Solicitation of a Child by Computer
Facing charges of solicitation of a child by computer can be challenging and intimidating, since a conviction can affect not only your rights but also your career, reputation, and relationships. If you are charged with solicitation of a child by computer, it is vital to retain an assertive attorney to assist you in developing a persuasive defense. The knowledgeable Charlotte and Concord sex crime lawyers at the Olsinski Law Firm, PLLC are adept at navigating the North Carolina criminal court system and have the skills needed to aid you in seeking an appropriate outcome. We regularly represent individuals charged with sex crimes in North Carolina.North Carolina Law Regarding Solicitation of a Child by Computer
Under North Carolina law G.S. 14-202.3, a person can be charged with solicitation of a child by computer if he or she knowingly and intentionally uses a computer or other electronic device to coerce, entice, or order a child under the age of 16 to meet with him or her or any other person to engage in unlawful sexual activity. The person must be at least 16 years old and at least five years older than the victim to be charged with solicitation of a child by computer. Notably, a defendant can be convicted of solicitation of a child by computer even if he or she is not actually communicating with a child younger than 16 and five years younger than the defendant, if the defendant believes that he or she is communicating with a child who is under the age of 16 and at least five years younger than the defendant.Penalties for a Conviction of Solicitation of a Child by Computer
Solicitation of a child by computer is a Class H felony, punishable by up to 39 months’ imprisonment. If the defendant or the person on whose behalf the defendant was communicating actually meets the child, however, it is a Class G felony, punishable by up to 47 months’ imprisonment. Additionally, anyone convicted of solicitation of a child by computer will likely be required to register as a sex offender.Potential Defenses for Solicitation of a Child by Computer
Consent is not a defense to the crime of solicitation of a child by computer. That does not mean that there are no defenses available, however. For example, a person charged with solicitation of a child may be able to avoid a conviction by arguing that the State has insufficient evidence to prove his or her guilt. To convict a person of committing any crime in North Carolina, the State must prove each element of the crime beyond a reasonable doubt. Under North Carolina law, a reasonable doubt is defined as a doubt based on common sense and reason, created by the evidence or lack of evidence presented. Proof beyond a reasonable doubt is evidence that is sufficient to entirely convince a person of a defendant’s guilt. If the State does not meet its burden of proving the defendant’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, it should not be able to get a conviction.
Additionally, in some cases in which a person is charged with solicitation of a child, or another internet sex crime, he or she may be able to argue the defense of entrapment. To prove entrapment, a defendant and their attorney must show that law enforcement officers engaged in fraud, trickery, or persuasion to induce the defendant into committing a crime and that the defendant lacked a criminal predisposition. Entrapment is a difficult defense to prove, however, and is only available under limited circumstances. If you are charged with solicitation of a child by computer, a seasoned sex crime attorney can advise you on the potential defenses that you may be able to argue.Consult an Experienced Sex Crime Lawyer in Concord or Charlotte
A conviction for solicitation of a child by computer can undermine your reputation and permanently affect your liberties. At the Olsinski Law Firm, PLLC, our skilled defense attorneys will fight tirelessly on your behalf to help you seek an appropriate result. We regularly defend Concord and Charlotte residents who are charged with sex crimes. We also frequently represent people in sex crime cases in other areas of Mecklenburg and Cabarrus Counties, including in Huntersville, Matthews, Mint Hill, Cornelius, Davidson, Pineville, Kannapolis, Harrisburg, Midland, and Mount Pleasant. Contact us today at 704-405-2580 to schedule a meeting at our Charlotte office or at 704-918-4747 to schedule a meeting at our Concord office. You can also reach our attorneys through our online form.