Solicitation is the asking, encouraging, requesting, hiring, or commanding someone to commit a crime. Unlike conspiracy, neither party has to actually perform an additional act to further the attempted crime toward completion. The person who is solicited does not have to agree to commit the crime. However, the person charged with solicitation must intentionally request someone to commit a crime.
How Is Solicitation Defined in Texas?
In Texas, a person can be charged with solicitation if they:
- Ask, request, command, or attempt to induce someone into engaging in specific criminal activity such as prostitution
- Under the circumstance that they believe the activity is a felony in Texas; OR
- Make someone a party to the commission of the crime
Can Someone Testify Against Me to Convict Me of Solicitation?
As with any criminal case, an individual whose testimony can help prove the prosecution’s case is free to testify for the prosecution. However, a defendant cannot be convicted of solicitation based on uncorroborated testimony of the individual who claims to have been solicited. In addition, the testimony must strongly corroborate both the solicitation and the defendant’s intent to solicit.
What Is Not a Defense to Solicitation in Texas?
In Texas, the following are not defenses to solicitation:
- The alleged solicited individual is not the person responsible for the crime
- The felony was actually committed
- The alleged solicited individual was acquitted or not prosecuted for the crime
- The person charged belongs to a class of people who are not legally capable of committing the goal offense
- The alleged solicited individual is immune from prosecution
- The alleged solicited individual was convicted of a crime different than the one they were solicited to commit
What Is the Punishment for Solicitation in Texas?
In Texas, solicitation can be either a first-degree felony or a second-degree felony. It is a felony in the first degree if the solicited crime was a capital offense. This means the punishment will likely be life without parole or death. Alternatively, it is a second-degree felony if the solicited crime was a first-degree felony. A second-degree felony punishment can be:
- Between 5 and 99 years in prison
- $10,000 fine
- Both a fine and prison time
Should I Contact a Lawyer?
Solicitation is an incredibly serious crime, especially in Texas. You need to contact a Texas lawyer immediately if you have been accused of solicitation.