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Could the criminal solicitation laws and the unenforced adultery laws be used to prosecute spammers? (See details below.)

New York, NY |
Filed under: Internet law

Note: This concerns e-mail that is sent nationally, giving every state the jurisdiction to prosecute the senders for what is sent to their state. Therefore, the location listed is arbitrary. Lawyers from any state may respond to say whether prosecution is possible in their state.]

In many states, there are still laws that make adultery a crime, although they are not widely enforced.

Also, there are laws that prohibit encouraging a person to commit a crime.

There is a lot of spam that tells recipients to cheat on their spouses or to do something with cheating wives.

This got me thinking:
Even in states that don't enforce their adultery laws, could they still crack down on spam by prosecuting the senders of the spam for unlawfully soliciting potential customers to commit adultery?

Attorney Answers 4


  1. Avvo is not a legal discussion forum.
    You would probably love law school.

    The above is general legal and business analysis. It is not "legal advice" but analysis, and different lawyers may analyse this matter differently, especially if there are additional facts not reflected in the question. I am not your attorney until retained by a written retainer agreement signed by both of us. I am only licensed in California. See also avvo.com terms and conditions item 9, incorporated as if it was reprinted here.


  2. Which states still have adultery laws on the books?

    I am a former federal and State prosecutor and have been doing criminal defense work for over 16 years. I was named to the Super Lawyers list as one of the top attorneys in New York for 2012 and 2013. No more than 5 percent of the lawyers in the state are selected by Super Lawyers. Martindale-Hubbell has given me its highest rating - AV Preeminent - in the areas of Criminal Law, Personal Injury, and Litigation. According to Martindale-Hubbell”AV Preeminent is a significant rating accomplishment - a testament to the fact that a lawyer's peers rank him or her at the highest level of professional excellence." Fewer than 8% of attorneys achieve an AV Preeminent rating. I also have the highest ranking – “superb” – on Avvo. The above answer, and any follow up comments or emails is for informational purposes only and not meant as legal advice.


  3. Sending seductive spam is not criminal solicitation and the sender does not know a recipent is married. So your idea flubs.

    Good luck.


  4. Retain local counsel in each jurisdiction or go to law school.

    If this answer is helpful, then please mark the helpful button. If this is the best answer, then please indicate it. Thanks. For further information you should see an attorney and discuss the matter completely. If you are in the New York City area, then you can reach me during normal business hours at 718 329 9500 or www.mynewyorkcitylawyer.com.

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