Poor judgment sometimes leads to criminal charges, as might be the case when someone’s behavior results in solicitation accusations. In Texas, many defendants face legal troubles with solicitation after attempting to pay a prostitute for services. However, solicitation is not exclusively a crime involving prostitution and sexual offenses. The accused could face charges for other criminal matters, even when the case is weak.
Solicitation involves the intention to engage in criminal activities with someone and request someone to take part in the engagement. Offering money for sexual services is a typical example of solicitation, but someone could face charges for soliciting someone to help with committing theft or another crime.
Committing the solicited crime is not a necessary element to bring charges. That’s why the police routinely stage sting operations to arrest persons intending to solicit prostitutes. Unfortunately, some defendants may find themselves arrested and charged under dubious circumstances.
Defending solicitation charges
Prosecutions of sex offenses could involve presenting clear-cut evidence of guilt, such as surveillance footage or DNA evidence. With solicitation, the police may rely on incriminating statements or witnesses. However, the arrest could involve entrapment, an illegal and unconstitutional act that could ruin the prosecutor’s case.
Other potential examples of police misconduct may undermine the presented evidence. Evidence deemed inadmissible cannot be used in court.
Also, the prosecution must prove the above-mentioned elements of intent and the request to commit a criminal act. If the accused never made an explicit request nor displayed any true intent to solicit anyone, enough reasonable doubt to acquit may exist. As with all criminal charges, proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt becomes necessary for a conviction.
Some cases might require the defendant to plea bargain. A plea bargain could lead to lesser charges and penalties.