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Solicitation: Wikis


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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Literally, solicitation means: 'urgently asking'. It is the action or instance of soliciting; petition; proposal.



In England and Wales, the term soliciting refers to: "for a common prostitute to loiter or solicit in a street or public place for the purpose of prostitution", under the Street Offences Act 1959.[1] Moreover, the profession of solicitor is that of a lawyer.

The description of Kerb crawler makes clear that also: 'the addressing or accosting by a potential prostitution customer of a supposed prostitute with the purpose to conclude to a prostitution agreement with her' is entitled 'solicitation' by some.

United States

In the United States, solicitation is the name of a crime, 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.


Differences in laws

In the United States, the term "solicitation" implies some sort of commercial element, consideration, or payment. In some 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).

Differences from other crimes

Solicitation has in the U.S. these unique elements:

  1. the encouraging, bribing, requesting, or commanding a person
  2. to commit a substantive crime,
  3. with the intent that the person solicited actually commit the crime.

Unlike conspiracy, there is no overt step necessary for solicitation, one person can be a defendant, and it merges with the substantive crime.

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.

See also


  1. ^ UK Statutes website: Street Offences Act. For the latest Home Office proposals on this offence, see [1].


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