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Criminal Solicitation of a Minor: Texas Law

The Texas offense of Criminal Solicitation of a Minor makes it illegal to solicit a minor to engage in certain enumerated offenses. A more detailed explanation of the law is below. Under this law, “minor” means someone younger than 17 years old.1 This offense is not the same as Online Solicitation of a Minor.

Have you been charged with Criminal Solicitation of a Minorin Texas? Call criminal lawyer Paul Saputo at (888) 239-9305 to discuss legal representation.

What is the current Texas law about Criminal Solicitation of a Minor?

The current Texas law is as follows:2

(a) A person commits an offense if, with intent that an offense listed by Section 3g(a)(1), Article 42.12, Code of Criminal Procedure, be committed, the person requests, commands, or attempts to induce a minor to engage in specific conduct that, under the circumstances surrounding the actor’s conduct as the actor believes them to be, would constitute an offense listed by Section 3g(a)(1), Article 42.12, or make the minor a party to the commission of an offense listed by Section 3g(a)(1), Article 42.12.

(b) A person commits an offense if, with intent that an offense under Section 20A.02(a)(7) or (8), 21.02, 21.11, 22.011, 22.021, 43.02, 43.05(a)(2), or 43.25 be committed, the person by any means requests, commands, or attempts to induce a minor or another whom the person believes to be a minor to engage in specific conduct that, under the circumstances surrounding the actor’s conduct as the actor believes them to be, would constitute an offense under one of those sections or would make the minor or other believed by the person to be a minor a party to the commission of an offense under one of those sections.

(d) It is no defense to prosecution under this section that:

(1) the minor solicited is not criminally responsible for the offense solicited;

(2) the minor solicited has been acquitted, has not been prosecuted or convicted, has been convicted of a different offense or of a different type or class of offense, or is immune from prosecution;

(3) the actor belongs to a class of persons that by definition of the offense solicited is legally incapable of committing the offense in an individual capacity; or

(4) the offense solicited was actually committed.

“Minor” means an individual younger than 17 years of age for the purposes of this statute.1
Subsection (a) involves the solicitation of a minor to engage in a “3g offense.” The 3g offenses are a group of serious offenses found in Article 42.12 of the Code of Criminal Procedure. See a list of the 3g offenses

Have you been accused of Criminal Solicitation of a Minor? How can you defend yourself against a charge of Criminal Solicitation of a Minor?

If you have been accused of Criminal Solicitation of a Minor, chances are it was part of an internet sting. But not every case arises out of an internet sting. Sometimes there are accusations made by a family member (or ex-family member). Other times law enforcement might make an arrest based on a more traditional prostitution sting. There are many circumstances in which your arrest might have taken place. Your criminal defense strategy will depend on the specific circumstances.

Texas law provides a specific means of defense for this offense in Texas Penal Code Section 15.031(c):

(c) A person may not be convicted under this section on the uncorroborated testimony of the minor allegedly solicited unless the solicitation is made under circumstances strongly corroborative of both the solicitation itself and the actor’s intent that the minor act on the solicitation.

What is the penalty for a conviction for Criminal Solicitation of a Minor?

Texas Penal Code Section 15.031(e) describes the penalties for a conviction of Criminal Solicitation of a Minor as follows:

(e) An offense under this section is one category lower than the solicited offense, except that an offense under this section is the same category as the solicited offense if it is shown on the trial of the offense that the actor:

(1) was at the time of the offense 17 years of age or older and a member of a criminal street gang, as defined by Section 71.01; and

(2) committed the offense with the intent to:

(A) further the criminal activities of the criminal street gang; or

(B) avoid detection as a member of a criminal street gang.


Legal References:

1 Texas Penal Code Section 15.031(f)

2 Texas Penal Code §15.031 The law is grouped into two different subsections. Subsection (a) involves the solicitation of a minor to engage in a “3g offense.” The 3g offenses are a group of serious offenses found in Article 42.12 of the Code of Criminal Procedure. See a list of the 3g offenses

The second subsection, subsection (b), involves the solicitation of a minor to engage in certain other offenses, including Child Sex Trafficking (Section 20A.02(a)(7) and (8)), Continuous Sexual Abuse of Young Child or Children (21.02), Indecency with a Child (21.11), Sexual Assault (21.011), Aggravated Sexual Assault (21.021), Prostitution (43.02), Compelling Prostitution – Underage (43.05(a)(2)) and Sexual Performance by a Child(43.25).

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