While the internet provides an excellent place to meet and connect with others, there are hidden dangers associated with using this resource. Utah hasrelatively high rates of sex crimes involving minors, so undercover agents are known for posing as minors to catch individuals in the act of committing a crime. If you have been accused of soliciting a minor, you are likely worried about your future, your reputation, and your livelihood. Fortunately, working with an experienced Salt Lake City solicitation of a minor defense lawyer will make all the difference in the outcome of your case.
At Conyers & Nix, we work tirelessly to protect the rights of those accused of sex crimes in Utah. As former public defenders, we have represented thousands of clients, providing us with a great deal of expertise in handling even the most challenging cases. Leveraging our years of experience and passion for creating strong and effective defense strategies for our clients, we are confident in our ability to fight for your case. To learn more about how we can help, contact our team of Salt Lake City enticement of minor defense lawyers today at (385) 325-3375.
What Is Solicitation of a Minor in Utah?
Solicitation of a minor, legally referred to as enticement of a minor, is a serious criminal offense in Utah. According to Utah Code §76-4-401, a person is guilty of solicitation of a minor if they intentionally use (or attempt to use) the internet or text messaging to entice a minor, or a person they believe is a minor, to engage in sexual acts. Under Utah law, a minor is defined as any person under the age of 18-years-old. While the legislation primarily focuses on the use of electronic communication to solicit a minor, it also makes it a criminal offense to develop a trusting relationship with the minor or the parent/guardian of the minor with the purpose of engaging in sexual activity.
It is important to note that merely attempting to solicit a minor is also a crime in Utah. This means that sexual activity is not required to be charged with solicitation of a minor. Moreover, it is not an admissible defense to assert that a law enforcement officer or uncover operative was involved in the crime. If the prosecution proves that you were attempting to entice a person you believed was a minor, that is enough to constitute a criminal offense under Utah law.
What Are the Potential Charges for Solicitation of a Minor in Utah?
The penalties for soliciting a minor in Utah vary depending on the specific circumstances of the case. The severity of the crime and the intention of the defendant will be weighed when determining the defendant’s jail or prison sentence. There may also be steep fines associated with the charge.
For instance, if an adult attempts to solicit a minor to engage in sex, then the prosecution will charge the defendant with one classification below the first-degree felony charge of child rape. This would result in a second-degree felony charge, punishable by:
- A maximum of 15 years in prison
- Fines of up to $10,000
If an adult attempts to solicit a minor to engage in sodomy (oral sex), a second-degree felony, then the prosecution will charge the defendant with a third-degree felony, punishable by:
- A maximum of 5 years in prison
- Fines of up to $5,000
Understanding the charges associated with these offenses can be difficult, and your experienced Salt Lake City enticement of a minor defense lawyer can provide further insight into the varying penalties of this crime and how your alleged actions may be classified under Utah law.
What Are the Potential Consequences of a Solicitation of a Minor Charge?
Being charged with solicitation of a minor can have several potential consequences, impacting your life, your reputation, and your freedom. Aside from potential prison time, jail time and big financial penalties, a person may face lifelong consequences. A person charged with a felony violation of enticing a minor is required to register as a sex offender for their entire life (Utah Code §77-41-106). There is no possibility of removal from the registry, and the person must register in any state they live in. While being charged with a Class A misdemeanor also requires a person to register as a sex offender, it is possible to be removed from the registry after a certain period of time.
Being placed on the registry of sex offenders can greatly impact a person’s ability to move freely around their community, secure employment, rent an apartment, or gain security clearance. Individuals who are registered sex offenders may struggle to pass background checks and are listed on online databases where anyone can publicly view information related to their charges. If avoiding these potential consequences is a priority for you, consider speaking with a knowledgeable Salt Lake City solicitation of a minor defense lawyer to begin preparing your case.
How Can Your Solicitation of a Minor Charge Be Dismissed?
Individuals accused with solicitation of a minor have the right to challenge their charge with a legal defense. To successfully convict a person of this crime, the prosecution must prove that the accused individual intended to entice a minor (or someone they believed was a minor) with the purpose of engaging in sexual activity. This opens up an avenue for dismissing your charge by proving that you believed that you were communicating with another consenting adult.
Another possible defense against this charge is demonstrating that you had no intention to engage in sexual activity with the minor. Finally, your legal team may choose to argue that you were entrapped by law enforcement. This is a common defense strategy used by Salt Lake City enticement of a minor lawyers to argue that you would not have otherwise committed the crime had a law enforcement agent not lured you into it (Utah Code §76-2-303). If successful, any of these defenses may be effective in getting your charge dropped altogether.
Hiring a Salt Lake City Solicitation of a Minor Defense Lawyer
If you or a loved one are facing solicitation of a minor charges, you may be wondering how to navigate this difficult and stressful situation. The consequences of these charges can be disastrous, altering a person’s life forever. With so much at stake, it is important to have a team of aggressive, experienced, and compassionate Salt Lake City solicitation of a minor defense lawyers in your corner. At Conyers & Nix, we act as trusted advisors and fearless litigators, defending your rights and protecting your freedoms to the fullest extent. To speak with our team or to schedule your free consultation with us, call (385) 325-3375 today.