Colorado has some of the country’s harshest laws against sex crimes. Unfortunately, this makes it challenging to overcome charges such as online solicitation even when the accusations are false or a misinterpretation of the truth. Penalties for convictions of sex crimes such as online solicitation are severe and life-altering, making a swift and aggressive defense against an online solicitation charge in Colorado critical. A Colorado criminal defense lawyer with years of experience navigating this special area of Colorado law offers the best way to put a powerful voice in your corner to defend your rights.
What is Online Solicitation of a Minor According to Laws in Colorado?
Online solicitation is also known as “internet luring of a child” in Colorado. The state considers this a form of child solicitation, which falls under Colorado’s child pornography laws. These charges apply when an adult makes sexually explicit comments to a child under the age of 15 over the internet in any form, including through social media, instant messaging, online chats, or text messaging, with the intention of meeting in order to engage in sexual contact. The charges apply only if the alleged child solicitor knew or believed the person they solicited was a minor. For the state to apply charges of internet luring of a child, the following conditions must apply:
- The suspect knowingly communicated with a minor via the internet
- They knew or believed the suspect was under the age of 15
- They are at least 4 years older than the minor’s age or what they believe to be the minor’s age
- They communicated with the minor in a sexually explicit manner
- They initiated an in-person meeting with the minor or supposed minor
Online solicitation of a minor is a serious offense. Law enforcement agencies in Colorado routinely perform sting operations on internet platforms with the intention of apprehending child predators. For those facing charges of online solicitation in Colorado, the potential penalties are harsh, with life-altering consequences.
How Do You Defend Yourself Against Online Solicitation Charges in Colorado?
Like all defendants in Colorado, if you’ve been charged with online solicitation of a minor, you have a right to a vigorous defense. Many individuals charged with this type of sex crime were caught up in elaborately devised undercover operations by law enforcement. Strong defenses for those charged include:
- Entrapment: demonstrating that the law enforcement agency used deceptive means to lure a defendant into actions that they otherwise would not have engaged in
- Lack of intent: to prove online solicitation charges, law enforcement must show that the defendant actually intended to follow through with sexual contact with the supposed minor when they may have intended to meet for another reason or may not have planned to show up at the meeting at all
- Misidentification: law enforcement must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the individual they’ve arrested is the same individual who engaged in soliciting a minor
A skilled Colorado criminal defense attorney analyzes the foundation of the case the prosecution has built and then tears it down through a strong legal defense showing entrapment, lack of intent, or mistaken identity.
Internet luring of a minor is a class-4 felony in Colorado with up to 6 years in prison and a lifetime of compelled sex offender registration. Because Colorado’s penalties for online solicitation can impact the rest of your life, it’s imperative to engage skilled legal counsel with a strong defense strategy to protect your rights.