There is an unavoidable stigma for those who are charged with sex crimes in Tennessee that can affect their lives in a profoundly negative way. This is the case regardless of the accuracy of the allegations. It is with this in mind that those who are dealing with charges such as these understand what they are facing and handle it accordingly. In-person and online solicitation is against the law in the state and it is important to understand the basics of the law.

Those who request, command or hire a person to commit a criminal offense whether it is done so orally, in writing or electronically will be charged with solicitation. This is true whether it is done through another or directly. If the solicitation was not successful, it is not a sufficient defense that there was no solicitation committed. Nor is it a defense that the person who was solicited could not be found guilty of the offense because of being a minor, being insane or due to another form of incapacity. If the person solicited was not aware of the criminal nature of the conduct, it is not a defense.

Soliciting a minor under the age of 18 by any of the above-listed means while knowing that the person is under the age of 18 or if the solicitation was of a member of law enforcement who is posing as a person under the age of 18 and whom is reasonably believed to be under 18 can lead to the alleges solicitor being charged. The following charges are applicable if the solicited act is completed: rape; rape of a child; aggravated rape; aggravated sexual battery; sexual battery by an authority figure; statutory rape; especially aggravated sexual exploitation of a minor; or sexual activity involving a minor. The attempt being unsuccessful will not have a bearing on the charges of solicitation.

Given the harshness with which solicitation is treated under the law and the damage to reputation a person will face, it is imperative to have a strong defense for these allegations. Those who are confronted with online solicitation or other forms of solicitation should take steps to craft a defense with assistance from a lawyer who is experienced in defending clients who have been charged with any level of sex offense as soon as possible.

Source: tn.gov, “39-12-102. Solicitation; 39-13-528. Offense of solicitation of a minor,” accessed on Dec. 21, 2015