Accosting and Soliciting a Minor for Immoral Purposes
In Michigan, as in other states across the country, accosting, enticing, or soliciting a minor for an immoral purpose is an incredibly serious crime. In the Great Lakes State, it does not matter if the accused knows the age of the victim or not. In the case of a conviction where the victim’s actual age is below the age of consent in Michigan, the person convicted faces a Class F felony for a first-time offense: a felony punishable with a fine of up to $4,000 and up to four years in prison.
Accosting and Soliciting
If you or someone you know has been accused of accosting and soliciting a child for an immoral act, you need to schedule a free consultation to get legal assistance right away. Here are a few things you should know about the crime of soliciting a child for an immoral purpose:
What Does the Penal Code Say About Accosting and Soliciting a Child?
According to the Michigan Penal Code, section 750.145a, the age of consent in the state is 16 years old. Unlike in other states, there are no exceptions; even in the case of two underage persons engaging in consensual relations. If one or more partners’ actual age is under 16, a sex crime is being committed per the laws of Michigan.
Even if the accused did not know that the other person was under the age of 16, it is still against the law. Whether it is a case of gross indecency or making message contact with a minor with intent to commit a sexual act, ignorance is not a defense in Michigan. Unless all parties are above the age of consent and don’t qualify for one of the exceptions to the law, the accused would be guilty of a crime regardless of what they did not know.
According to the Michigan Penal Code, if you believe/know the other person is a minor and solicit them to commit prostitution or another sex crime, you ofcourse would be guilty of a felony offense (see solicitation of a minor).
The reason we bring this up is to show how undercover officers sometimes catch criminals: they state their age to be under 16 and allow the offender to proposition them for a sexual act or other act related to an immoral purpose. Once the accused engages, that is often enough for a prosecutor to land a conviction for accosting, enticing, or soliciting a child for an immoral purpose, even if the accused does not have a good sex crimes defense lawyer.
What are the Penalties for Accosting, Enticing, or Soliciting a Child?
The maximum of a four year imprisonment sentence for a Class F felony offense only applies to first-time offenders. If the accused is facing sex crime allegations for the second time or more, the crime gets upgraded to a Class D felony, which is a felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a fine of $10,000.
Additionally, a person convicted of the crime will face further penalties beyond their sentence. For instance, if you are convicted of crimes related to soliciting someone whose actual age is under 16 for sexual intercourse, you will have to register as a sex offender for the rest of your life, and you would have a criminal record following you wherever you went. With that on your record, it could be very difficult to get a job or even to find a place to live, as many neighborhoods do not want a registered sex offender living in their community.
This is why, if you are accused of sexual acts or any other act related to enticing a child, it is critical to get the right criminal defense lawyer on the case. Having the right defense lawyer on your side can help you reduce or even avoid serious penalties that can haunt your record forever. So, the quicker you act in scheduling your free consultation, the better.
How Do Criminals Use a Child for Immoral Purpose?
Before technology became so prevalent in our lives, gross indecency used to be among the most common ways that criminals used a child for immoral purposes. Whether it was by meeting an unsuspecting victim in a public place or taking them to a private location, an in-person meeting for a sex crime used to be one of the most common ways that an aggressor could perpetrate accosting, enticing, or soliciting child prostitution or another form of using a child for immoral purpose.
These days, technology has made the world wide web one of the main ways that aggressors commit prostitution or other internet sex crimes against their victims. Sexual acts can start in seemingly innocent chat rooms and eventually move into felonious behavior against the victim. With so many children not knowing about the dangers of the internet and thinking that it is perfectly safe to fill out a contact form, send information, or simply chat with strangers, it is easier than ever for someone to become a victim.
What if I am Falsely Accused?
By the same token, it is also easier than ever to be falsely accused of being a sex offender if you find yourself in the wrong place at the wrong time. Our criminal justice system does not only go one way, and sometimes people, without malicious intentions, stumble into a false accusation of soliciting a child for an immoral purpose.
An accusation like that can completely ruin someone’s life without total exoneration, and it is not going to go away on its own. Undercover officers are human too, and they can and have made erroneous accusations. If someone has accused you of accosting, enticing, or soliciting a child for immoral purpose and you believe you are genuinely innocent, you need to find the right sex offender lawyers to protect your rights.
What Can a Good Sex Crimes Defense Lawyer Do?
If you have been accused of an immoral act involving a child, you need to act fast in finding a quality sex crimes defense lawyer. In the case of someone who is genuinely innocent, hiring the right lawyer is an absolute necessity to protect your rights. During your Michigan criminal defense attorney free consultation, a good lawyer can help you plan a strategy and craft a winning argument for you to protect your freedom. You will go over any confidential or sensitive information with the attorney-client relationship in place, so anything that you say to your lawyer is protected from being told to anybody else and used against you in court.
Even if you think you might have broken the law in some way, a good defense lawyer who specializes in sex crimes can often develop quality sexual assault defense strategies and help you reduce your penalties under the law. If you are willing and able to plead guilty to a lesser charge, it can make a big difference for your future. That is because there can be a big difference between a felony criminal offense and misdemeanor sex crimes on your permanent record, especially in a state like Michigan.
For example, you will not be able to claim ignorance in a court of law; but if you genuinely believed you were soliciting a consenting adult to commit prostitution, a good defense lawyer can sometimes get the prosecution to agree to a charge for soliciting a prostitute, which is a misdemeanor crime in Michigan, rather than charge you with a felony for soliciting a child to commit prostitution.
You might not think that is a big deal, but the difference between a misdemeanor and a felony sex charge can be drastic. In the case of a misdemeanor sex charge, you can petition a Michigan court for expungement after 15 years of good behavior (see expungement laws in Michigan). If you have a felony conviction on your record, however, such an action is not possible.
Getting Proper Legal Help in Court from the Right Attorney
If you have been accused of accosting, enticing, or soliciting a child for immoral purpose, protecting your rights is of the utmost importance. If you think that undercover officers might have made a mistake or that you are dealing with an overzealous prosecutor, having the right internet sex crimes attorney on your side makes a world of difference.
During your free consultation, it is important to be completely honest with your attorney so that they can hammer away at the prosecution’s case. One of the best ways that people beat erroneous charges of soliciting a child for immoral purpose or accosting a child for immoral purposes is when their attorney can show that the prosecution’s evidence against them is insufficient for a conviction.
There are several different ways that your attorney might be able to do this. If they can establish enough doubt in the jury’s mind that you actually were the person who was attempting to commit a crime, that can get you an acquittal. Also, if you have a witness who can vouch for your location somewhere else at the time of the alleged assault and the prosecutor can’t attack their credibility, the jury will not have enough evidence for a conviction.
When you are facing an accusation of an immoral act against a child, you need to know that you are facing one of the most serious accusations possible in the criminal justice system. There is little tolerance from judges or juries against someone who genuinely preys on the innocent, which means it is critical to get help from a good defense lawyer in proving your innocence.
If you or a loved one has been accused or charged, you need to talk to Attorney Nicole Blank Becker immediately. You can reach her by calling Blank Law, PC at (248) 515–6583 or contact Attorney Nicole Blank Becker online for your initial consultation.