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Can writing be a crime in this instance or is it protected by the First Amendment (read details)?

Salem, MA |

Could a person be convicted of a crime, state or federal, for writing "dirty" language to the minor over the internet? This person did not ask for the minor's address, telephone number, e-mail, or any other way to contact the minor after the chat was done. No photos were sent to the minor.

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Attorney answers 5


Yes or no is not an answer to ANY inquiry that involves a legal analysis by an experienced criminal defense lawyer. Every analysis requires a complete context within with an attention to detail that far exceeds that given in your inquiry.

The prosecuting authorities, both federal and state, look at multiple factors to determine if charges should be brought. Then it is the task of the experienced criminal defense lawyer to develop theories of defense that are viable.

Your inquiry poses good questions. It could be answered in the affirmative under certain circumstances and in the negative in other circumstances.

If your question is hypothetical then more detail us necessary to frame the issues. If it is actual then seek the advise if an experienced criminal defense lawyer ASAP. Further communication in a public forum should cease.

Of course, every answer is based on the question asked and requires a more complete context. This answer should not be relied upon to make a legal decision. Seek the advice of an experienced criminal defense attorney before acting. Law Offices of Raymond G. Wigell, Ltd. Defenders of the Constitution since 1975/ Aggressive Creative Defense Strategies/ Website: 24/7 --(708) 481-4800.


I agree with my colleague. Don't publish further details of this online, and consider getting a consultation with a local experienced criminal defense attorney. In some states solicitation of an underage person can be a crime, speak with an attorney to ensure that you are protected from prosecution.

Avvo answers are not substitutes for the educated opinion of a lawyer who knows the facts of your particular case and should not be relied upon as such. My answer to you did not create an attorney-client relationship. James J Bagley Whaley, Bowie and Bagley LLC Providence, RI 401 454 7700


Agree with Mr. Wigell. Under certian situations, what was posed could be considered "solicitation of a minor" or even, under some state laws, stalking if the parents get involved. Be careful of chatting up strangers on line, they could be underage or even law enforcement!

Claiborne H. Ferguson, Esq. is * Certified as a Specialist in Criminal Trial Advocacy by the National Board of Trial Advocacy. * Certified as a Specialist in Criminal Trial Advocacy by the Tennessee Commission on Continuing Legal Education and Specialization.


Whatever defenses you might have to the potential charges against you, I would not expect a first amendment defense to be among those with much of a chance of success. I trust that your attorney will be able to do better than that.


The First Amendment would certainly not shield this individual from prosecution and/or a guilty conviction. This individual should retain experienced defense counsel forthwith.

Good luck!

Anthony Rao, Esq.

The above response is NOT legal advice, and is NOT intended to be legal advice. No Attorney-Client relationship is created through the above answer, and any communication between us is not protected by attorney-client privilege.

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