Can I get in trouble for just talking to a 16 year old on an online dating site?

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Can I get in trouble for just talking to a 16 year old on an online dating site?

He lied and said he was 19 on it. We never met; we just talked on phone. I was not interested. I do not even have much recollection of it. Now his mom called and wants to press charges. Can she?

Asked on December 9, 2012 under Criminal Law, Michigan

Answers:

David West / West & Corvelli

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

It depends on the laws in your individual state and the extent of the conversation that you had with the minor.  It goes without saying that any time an adult is "caught" having a conversation with a minor on the internet it doesn't look good. Certainly the minors parents may be upset, especially if the conversation involved topics that are inappropriate for a minor.  The same goes for telephone contact.  While there is some protection in the fact that you did not know the child was under age, depending on the law in your state, it could still be a dangeroud situation.

I wouldn't worry much if the police do not get involved.  Simply cease communication with this person.  However, if the police make contact with you and want to get a statement from you as to what happened, you need to get prompt legal representation.  DO NOT go into a meeting with police thinking there is no problem, that you can explain things away, and that they really do just want to get to the bottom of what happened.  Most of the time the police are looking to get a statement - one that they may later use against you.  A trained lawyer, like those at David West & Associates, can help make sure you are protected and that any statement that you make is protected as well.

Also, if police become involved, you should tell them you want a lawyer present with you and then make an appointment to hire the lawyer you wish to help you BEFORE you go see police.  We are trained to help people in exactly the same situation as yours.  Hopefully though, you won't be accused of violating any laws.

If you are still worried and don't want to wait for police to call you - make an appointment for a free consultation with an experienced criminal defense lawyer.

David S. West

Senior Partner

David West & Associates

www.westdefense.com

 

David West / David West & Associates

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

It depends on the laws in your individual state and the extent of the conversation that you had with the minor.  It goes without saying that any time an adult is "caught" having a conversation with a minor on the internet it doesn't look good. Certainly the minors parents may be upset, especially if the conversation involved topics that are inappropriate for a minor.  The same goes for telephone contact.  While there is some protection in the fact that you did not know the child was under age, depending on the law in your state, it could still be a dangeroud situation.

I wouldn't worry much if the police do not get involved.  Simply cease communication with this person.  However, if the police make contact with you and want to get a statement from you as to what happened, you need to get prompt legal representation.  DO NOT go into a meeting with police thinking there is no problem, that you can explain things away, and that they really do just want to get to the bottom of what happened.  Most of the time the police are looking to get a statement - one that they may later use against you.  A trained lawyer, like those at David West & Associates, can help make sure you are protected and that any statement that you make is protected as well.

Also, if police become involved, you should tell them you want a lawyer present with you and then make an appointment to hire the lawyer you wish to help you BEFORE you go see police.  We are trained to help people in exactly the same situation as yours.  Hopefully though, you won't be accused of violating any laws.

If you are still worried and don't want to wait for police to call you - make an appointment for a free consultation with an experienced criminal defense lawyer.

David S. West

Senior Partner

David West & Associates

www.westdefense.com

 


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