While it is not illegal for adults and children to communicate online in Nebraska, any attempt by a person over the age of 18 to solicit a minor over the Internet is taken seriously by local and federal prosecutors. If you are facing charges for allegedly soliciting a minor online, you should contact an attorney as soon as possible.
Retaining a skilled defense attorney should be your first priority if you were charged with online solicitation of a minor in Omaha. Knowledgeable legal counsel can help you understand how state law defines this offense, and an attorney on our team can work with you to build an effective defense strategy.
Online Solicitation According to State Law
An adult in Omaha can be prosecuted for sending messages of a sexual nature to a minor over the Internet. According to Nebraska Revised Statutes §28-833, it is illegal for someone 18 years of age or older to knowingly and intentionally use lewd or explicit language, transmit sexually explicit material, or solicit any kind of lewd or sexual act when messaging a person under 16 years of age online. This offense is considered a Class IV felony.
If an adult uses electronic communication to solicit sexual intercourse from a minor, they may be charged under Neb. Rev. Stat. §28-320.02 with a Class ID felony for a first offense. If the defendant has been previously convicted for physical or sexual assault or certain other offenses, a violation of this statute would be prosecuted as a Class IC felony.
In either case, it doesn’t matter if the person whom the adult allegedly messaged was actually a minor, and arguing that the minor initiated or reciprocated any sexually explicit communication is not a valid defense. Even if someone is arrested as a result of a police sting operation involving an officer posing as a minor, they may still be prosecuted for online solicitation of a minor if they intentionally and knowingly tried to solicit sex.
Enhanced Penalties for Soliciting Sexual Intercourse Online
The potential penalties for a conviction of online solicitation of a minor in our area are very harsh. For example, a first offense charged under Neb. Rev. Stat. §28-320.02 is punishable by up to 50 years in prison. Since subsequent offenses are considered Class IC felonies rather than Class ID felonies, the mandatory minimum prison sentence upon conviction would be 5 years, with a maximum sentence of 50 years.
Talk to an Omaha Attorney about Charges for Online Solicitation of a Minor
Prosecutors in Omaha take solicitation charges of any kind very seriously. If you are facing criminal charges for allegedly soliciting a minor, you may be in the most important legal battle of your life. A conviction could lead to a lengthy prison sentence and a felony on your criminal record, which could cause many other problems in the future.
Dedicated legal representation can make the difference in effectively refuting allegations of online solicitation of a minor in Omaha. To discuss your legal options with a skilled attorney, call Berry Law today and schedule a confidential consultation.