Defending Online Solicitation Charges in South Carolina
Prosecuting criminal solicitation of a minor cases is a top priority for South Carolina prosecutors. The Attorney General Office and the Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force it oversees have successfully prosecuted one hundred one (101) Internet Child Predators since the Criminal Solicitation of a Minor law, a felony charge providing for a ten year sentence, was passed in April 2004.
We can provide insight into these cases through Pete Strom, who handled such matters as a U.S. Attorney. Charges of this nature are personally and professionally damaging. We will handle your case with the utmost discretion and we will explore every viable strategy to secure the most favorable disposition possible.
While every attempt will be made to resolve your situation outside a public courtroom, we will not hesitate to fight for your rights in court if negotiations do not yield a resolution that meets your approval.
Online Sex Offender Stings
In the age of the internet, social networking sites including Facebook and Myspace, and internet chat rooms have become a frequent forum for law enforcement posing as an underage minor. A person who appears to be a minor, talks and presents themselves as a minor may actually be an agent running an online sting.
If you attempt, ask or communicate your desire to engage in sexual activity after the “child’s” age is made clear, even if you never meet, you can be charged with online criminal solicitation of a minor.
Under South Carolina law, you can be force to serve up to 10 years for online child solicitation.
In fact, men and women charged with child solicitation may receive more time than someone charged with child molestation. While the potential penalites are stiffer, this does not mean that you are guilty or that you do not have any defenses to the charge. The Strom Law Firm, LLC offers a free consultation to discuss the allegations surrounding your charge as well as possible defenses.
The Sex Offender Registry
As part of a conviction, you may be required to register on the South Carolina sex offender registry for the remainder of your lifetime.
The South Carolina law which prohibits criminal solicitation of a minor provides:
A) A person eighteen years of age or older commits the offense of criminal solicitation of a minor if he knowingly contacts or communicates with, or attempts to contact or communicate with, a person who is under the age of eighteen, or a person reasonably believed to be under the age of eighteen, for the purpose of or with the intent of persuading, inducing, enticing, or coercing the person to engage or participate in a sexual activity as defined in Section 16-15-375(5) or a violent crime as defined in Section 16-1-60, or with the intent to perform a sexual activity in the presence of the person under the age of eighteen, or person reasonably believed to be under the age of eighteen.
(B) Consent is a defense to a prosecution pursuant to this section if the person under the age of eighteen, or the person reasonably believed to be under the age of eighteen, is at least sixteen years old.
(C) Consent is not a defense to a prosecution pursuant to this section if the person under the age of eighteen, or the person reasonably believed to be under the age of eighteen, is under the age of sixteen.
(D) It is not a defense to a prosecution pursuant to this section, on the basis of consent or otherwise, that the person reasonably believed to be under the age of eighteen is a law enforcement agent or officer acting in an official capacity.
(E) A person who violates the provisions of this section is guilty of a felony and, upon conviction, must be fined not more than five thousand dollars or imprisoned for not more than ten years, or both.
If you have been charged with online criminal solicitation of a minor, contact the criminal defense attorneys at the Strom Law Firm, LLC today for a free consultation to discuss the facts of your case as well as the potential for having your charges reduced or even dismissed. We offer free consultations and flexible payment options including Visa and Mastercard.