Is it Illegal to Contact Minors Using Facebook or Twitter?
“Solicitation” may seem like an innocent charge – in fact, it literally means “to approach with a request or plea;” but if you have been charged with a solicitation-related sexual offense call your local Virginia Beach Criminal Defense Attorney immediately for an in-depth analysis of your case and your possible defenses. A related charge – child pornography possession/distribution, as expressed by Virginia Code § 18.2-374.1:1, states that “[p]ossession, reproduction, distribution, and facilitation of child pornography,” and can impose a potential 20 year prison sentence.
What about electronic mediums, like Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, and other social media networks? Virginia law makes it illegal for “any person 18 years of age or older to use a communications system, including . . . [a computer], for the purposes of soliciting, with lascivious intent, any person he knows or has reason to believe is a child less than 15 years of age to knowingly and intentionally.” See § 18.2-374.3, or your Virginia Beach Criminal Defense Professional for more information.
Solicitation is sometimes charged with an additional devastating crime: child pornography related offenses. Any variation of a charge involving child pornography can be emotionally and financially overwhelming for the accused. According to Virginia law, child pornography means “sexually explicit visual material which utilizes or has as a subject an identifiable minor.” If charged with a serious offense like solicitation or child pornography possession or distribution, understanding the statutory penalties is wise. Below, your local Norfolk and Virginia Beach Criminal Defense Lawyer has compiled an easy reference guide for you to quickly understand how serious the penalties are for certain child porn charges.
Virginia Code § 18.2-374.3 criminalizes communications systems or any other electronic methods
[where the purpose is to take] indecent liberties with minors. See, Hix v. Com., 270 Va. 335, 619 S.E.2d 80 (2005). Also see your solicitation and pornography defense team for a consultation immediately if charged with child pornography, solicitation, rape, or indecent liberties.