Solicitation

Solicitation

In the United States, solicitation is a crime; it is an inchoate offense that consists of a person offering money or something else of value in order to incite or induce another to commit a crime with the specific intent that the person solicited commit the crime. The term 'solicitation' always implies some sort of commercial element (payment). Local ordinances that forbid solicitation may prevent door-to-door sales, but they cannot exclude Jehovah's Witnesses, political candidates or others who advocate a position, but do not offer or request money. Putting Fliers on a door is not soliciting. In the other common law countries, the situation is different:
*where the substantive offense is not committed, the charges are drawn from incitement, conspiracy, and attempt;
*where the substantive offense is committed, the charges are drawn from conspiracy, counseling and procuring (see accessories), and the substantive offenses as joint principals (see common purpose).

In England and Wales, the term soliciting alone refers to "loitering or soliciting in a public place for the purpose of prostitution" under the Street Offences Act 1959 [http://www.statutelaw.gov.uk/legResults.aspx?LegType=All+Legislation&title=street+offences+act+&searchEnacted=0&extentMatchOnly=0&confersPower=0&blanketAmendment=0&TYPE=QS&NavFrom=0&activeTextDocId=1127916&PageNumber=1&SortAlpha=0] . For the latest Home Office proposals on this offence, see [http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/documents/cons-paying-the-price/Paying-the-Price-RIA.pdf] .

It is not necessary that the person actually commit the crime, nor is it necessary that the person solicited be willing or able to commit the crime (such as if the "solicitee" were an undercover police officer).

For example, if Alice commands Bob to assault Charlie and Alice intends for Bob to assault Charlie, then Alice is guilty of solicitation. However, if Alice commands Bob to assault Charlie without intending that an actual crime be committed (perhaps believing that Charlie has given consent), then there is no solicitation.

An interesting twist on solicitation occurs when a third party that the solicitor did not intend to receive the incitement overhears the request to the original solicitee and unbeknownst to the solicitor, commits the target offense. In a minority of jurisdictions in the United States, this situation would still be considered solicitation even though the defendant never intended the person that committed the crime to have done so.

Solicitation is also subject to the doctrine of merger, which applies in situations where the person solicited actually commits the crime. In such a situation, both Alice and Bob could be charged with the crime as accomplices, which would preclude conviction under solicitation; a person cannot be punished for both solicitation and the crime solicited.

Note that solicitation can apply to just about any criminal act. There are also many statutes for specific solicitation crimes. For example, solicitation of murder is often considered a capital offense, and has its own statute. Other examples might be solicitation of prostitution, or solicitation of a bribe.

ee also

*Criminal law


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  • Solicitation — • Technically in canon law the crime of making use of the Sacrament of Penance, directly or indirectly, for the purpose of drawing others into sins of lust Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006. Solicitation     Solicitation …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • solicitation — so·lic·i·ta·tion /sə ˌli sə tā shən/ n: an act or practice or an instance of soliciting solicitation of a proxy for a shareholder vote; specif: the crime of soliciting someone to commit a crime (as murder) Merriam Webster’s Dictionary of Law.… …   Law dictionary

  • Solicitation — So*lic i*ta tion, n. [F. sollicitation, or L. sollicitatio.] 1. The act of soliciting; earnest request; persistent asking; importunity. [1913 Webster] 2. Excitement; invitation; as, the solicitation of the senses. Locke. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • solicitation — late 15c., “management,” from O.Fr. solicitation or directly from L. solicitationem (nom. solicitatio), from solicitare (see SOLICIT (Cf. solicit)). Meaning “action of soliciting” is from 1530s. Specific sexual sense is from c.1600 …   Etymology dictionary

  • solicitation — et pourchas qu on fait envers aucun, Solicitatio. Solicitation qu on fait en envoyant ses amis vers aucun, Allegatio …   Thresor de la langue françoyse

  • solicitation — Asking; enticing; urgent request. The inchoate offense of requesting or encouraging someone to engage in illegal conduct. Any action which the relation of the parties justifies in construing into a serious request. Thus solicitation of… …   Black's law dictionary

  • solicitation — solicit so‧li‧cit [səˈlɪst] verb [transitive] 1. formal to ask someone for information or help: • She called meetings to solicit the views of her staff. 2. disapproving to ask someone for money …   Financial and business terms

  • solicitation — /seuh lis i tay sheuhn/, n. 1. the act of soliciting. 2. entreaty, urging, or importunity; a petition or request. 3. enticement or allurement. 4. Law. a. the crime of asking another to commit or to aid in a crime. b. the act of a prostitute… …   Universalium

  • solicitation — [[t]səlɪ̱sɪte͟ɪʃ(ə)n[/t]] solicitations N VAR Solicitation is the act of asking someone for money, help, support, or an opinion. [mainly AM] Republican leaders are making open solicitation of the Italian American vote... The new measures are… …   English dictionary

  • solicitation — /səlɪsəˈteɪʃən/ (say suhlisuh tayshuhn) noun 1. the act of soliciting. 2. entreaty, urging, or importunity; a petition or request. 3. enticement or allurement. 4. Law a. the crime of asking another to commit or to aid in a crime. b. loitering and …   Australian English dictionary


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