Columbia Solicitation Lawyer

Criminal solicitation is defined as requesting, encouraging, or demanding someone to engage in criminal activity, with the intention of facilitating or contributing to the commission of that crime. Solicitation usually arises in the context of prostitution, when a defendant solicits someone to engage in a sexual act.

If you have been charged with a criminal solicitation crime in South Carolina, you need a criminal defense lawyer by your side safeguarding all of your legal rights. A Columbia solicitation lawyer can review the facts and circumstances of your case with you and may be able to help you obtain a dismissal of your case or a favorable plea deal with the prosecutor.

Burden of Proof and Potential Penalties upon Conviction

In all South Carolina criminal cases, the State has the burden of proving the crime beyond a reasonable doubt – or beyond a doubt based upon ordinary reason and common sense. In order to meet that high burden, the State must ordinarily be able to show the following:

  • That the Defendant requested someone else to engage in certain criminal conduct.
  • That the Defendant had the intention of engaging in criminal conduct with that other person.

In the prostitution context, solicitation means that the defendant must request another person to engage in sexual acts for compensation – and that the defendant has the intention of following through with this request. In order for the crime of solicitation to be complete, the underlying crime (i.e. prostitution) need not actually be carried out or committed.

A criminal conviction for solicitation – especially in the prostitution context – can potentially result in long periods of incarceration, as well as hefty monetary fines making it important that a Columbia solicitation attorney is consulted.

Defenses to Criminal Solicitation

As with all South Carolina crimes, there are certain legal defenses associated with solicitation crimes. One of the most common legal defenses for solicitation is mistaken identity and mere presence.

For example, the defendant or their Columbia solicitation attorney may allege that he was not the person who committed the act, or, in the case of prostitution, that there was no offer or intent to compensate the other person for performing the sexual act. In order for the State to prove solicitation in most cases, the prosecutor will need to elicit testimony from the individual who was allegedly solicited.

Another common legal defense to a criminal solicitation charge is entrapment by the police. While police officers can legally pose as prostitutes in order to catch a particular individual in the act of soliciting sexual favors for money, they cannot entice an innocent bystander and subsequently arrest them for prostitution.

Instead, the police must wait for their target to make it apparent that they intend to engage in an illegal activity, such as by walking up to them and propositioning them for sex. In that case, the police officer could make a lawful arrest.

Contact a Columbia Solicitation Attorney Today

If you have been charged with solicitation in South Carolina, a knowledgeable Columbia solicitation lawyer may be able to assist you with your case. An attorney can help you formulate and develop potential legal defenses, such as mistaken identity or entrapment, to your criminal charge, and can represent you in court.