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
Online solicitation of a minor is a Class IV felony offense in Omaha. Nebraska Revised Statutes §28-833 defines this crime as knowingly and intentionally using lewd or indecent language, transmitting sexually explicit material, or soliciting any kind of lewd or sexual act when messaging a person under 16 years of age online. Consequently, any adult sending sexual messages to a child over the Internet can face prosecution.
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.
Invalid Defenses to a Criminal Charge
You should note that it doesn’t matter if the minor you allegedly messaged initiated the conversation or reciprocated any sexually explicit content. These are not valid defenses to a criminal charge.
Additionally, it doesn’t matter whether the person was actually a minor. Law enforcement officers may set up sting operations in which they pose as minors to bait adults into soliciting sex. Arrests stemming from these tactics can still lead to prosecution. However, a skilled attorney may use entrapment as a defense to a sting operation arrest.
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.