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What is solicitation and how do you defend against it?

On Behalf of | Oct 20, 2022 | blog, criminal defense |

Solicitation is when one person has someone else commit crimes on their behalf. The individual is still guilty even though they never directly committed a crime in Maryland or elsewhere.

What constitutes solicitation?

The act of soliciting may come in the form of a direct request or even an outright demand. In other cases, the person can merely encourage another person to commit the crime.

The specific criteria for solicitation vary depending on which state you’re located in, but the requirements are fairly simple and straightforward no matter where you are. Solicitation is a felony offense and has serious legal repercussions, and punishments vary depending on the severity of the crimes that the action led to.

The first requirement is that the accused must have requested that another person has engaged in the criminal activity. The second is that the act has to have been intentional.

In certain states, it must be proven that the third party truly received the alleged solicitation attempt. In others, the act alone constitutes solicitation regardless of if the person they’re trying solicit to receive the message.

When someone is charged with a crime, it may be coupled with solicitation. This can happen when a gang leader has instructed others to commit crimes on their behalf.

How do you defend against solicitation?

If you’ve been accused of solicitation, the best defense is often challenging the accusation that you committed the act. Or if you did commit the act, you can argue that it lacked criminal intent.

In many states, all you have to do is ask or persuade someone to do the crime to be guilty of solicitation. The difference in the definition of solicitation from state to state is in whether or not the solicitation attempt was actually received by the third party.

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