Unlawful Contact with a Minor
Pennsylvania aggressively pursues harsh punishments for people who are convicted of contacting minors to engage in sexual activity or other prohibited conduct. State law generally targets alleged offenders who attempt to meet minors in various online forums.
Many cases of unlawful contact with a minor stem from alleged offenders having online conversations with police officers pretending to be minors. In such cases, it is not uncommon for a person to face criminal charges despite having no plans to actually attempt to meet a minor.
Lawyer for Unlawful Contact with a Minor Arrests in West Chester, PA
If you were arrested for alleged unlawful contact with a minor in southeastern Pennsylvania, it is in your best interest to not say anything to authorities without legal counsel. Contact Ciccarelli Law Offices right away for help protecting your rights.
Our West Chester criminal defense attorneys have office locations in Plymouth Square, Malvern, West Chester, Springfield, Philadelphia, King of Prussia, Lancaster, Kennett Square, and Radnor. You can have them provide an honest and thorough evaluation of your case as soon as you call (610) 692-8700 to take advantage of a free, confidential consultation.
Chester County Unlawful Contact with a Minor Information Center
- When can a person be charged with this crime?
- What sentence can an alleged offender receive is convicted?
- Where can I learn more about local online child protection efforts in West Chester?
Under Pennsylvania Consolidated Statute § 6318, a person commits unlawful contact with a minor if he or she is intentionally in contact with a minor, or a law enforcement officer acting in the performance of his duties who has assumed the identity of a minor, for the purpose of engaging in an activity prohibited under any of the following, and either the alleged offender or the person being contacted is within Pennsylvania:
- Any sexual offense listed under Chapter 31, Title 18 of the Pennsylvania Code, including rape, statutory sexual assault, involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, sexual assault, institutional sexual assault, sexual assault by sports official, volunteer or employee of nonprofit association, aggravated indecent assault, indecent assault, indecent exposure, conduct relating to sex offenders, or unlawful dissemination of intimate image.
- Open lewdness;
- Obscene or other sexual materials and performances;
- Sexual abuse of children; or
- Sexual exploitation of children.
Unlawful contact charges are typically filed in conjunction with other underlying criminal offenses. Alleged offenders in these cases are also typically arrested for such offenses as indecent assault, statutory sexual assault, or any one of a number of other crimes.
Unlawful contact with a minor is the same grade and degree as the most serious underlying offense for which an alleged offender contacted a minor, but it is never less than a third-degree felony punishable by up to seven years in prison and a fine of up to $15,000. People who are convicted of this crime are also classified as Tier II sex offenders, meaning they must register twice a year for 25 years.
It is important to remember that a person can be charged with unlawful contact with a minor even if that alleged offender never makes actual in-person contact with the minor. The consequences of a conviction can impact many facets of a person’s life, including possible difficulties obtaining or maintaining employment.
Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force (ICAC) — Pennsylvania’s ICAC Task Force was created to help law enforcement agencies enhance their investigative responses to offenders who use the internet, online communication systems, or computer technology to sexually exploit children. The Task Force is administered through the Delaware County District Attorney’s Office, and you can find all kinds of cyber safety tips on this website relating to cell phones, social media, and other computer usage. You can also find answers to frequently asked questions.
Basic Internet Safety | NetSmartz — NetSmartz Workshop is an interactive, educational program of the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children that provides age-appropriate resources to help teach children how to be safer on- and offline. You can find internet safety tips, discussion starters, and additional resources on this website. The website also covers cell phone use, social networking, and revealing too much.
Ciccarelli Law Offices | West Chester Unlawful Contact with a Minor Lawyer
Were you arrested or do you think that you might be under investigation in southeastern Pennsylvania for alleged unlawful contact with a minor? You will want to contact Ciccarelli Law Offices before you make any kind of statement to authorities.
Our West Chester criminal defense attorneys work as a team to get the most favorable outcomes with the fewest penalties for clients in communities throughout Delaware County, Lancaster County, Chester County, Montgomery County, and the greater Philadelphia area. Call (610) 692-8700 or submit an online contact form today to schedule a free consultation that will let our lawyers review your case and discuss your legal options.