Online Solicitation of a Minor Louisiana

Shreveport-Bossier City Sex Crime Defense Attorney for Solicitation of a Minor Charges

Louisiana sex crime defense attorney Michael J. Vergis has represented countless clients against criminal charges, including the online solicitation of a minor. Not only does this criminal offense carry significant weight in the Louisiana legal system, but offenders can struggle to reintegrate into society and live a normal life for many years following the completion of their prison sentence.

If you’ve been charged with online solicitation of a minor in Louisiana, it’s crucial to work with an experienced criminal defense attorney like Michael J. Vergis. Call the Law Office of Michael J. Vergis at (318) 698-3724 to discuss your criminal charges today. 

Online Solicitation of a Minor Louisiana

What is Online Solicitation of a Minor?

Online solicitation of a minor is when an adult engages in electronic textual communication with someone they know has not yet attained the age of seventeen, typically through commercial online services or other digital platforms, with the intent to commit a sexual offense or encourage the minor to engage in sexual conduct.

This can include sending sexually explicit messages, sharing obscene materials, or arranging to meet in person for sexual contact. 

Solicitation of a Minor Definition

Louisiana Revised Statutes 14:81.3 addresses computer-aided solicitation of minors, particularly emphasizing the misuse of electronic textual communication to exploit those who have not yet attained the age of consent in Louisiana, which is seventeen.

This statute provides a comprehensive outline of the illegal use of any form of electronic communication, whether through email, internet chat room, or social media platforms, facilitated by a commercial online service provider, computer online service, or local bulletin board service, to knowingly persuade or entice minors into engaging in sexual conduct.

This law also defines the acts that are considered sexual conduct, which include actual or simulated sexual intercourse, sexual bestiality, deviant sexual intercourse, or any lewd or lascivious act. 

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Examples of Computer Aided Solicitation

Computer-aided solicitation of a minor can occur in many different ways. Some examples include:

  • Sending sexually explicit messages to a minor via social media platforms or an online messaging service.
  • Sharing obscene or sexually suggestive images or videos with someone believed to be under the legal age of consent through emails or direct messages.
  • Using chat rooms or other electronic textual communication to initiate conversations with minors to engage in actual sexual conduct.
  • Creating or responding to a local bulletin board service to meet minors to participate in sexual conduct.
  • Utilizing video gaming platforms to connect with and solicit minors for sexual purposes.

What is the Punishment for Solicitation of a Minor?

In Louisiana, those convicted of computer-aided solicitation of a minor face severe penalties, including lengthy incarceration, fines, and registration as a sex offender. Listed below are the following penalties for this criminal offense.

  • The alleged victim is younger than 13: Those convicted can be fined no more than $10,000 and imprisoned at hard labor for at least ten years but no more than twenty years without the benefit of parole, probation, or suspension of sentence.
  • The alleged victim is at least 13 but younger than 17: A conviction can result in fines costing up to $10,000. The offender will also be imprisoned at hard labor for no more than ten years without the benefit of parole, probation, or suspension of sentence.
  • The alleged victim is a person reasonably believed to be younger than 17: This sentence usually occurs when the person on the other side of the electronic textual communication is an undercover law enforcement officer rather than an actual minor. A conviction for this offense can result in fines costing a maximum of $10,000 and imprisonment at hard labor for at least two years but no more than ten years without the benefit of parole, probation, or suspension of sentence.
  • When the computer-aided solicitation results in actual sexual conduct and the age difference between the alleged victim and offender is five years or more: Conviction can result in no more than $10,000 in fines and imprisonment with or without hard labor for not less than seven years nor more than ten years.
  • For a second conviction, the offender can be imprisoned at hard labor for no more than 25 years without the benefit of parole, probation, or suspension of sentence.
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Additional Consequences of a Sex Crime Conviction

Beyond the immediate legal penalties, a conviction for a sex crime carries with it additional, long-lasting consequences that can profoundly impact an individual’s life.

This includes significant damage to reputation and personal relationships, difficulty securing employment or housing, and potential restrictions on certain rights, like those pertaining to child custody matters.

For those required to register as sex offenders, their names, addresses, and details of their crimes are often made publicly accessible, leading to social ostracization and challenges in reintegrating into society.

Educational and career opportunities can also be severely limited, as background checks will reveal the conviction to potential employers and educational institutions.

In some jurisdictions, convicted sex offenders face ongoing legal restrictions, including limitations on living near schools or parks and on their ability to travel abroad.

Why You Need an Experienced Sex Crimes Attorney

For those facing charges for a sex crime such as online solicitation of a minor in Louisiana, having the help of an experienced sex crimes attorney is incredibly important due to the complex and sensitive nature of these cases. These legal professionals possess an understanding of both the specific laws related to sex crimes and the strategies required for effective defense.

An experienced attorney in Louisiana can navigate the legal processes, ensuring your rights are protected at every stage. They are adept at challenging the evidence presented, questioning the credibility of witnesses, and identifying procedural errors that could benefit the defense.

Given the potentially severe and life-altering consequences of a conviction, including significant prison time, hefty fines, and mandatory sex offender registration, an attorney with years of experience defending against sex crimes can provide the tailored defense strategy necessary to mitigate these outcomes. 

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Defenses Against Online Solicitation of a Minor

Fighting against charges of online solicitation of a minor involves a multifaceted legal strategy tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. Common defense strategies include challenging the accuracy of the alleged minor’s age, asserting the defendant’s lack of intent to commit a crime, or questioning the legitimacy of the evidence, especially in cases where entrapment by law enforcement may have occurred.

An experienced attorney might also scrutinize the methods used to collect digital evidence, ensuring that the defendant’s constitutional rights were not violated during the investigation. For instance, demonstrating that the defendant believed the individual to be of legal age or highlighting the absence of explicit solicitation can undermine the prosecution’s case.

Technical defenses can also be effective, such as proving the absence of actual electronic communication with a minor or that the defendant’s actions were misconstrued. 

Why Choose Michael Vergis As Your Northwest LA Online Solicitation Defense Lawyer?

Shreveport-Bossier City criminal attorney Michael J. Vergis stands out for his comprehensive understanding of the technical and legal intricacies of computer-aided solicitation cases. His extensive experience in handling sex crime defenses allows him to craft unique strategies that address the specific details of each case, offering personalized attention that is crucial in such sensitive matters.

With the help of Attorney Michael J. Vergis, clients facing online solicitation charges in Northwest Louisiana receive a strong legal defense and a committed advocate who understands the stakes and is dedicated to achieving the best possible outcome.

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Call Shreveport-Bossier Criminal Defense Attorney Michael J. Vergis Today

With years of experience and a deep commitment to his clients, Shreveport-Bossier criminal defense attorney Michael J. Vergis offers personalized, effective defense strategies tailored to your unique situation.

Contact Michael J. Vergis at (318) 698-3724 or complete this online intake form to schedule a free consultation to discuss your online solicitation of a minor charge.