• Understanding the elements of Internet solicitation

    Understanding the elements of Internet solicitation

    In society today, residents in Virginia and elsewhere rely on the Internet to accomplish their work and personal tasks. While the Internet is a reliable and extraordinary technological advance, it is also a platform that gives rise to crimes. While it might not seem apparent to others, some individuals might use the Internet as a mechanism to initiate or complete sex crimes. Those suspected of such a crime should understand the elements of the charge and what options they have regarding a defense action.

    In order to understand what Internet solicitation is, it is important to understand the basics of solicitation. This is a crime that involves the request, encouragement or demand from someone to another to engage in criminal conduct that has the intent to facilitate or contribute to the commission of a crime. The most common type of criminal solicitation is solicitation of prostitution, which is the act of soliciting the engagement in prostitution from another person.

    Solicitation can occur in different manners and platforms, but no matter where it occurs, one must meet two elements to be guilty of solicitation. First, they must request someone else to engage in criminal conduct. Second, they must have the intent to engage in criminal conduct with that person. There is a gray area when it comes to whether the other person must receive the request or whether just making the request coupled with criminal intent is enough.

    With regards to Internet solicitation, this act occurs on the Internet but still requires a person to meet the two elements listed above to face charges. Thus, no matter the platform in which this criminal sexual act occurred, those facing this crime could use evidence to weaken the proof of these elements. This could help the accused obtain reduced or dropped charges.

    Source: Findlaw.com, “Solicitation,” accessed June 4, 2017

    Tags: Sex Crimes

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