Solicitation is a type of inchoate - or incomplete - crime. It is most notably associated with certain types of criminal charges, including prostitution, conspiracy, and drug crimes. However, solicitation may occur in any setting.
Solicitation occurs when one person engages someone else to take part in a criminal activity or enterprise. In order for the prosecution to charge or convict you of solicitation, you do not need to actually complete the underlying offense or act. When it comes to solicitation, the request or inducement itself is oftentimes sufficient for a conviction.
If you are charged with criminal solicitation, you should seek out an experienced criminal defense attorney to represent you throughout your case. A dedicated Alabama solicitation lawyer could review the facts of your case with you and help you formulate a strong legal defense.Elements of a Criminal Solicitation Charge
In order for the State to charge and convict someone of criminal solicitation, the prosecutor must be able to prove their case beyond a reasonable doubt. Specifically, the prosecutor must be able to demonstrate that the defendant intended for another person to engage in criminal conduct and the defendant requested or commanded that the other person engages in the criminal conduct.
Solicitation, therefore, is a crime based on specific intent. If this essential element of intent is not apparent, the prosecution will likely not be able to meet its burden of proof and achieve a conviction.Meeting the Burden of Proof
In order for the State to meet its burden of proof, the prosecutor must present certain evidence in the case. For example, the prosecutor must corroborate the testimony of the person who the defendant allegedly solicited. Moreover, the prosecutor must introduce evidence which corroborates that the solicitation, in fact, took place, as well as necessary criminal intent on the part of the defendant.Escaping a Criminal Conviction for Solicitation
In some instances, a defendant in Alabama may be able to escape a guilty finding or conviction for the crime of solicitation. For instance, the defendant may not be convicted on such charges if they can prove they took measures to voluntarily renounce their criminal intent.
This renunciation can take several forms. First, the defendant may notify the solicited person. Alternatively, the defendant may warn the police or other authorities of the planned crime, in order to prevent the solicited criminal conduct from occurring.
When it comes to legal defenses such as these, the defendant has the burden of proof. If the trier of fact—in other words, the judge or the jury—believes the defendant’s version of the facts, then the defendant and their Alabama solicitation lawyer may be able to obtain a dismissal of the solicitation charge.Reaching Out to an Alabama Solicitation Attorney
Solicitation is a serious crime, and a conviction may result in equally serious penalties. A solicitation crime may constitute either a felony or a misdemeanor, depending on the underlying crime solicited. For example, the State treats solicitation for murder as a Class A felony.
No matter the underlying crime, anyone facing a solicitation charge may need experienced legal representation on their side throughout their case. An Alabama solicitation lawyer could represent you in court, advance any applicable legal defenses on your behalf, and help minimize the consequences of a guilty finding or conviction.