shared with you. However, based upon the role of law enforcement in these cases, entrapment might be a defense to sexual solicitation of a child.
What are the penalties if I am convicted?
The crime is charged as a Class C Felony, punishable by up to 15 years in prison. In a case where the defendant meets the child in person or attempts to set up an in-person meeting, online solicitation of a child is a Class B Felony. You could face 2 to 25 years’ incarceration for a conviction.
Trust a Delaware Criminal Defense Lawyer for Online Solicitation of a Child Cases
If you were arrested for violating state laws on sexual solicitation of a minor, time is of the essence to retain experienced legal representation. To learn how our team aggressively defends these cases, please call Attorney Michael W. Modica at 302.600.1262 or visit our website. We can schedule a consultation at our offices in Wilmington, DE to discuss the details.