Social media apps have become popular places to seek new relationships, whether for friendship, romance, or sexual gratification. Although the internet might seem like a great place to pursue these new connections, it may also lead to false accusations.
Unfortunately, even made-up accusations have the potential to turn into severe penalties. If you have been incorrectly blamed for online solicitation in California, do not wait to reach out to a criminal defense attorney who will work tirelessly to protect your rights.
False Accusations of Online Solicitation of a Minor in California
New advancements in technology have provided law enforcement officials in California and throughout the United States with new ways to catch those who wish to solicit sexual encounters with people they think are underage.
Shows like "To Catch a Predator" lure predators into arranging encounters with supposed underage victims.However, these types of setups may leave people susceptible to false accusations, entrapment by law enforcement officers, and other circumstances in which a defendant may be falsely or unrightfully accused of committing such crimes.
It is easy for many people to assume that anyone accused of soliciting a minor online is guilty, butanyone could be falsely accused of committing a sex crime. The most important thing is to get ahead of the game and put an end to false accusations before they get the opportunity to grow into larger issues. Seek legal counsel from an experienced California sex crimes attorney as soon as possible.
What Penalties Could You Face for Violating California Penal Code 261.5?
Using the web to arrange a sexual encounter with a minor is prohibited under California Penal Code 261.5. However, sexual relations with a minor, whether intended or acted upon, are not just illegal in California but federally as well. United States Federal Law prohibits using the internet, mail, or other forms of interstate communication to solicit a minor.
Regardless of whether you actually engage in the intended sexual act, you could face serious state and federal charges even if the person who you believed was a minor is actually over 18. Soliciting anyone you think is underage can land you with severe, life-altering consequences.
In California, online solicitation of a minor child is punishable by imprisonment, substantial fines, and mandatory registration as a sex offender. This means that anyone—neighbors, friends, family members, landlords or future employers—may access your information and the charges against you with a simple online search.Because many people have preconceived notions about the people on sex offender lists, registration could damage your reputation, hinder your ability to secure employment, find housing or maintain personal relationships.
When charged federally, online solicitation of a minor may come with a minimum of ten years in federal prison up to a maximum of life in federal prison.
Protect Your Freedom with a Skilled California Sex Crimes Defense Lawyer
Solicitation of a minor, like all sex crimes, are violations that are not taken lightly in California. Do not risk being forced to register as a sex offender without acquiring legal representation from a trusted professional.
Suppose you or someone you care about has been falsely accused of soliciting a minor in the State of California. In that case, it is crucial that you contact an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible so they may begin building a solid defense for your case.
An Aron Law Firm sex crimes attorney may conduct an in-depth investigation into your unique situation and create an intelligent strategy to defend your false accusation. Call (805) 618-1768 or submit a completed contact form to schedule a consultation to discuss your legal options today.