Indecent Solicitation of a Child
The crime of indecent solicitation of a child is complex and harbors serious consequences. This broad crime encompasses solicitation both in person, on the internet, via the phone, or in writing. Many defendants charged with the crime of indecent solicitation of a child are left shocked, frightened, and confused, not understanding how their actions gave rise to a crime or how to defend themselves against it. Numerous defendants charged with this crime are first time offenders. This is due, in part, to the very nature of the crime, which encompasses behavior that many would not know is criminal. The advent of the Internet has changed the landscape of sex crimes, making communication on the internet dangerous. That 19 year old in a chat room may actually be an underage minor, or an undercover police officer. Seemingly innocent behavior can now lead to the possibility of years spent in prison.
The good news is there is hope for anyone charged with indecent solicitation of a child. With a skilled Chicago defense attorney by your side, the charge of indecent solicitation can be successfully challenged.Effective Defense against Indecent Solicitation of a Child Allegations
The criminal defense lawyers at The Law Offices of David L. Freidberg have decades of experience representing defendants against the serious charge of indecent solicitation of a child. Our attorney team extensively investigates each case and, armed with this knowledge, mounts a fervent defense. The Law Offices of David L. Freidberg has successfully obtained acquittals for several clients charged with indecent solicitation of a child as well as favorable plea deals, many involving no prison time.Indecent Solicitation of a Child in Illinois Defined
The crime of indecent solicitation of a minor is set out in 720 ILCS 5/11-6. The statute defines two variations of the crime. First, under subsection A, a person over the age of 17 commits indecent solicitation of a child if he or she:
- With the intent that one of the following offenses be committed:
- Knowingly solicits a child or one whom he or she believes to be a child;
- To perform an act of sexual penetration or sexual conduct, as defined in Section 11-0.1 of this Code.
Some vital components to this crime include the caveat that the offender commits the crime even if the victim is not a child, so long as the defendant believes the victim is a child. Further, the crime broadly includes numerous sex crimes, giving the prosecutor wide latitude in charging.
The second section of 720 ILCS 5/11-6 is that of (a-5). Under 720 ILCS 5/11-6 (a-5), a person over the age of 17 commits indecent solicitation of a child if the person:
- Knowingly discusses an act of sexual conduct or sexual penetration;
- With a child or one whom he or she believes to be a child;
- By means of the Internet;
- With the intent that one of the following offenses be committed:
- aggravated criminal sexual assault;
- predatory criminal sexual assault of a child; or
- aggravated criminal sexual abuse.
The Code goes on to state in subsection (a-6) that it is not a defense to the crime defined in (a-5) that the person did not solicit the child to perform sexual conduct or sexual penetration with the person.
The term “solicit” is defined to mean the following: to urge, command, incite, request or advise another person to perform an act by any means, including in person, over the phone, in writing, by computer, or by advertisement of any kind.
Reading these two sections together, the crime of indecent solicitation of a child becomes a rather broad one, with many possible actions leading to charges. It is important to note that no sexual act need actually be performed to be convicted of indecent solicitation of a minor. The mere intent to commit an act of forced sexual penetration will be sufficient to lead to conviction. Even further, for subsection (a-5), just discussing a sexual act on the Internet can constitute sufficient evidence for conviction.Penalties for Indecent Solicitation of a Minor
Indecent solicitation of a minor is a crime with potentially stiff penalties. Violation of Subsection A of the Code is:
- A Class 1 Felony, punishable by 4-15 years in prison, when the act, if done, would be predatory criminal sexual assault of a child or aggravated criminal sexual assault;
- A Class 2 Felony, punishable by 3-7 years in prison, when the act, if done, would be criminal sexual assault;
- A Class 3 Felony, punishable by 2-5 years in prison, when the act, if done, would be aggravated criminal sexual abuse
Indecent solicitation of a child under subsection (a-5) is a Class 4 Felony, punishable by 1-3 years imprisonment.The Dangers of the Internet
The crime of indecent solicitation of a child highlights the potential dangers that lurk on the Internet. Internet users must always be wary, as a conversation in a chat room that starts innocently enough can be the start of a lengthy legal battle and end up costing you your freedom. The Internet is also a common prowling ground for undercover officers. Exercise caution with any online discussions.
Mounting a Zealous Defense Against this Serious Charge
A charge of indecent solicitation of a child holds the potential to lead to years of imprisonment, much societal stigma, tens of thousands of dollars in fines, and more. However, being charged with this serious crime is not a reason to lose hope. Those charged with indecent solicitation of a minor should act fast to secure the representation of an experienced defense attorney who will immediately began to mount a zealous defense.
The sooner your skilled defense attorney can investigate the evidence, subpoena crucial evidence, file vital motions, and negotiate with the prosecutor, the better your chances of maintaining your freedom. Act fast to protect your legal rights.The Law Offices of David L. Freidberg: Providing Aggressive Defense against Indecent Solicitation of a Child Charges
Chicago criminal defense attorney David L. Freidberg has more than 20 years experience representing clients who have been charged with indecent solicitation of a child and other criminal sex crimes. Our criminal defense attorneys have an unmatched understanding of the laws concerning the complex crime of indecent solicitation of a child and the possible defenses. The seasoned defense attorneys at The Law Offices of David L. Freidberg will investigate every pertinent fact to your case, often uncovering vital exculpatory evidence. We will mount a zealous defense with the intent of achieving the best possible outcome for our clients. The nature of the defense will vary depending upon your specific case, but we will often move to have the charges dropped based on lack of evidence, or reduced to a lesser charge. Our goal is first to avoid any conviction whatsoever, and secondly to avoid jail time.
Facing a criminal sex charge can be frightening, but with the skilled representation of attorney David L. Freidberg, you can rest assured that your case will be defended to the fullest extent. David L. Freidberg has successfully defended thousands of clients and will aggressively fight for your freedom. Contact us or all us today at (312) 560-7100 or toll free at 1 (800) 803-1442 to schedule your free consultation today. We are available 24/7 for your convenience.