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Solicitation is a criminal offense that has serious penalties associated with it. Not only is a charge of solicitation an embarrassment, a conviction can have far-reaching consequences that inhibit your freedom and affect your ability to move forward in life. If you’re currently facing solicitation charges and you need legal assistance, Chávez Law Group can get to work applying our legal knowledge and defense strategies to help you avoid a conviction.
The Crime of Solicitation
In its standard definition, to “solicit” means to “urgently ask or request.” In a criminal context, solicitation is known as the act of offering goods or services, or the act of attempting to purchase goods or service. A crime is “solicited” if one person encourages, advises, or demands that someone else commit a crime, although the actual completion of the crime may not need to be carried out for charges to be filed.
There are different types of solicitation, depending on what the prosecution claims the defendant was attempting to offer or purchase. In the most common understanding, a crime of solicitation is committed by a person trying to exchange money for sex acts, known as the “solicitation of prostitution,” but it can also refer to the act of soliciting drug crimes, murder, rape, bribery, extortion, and other criminal acts.
Creating a Solicitation Defense
Depending on the laws in your state, a prosecutor may be able to charge a defendant and build a case around the act of simply making a request that another person commit a crime. In some states, the prosecutor must also show that the request must be accepted by the other person. Since the prosecutor must illustrate that there was a definite intent to follow through with criminal action, this leaves a lot of room for the criminal defense team to disprove the intention. If your defense team can successfully demonstrate that the offer never existed in the first place, or there was no real intention to carry out the crime, then the prosecution no longer has a case. In some instances, the defense may be able to avoid a conviction by showing that the defendant changed his mind, or essentially removed the offer.
Most solicitation crimes are prosecuted as felony offenses, which can include severe punishments like jail time and steep fines. If you’ve been accused of solicitation, the seasoned attorneys at Chávez Law Group can assist you with building a solid defense. Please contact us today to get started on your defense strategy.