Solicitation of a Minor Defense Attorney | San Bernardino
Project Safe Childhood reports that one in five children receive an unwanted sexual solicitation online every year. While many of those children are specifically targeted, others get solicited when an online user mistakes the child for an adult.
If you’ve recently been charged with solicitation of a minor in San Bernardino, then it’s necessary for you to plan out your next steps carefully. You need to understand exactly what you’re getting charged with and the penalties associated with that crime.
You don’t have to face all those challenges alone. It’s advised that you utilize your right to hire legal representation to ensure the best legal outcome in your situation. Learn everything you need to know to help you face a solicitation of a minor charge in San Bernardino below.
Defining Solicitation of a Minor in San Bernardino
In California, any type of sexually-motivated behavior towards a minor is considered not only inappropriate but illegal, too. With that in mind, it makes sense that several California penal codes outline illegal behaviors and actions that could constitute solicitation of a minor charges in San Bernardino. Below are some of the most common crimes regarding solicitation of minor in California:
PC 288.4(a) | Solicitation of a Minor for Lewd Purposes
This penal code makes it a crime to contact a minor with the intent to engage in sexual behavior. To be convicted of this offense, you must have arranged a meeting with a person you believe to be a minor with the purpose of engaging in some form of sexual, lewd, or lascivious behavior. You must also be motivated by a sexual interest in children. You can get convicted of this crime even if the contact was only made online.
PC 288.4(b) | Solicitation of a Minor and Arriving at the Meeting Place
This penal crime makes it a crime to actually show up at the pre-arranged time and place discussed with a person that you believed to be a minor. Depending on the circumstances, this crime can get charged as a felony or misdemeanor.
PC 311.4 | Contacting a Minor with the Intent to Commit a Felony
This penal code outlines the act of soliciting and contacting a minor with the intent to perform sex acts (or commit a felony like creating child pornography). To be guilty of this offense, you must have known a minor was involved, hired the minor, and got the minor to commit sex acts.
PC 288.3 | Solicitation of a Minor to Have Sexually Explicit Conversations
This penal code makes it illegal to communicate, contact, or solicit a minor with the intent to have sexually explicit conversations or commit other felonies. Individuals can get convicted of this crime even if their attempts to communicate with the minor are unsuccessful.
PC 288.2 | Solicitation of a Minor and Sending Explicit Material to Them
According to this penal code, it’s a crime to send obscene or harmful content to any minor with the intent to sexually arouse them or yourself. In other words, sending out a nude image of yourself to a minor would be considered a violation of this penal code. This code also makes it a crime to send or distribute any material that depicts minors engaged in sexual actions.
Criminal Penalties Associated with Misdemeanor Solicitation of a Minor
Many of the crimes outlined above are considered ‘wobbler’ crimes in San Bernardino. In other words, they could get levied as a misdemeanor or a felony depending on the circumstances surrounding the allegations, the extent of the harm to the minor, and the evidence against you. If you get charged with misdemeanor solicitation of a minor, you could face the following criminal penalties:
- Up to one year in jail
- Fines of up to $5,000
Criminal Penalties with Felony Solicitation of a Minor
If you get charged with felony solicitation of a minor, then your penalties will be more severe. Here is what to expect:
- Up to 3 years in state prison
- Fines up to $10,000
Personal and Professional Penalties
These criminal penalties aren’t the only ones you’ll need to cope with if you end up getting convicted of solicitation of a minor. You’ll also need to deal with the personal and professional consequences, too. Most notably, you’ll need to register as a sex offender for at least ten years. This sex offender registry is public information, so it could end up harming your personal relationships with family, friends, and new acquaintances.
Further, you’ll have to admit to your conviction when seeking out a new job. Certain professions, like working in a daycare or as a teacher, will immediately disqualify you based on your prior conviction.
Common Defense Strategies Against Solicitation of a Minor Charges in San Bernardino
The penalties for solicitation of a minor charges in San Bernardino are serious. The only way to avoid these consequences is to not get convicted of the crime. The best defense strategy in your situation will hinge on your charges, the circumstances surrounding your arrest, and the evidence gathered throughout the investigation.
Here are some of the most common defense strategies that are successful against solicitation of a minor charges:
Mistake of Fact: You Didn’t Solicit a Minor
If you know you didn’t commit the crimes in the allegations against you, then this is a good defense strategy to consider. In short, this defense strategy is a “not guilty plea” in which you claim your innocence based on the fact that you didn’t do the crime. Prosecutors may have mistaken the facts or arrested the wrong person.
For this strategy to be successful, the prosecution can’t have much evidence against you. If they do, then this defense strategy won’t be effective at all.
Mistake of Age or Lack of Intent
Another common defense strategy is arguing that you were mistaken about the child’s age and did not have any intention of sexually soliciting a minor. This type of defense strategy is very common in 2022 due to the prevalence of online solicitation. If you were talking to someone online who lied about their age and you couldn’t have reasonably known they were actually a minor, then that could help you fight against your charges. Keep in mind, though, that this defense strategy won’t be effective against all the crimes outlined above. In some situations, your intentions or lack of knowledge about the person’s age may not be a factor if you still ended up soliciting the minor. It’s best to discuss this strategy with a good defense lawyer if you’re considering using it in court.
Unlawful Search and Seizure
Did the police have a warrant when they discovered the alleged ‘evidence’ against you? If not, then they may have violated your rights by conducting an unlawful search and seizure. If that’s the case, then they legally can’t use any evidence discovered during the search. Over the course of our 40+ years representing clients charged with soliciting a minor, we have this to be one of the most effective defenses in getting the case thrown out entirely.
Hire a Skilled Solicitation of a Minor Defense Attorney | San Bernardino
While reading through these potential defense strategies, it’s all too easy to get overwhelmed. Not only do you need to pick a strategy, but you also need to make sure that it will be effective considering the arguments and evidence against you. To ensure you make a good decision, it’s best to consult with a solicitation of a minor defense attorney.
You don’t want to hire just any lawyer, though. You need to make sure that you hire an experienced one.
Take Advantage of Our 40+ Years of Solicitation of a Minor Defense Experience at Wallin & Klarich
Getting accused of soliciting a minor in San Bernardino is life-changing. Not only do you need to understand exactly what you’re getting charged with, but you’ll also need to secure a highly-skilled solicitation of a minor defense attorney.
Here at Wallin & Klarich, our team of highly trained attorneys has over 40+ years of experience representing clients accused of solicitation of a minor in San Bernardino. If you are facing these serious charges, then we can be your best legal advocate. Contact us online or by calling (877) 4-NO-JAIL to discuss your situation with one of our lawyers.
When you’re ready for help, we’ll be here.