20 Feb

The Internet has brought an entire new world to the masses. Many parents, though, are concerned about how their children are treated while online and worry about ways to protect them. The best way is to always monitor their online activities.

For those in North Carolina who are accused of online solicitation, they may feel as though they were entrapped by law enforcement. Understanding the laws governing online solicitation can help those accused of this crime present a strong defense. Here are the basics:

— The accused individual must be at least 16 years old.

— The victim must be at least five years younger than the accused and less than 16 years old. The defendant must believe the child is less than 16 and five years younger than he or she is.

— Consent cannot be used as a defense to this charge.

— The accused must have an intent to commit a sex act that is unlawful and

— has enticed, advised, ordered, coerced or commanded by using a computer or electronic device to have the child meet him or her.

The above charge is a Class H felony unless the child or the defendant arrive at the meeting place. Then it is considered a Class G felony.

The penalties for either charge are stiff and range from four to 31 months in prison between the two. As you can see, the penalties are severe and if the defendant has a previous criminal record, the sentence of prison time could be even longer.

A strong defense is necessary in these cases, and an experienced criminal defense attorney can provide more information on your case.

Source: National Conference of State Legislatures, “State Laws: Electronic Solicitation or Luring of Children” accessed Feb. 20, 2015